I’m thinking about salads a lot at the moment. I’m not sure if it’s because I want it to be spring or because the sun is out a lot more recently, but salads are definitely on my mind. The only thing with salads is that it is possible to get bored with them, particularly if you get into a rut with dressings, which is an easy thing to do.
Salad dressings can be a minefield. The manufacturers of store bought dressings alternately push “low fat” dressings (which are often high in sugars and artificial ingredients) or “high fat” dressings (which are very high in calories) because they allegedly help us to absorb nutrients better. I’m a big fan of making your own salad dressings (for one of my ‘go-to’ recipes with lots of variations please click here), but I also use something else to dress salads that you may not have thought of before - preserved chutneys and vegetable jams. They work incredibly well and its a great way to use up those jars and bottles you have hiding in your fridge.
Here’s a recipe for a fantastic salad using one of my favourite chutneys, which will hopefully inspire you to try some delicious combinations of your own, using your favourites. This salad will serve two as a light lunch and you can make one of two variations - apple and onion chutney or apple butter with apples, or tomato jam with cherry tomatoes. I can never decide which variation I like best! And yes, I know the idea of apple butter on a salad is a little radical, but seriously, trust me on this one!
Delicious Cheese and Chutney Salad
4 cups mixed lettuces
1 apple, cored and thinly sliced (don’t peel) OR
1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
about 4 generous tablespoons apple and onion chutney or apple butter (if using apples) OR tomato jam (if using cherry tomatoes)
1 cup grated vegetarian (or vegan) cheddar cheese
Toss the lettuces and cherry tomatoes or apple slices together in a large salad bowl. Divide between two plates and serve topped with the cheese and a couple spoonfuls of the chutney or apple butter (if using apple slices) or the tomato jam (if using tomatoes). Serve with a basket of hot rolls on the side if you wish.
Let this be a springboard for your own ideas with savoury preserves and chutneys - it will bring new life to your salad bowl!