Quick Recipes and Easy

Easy Summer Salads, Lighter Foods For A Brighter Summer

Simple summer salads are the way to go, now that the winter blues are fading into the distance and salad days are here. The best salads are light, bright and simple to prepare.

Who wants to spend hours slaving away in the kitchen when friends are round for lunch, the garden is in bloom and the wine is chilled and ready to pour. But before you start to cook you can save a lot of energy by buying the right ingredients. That way you don’t need the heavy bottled sauces and dressings to make a fantastic flavor. After all you don’t want to take a gorgeous crisp summer salad and soak it in a mixture of stout, sugar, salt and chemicals do you?

If you start off with fantastic food and don’t do too much to them you don’t need all these strong tastes. All you need is to combine it well so that the flavors work together, have a nice crunchy texture and add a small light dressing to set it all off. Let the taste buds do the rest Freshness is, as in all cooking, the way to a excellent salad.

Don’t take what the supermarkets give you. Although it’s simpler to pick up the ready packed tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, bell peppers etc. To make sure you get the best, take a minute or two and pick over the vegetables, choose what is firm ripe and ready to use. The same of course applies with meat and fish. There is a reason why supermarkets prepackage, and it’s not always convenience. So choose well, cook quickly and simply and your friends won’t have finished the wine by the time you get there! Delight in a small bit of summer now with this simple poached chicken salad.

Simple poached chicken salad


4 chicken breasts (skinless)

1 finely sliced red onion

1 whole half onion

4 excellent ripe tomatoes sliced thickly

250 grams/4ozs salad leaves mixed

4ozs raisins soaked in hot water for ten minutes

1 half lemon

2 fresh or dry bay leaves

1 teaspoon peppercorns black

1 small French, stick loaf or similar sliced at an angle into 1/2 inch slices

For the dressing:

1/4 cup olive oil

1clove garlic crushed

1/2 dessert spoon Dijon or other mild mustard

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

To make the dressing:

Whisk the vinegar and mustard together with the garlic, slowly add the olive oil while whisking and season with salt and pepper to taste.

To make the salad:

Bring a pan of water to the boil with the bay leaves, 1/2 white onion, lemon and peppercorns.
Carefully add the chicken and simmer gently until cooked, if you are unsure it is worth investing a few dollars in a meat thermometer. The temperature should be at least 75 celcius/167 Fahrenheit, place the sliced bread on a baking tray and drizzle with the olive oil and season with salt. Bake in a medium oven until crisp but soft in the middle.

Mix the leaves together with the onions and raisins. Turn in the salad dressing and place into 4 excellent-sized bowls. Place slices of tomato and bread alternatly around the edge. Slice the warm chicken at an angle and place attractively on top of the salad. Sit back, delight in and get someone else to do the washing up.

Nearlyhealthy.com Nearlyhealthy.com is a new quality simple recipe, cookery tips and information site, for fantastic tasting food that is also simple to cook. Cooking should be a joy not a chore.Using the best ingrdients and keeping it simple means your food tastes excellent with the minimum of fuss. Cookery book reviews, we choose the best in current and classic recipe books and food travel writers. Also product and excellent food suppliers.

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