Summer Salads: 5 recipes to cool you down

MAR 18, 2016 | By Aditi Sharma Maheshwari

Leafy vegetables, bright colourful fruits and fresh ingredients from the local farmers market look enticing, don’t they? Forget the boring concoctions you were used to all this while… we show you how to make your salads fun, filling and flavourful. Plus, they are extremely easy to make.1. Mango and Prunes SaladBy Ashwini Kumar, Executive Chef, Four Points by Sheraton, Mumbai
1 ripe mango peeled and cut into cubes, 1 large tomato cut into 1/2 inch cubes, 1 small red onion halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise, 1/3 cup mint leaves, 1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves, 10 gms prunes, 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 2 tsp balsamic vinegar, 2 tsp fresh lemon juice, 1 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper
MethodBeat vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, salt, and pepper together until sugar is dissolved. Pour in oil. Add remaining ingredients and toss until coated.
2. Watermelon and Feta SaladBy Chef Stephen Gomes of L’Adresse Kitchen & Bar, New Delhi
1 medium red onion, 14 cups cubed seedless watermelon, 1 cup chopped green onions, 100 gms diced feta cheese, 2 tbsp red wine vinegar halved and thinly sliced, 1/2 tsp honey, 1/4 tsp pepper, pinch of lemon grass, salt to taste
MethodIn a large bowl, combine watermelon, feta cheese and onions. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, honey, pepper and seasonings. Pour over watermelon mixture and toss gently to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Serve with a slotted spoon.
3. Quinoa Salad with Beetroot and Pomegranate DressingBy Pradeep Jugran, Chef, Number 8 Restaurant, New Delhi
3 medium beetroots, scrubbed and trimmed, 1/2 cup quinoa, 1/4 cup pine nuts lightly toasted, 3/4 cup finely shredded mint leaves, 80 gms feta crumbled, 1 tsp olive oil, sea salt to taste, yogurt to serve
For Pomegranate dressing1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, 3 tbsp malt vinegar, 1/2 cup pomegranate juice, 1 garlic clove peeled and bruised, 1 tsp honey, 1/4 tsp black pepper
MethodPreheat your oven to 200° C. For the dressing, in a medium-sized glass jar, add all ingredients and season generously with black pepper. Shake vigorously until mixture is emulsified. Taste and adjust the flavour if need be then set aside until ready to use. Place each beetroot on a square of doubled layered aluminium foil. Drizzle with olive oil and a pinch of sea salt. Wrap in the foil and bake for 45 minutes until tender. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
Pour water in a pan and place the quinoa inside. Let it boil. Once cooked, stir and separate the quinoa. Once beetroots are cool enough to handle, grate it. Gently toss the quinoa with the remaining salad ingredients. Season with sea salt. Pour over the dressing and serve portions of salad with a dollop of yoghurt.
4. The House Desi By Lolita Sarkar, Creative Chef and Founder, Desi Deli, Mumbai
45 gms fresh greens (mix of spinach, lettuce, arugula, micro greens), 20 gms prunes, 20 gms orange peeled and segmented, 20 gms feta cheese, 10 gms sunflower seeds, 8 gms almonds

For the dressing
3 ml extra virgin oil, 15 ml lemon juice,  15 ml honey, salt, pepper MethodMix all the dressing ingredients in a tight lidded container and shake well.Chop all leaves roughly in a medium sized bowl. Cut prunes into four halves. Mix all ingredients in a bowl and leave to chill. Add dressing. Put in a serving dish and top with crumbled feta and orange segments. Serve chilled.
5. Poached Pear SaladBy Chef Govind Nayak, Executive Chef, Fable, Mumbai
1 pear, 250 ml red wine, 100 ml balsamic vinegar, 100 ml olive oil, 250-300 gms rocket leaves, 100 gms sugar,  25 gms feta cheese, 20 gms walnut, salt to taste, pepper to taste
MethodPeel the pear and place it whole to poach in the red wine on a low simmer for 25-30 minutes till tender. Prepare salad dressing by whisking balsamic vinegar and olive oil to make an emulsion.Prepare the chikki by pouring sugar in a pan and caramelising it on low heat. Once the sugar begins to caramelise, add the walnuts. Pour the mixture on a greased surface and allow it to cool and then chop it up into small pieces. Clean, wash and drain rocket leaves. Mix balsamic dressing with the rocket leaves and put them in a salad bowl. Top this up with sliced poached pear, chopped chikki and crumbled feta cheese. Toss it up and serve.Also read: 5 warm soups to nourish your soul