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Published: 19th June 2015
Author: Queensgate Blog

ITALIAN SUMMER SALAD

Now that the weather is getting warmer, it’s time to stock your fridge full of fresh, crisp salad and vegetables to get ready for those chilled summer days out in the sun. It’s the season where family BBQs are almost a necessity, and what’s better to go with them than a variety of light, fresh homemade salads and dressings?

My favourite is a leafy green Italian salad with crispy bacon strips, and a tangy, creamy Italian dressing drizzled over it; here are the recipes I follow:
The amount of each of the salad ingredients depends on how many you are feeding (for example, for one person I’d suggest two handfuls of salad leaves).

To make the salad:

  • Mixed green and red salad leaves
  • Fresh peppery rocket
  • Juicy cherry tomatoes
  • Red, orange and yellow peppers
  • A touch of spring onion
  • Cucumber
  • Oven cooked bacon or pancetta ham, whichever you desire, to add a smoky flavour (cook to the texture you prefer)

Salad-Ingredients

To make the dressing (makes about 150 ml of dressing):

  • 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons of sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
  • ½ a teaspoon of crushed garlic/1 garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning
  • A pinch of salt

Dressing-Ingredients

Here are some kitchen tools and essentials that are handy to have for salads and dressings:

Essentials

The method:

1) Wash and prepare all of the salad you wish to use.
2) Layer each ingredient as you want it. I tend to have a base of the salad leaves and rocket with the other bits like the peppers and spring onions, and then top it off with the bacon at the end to finish off the layering process.
3) Once you’ve got your salad as you like it, it’s time to blend all of the dressing ingredients together and drizzle as much as you want over your prepped salad to give it an extra bit of flavour. I sprinkled some more Italian seasoning on top of my dressing to give it some colour, which you may want to try if you are keen on presentation!
This salad will go great with pasta or cous cous mixed in to make it go further and to give it a different texture. Or, why not replace the cherry tomatoes with sun dried tomatoes instead, or try a different dressing like vinaigrette or Caesar? The possibilities and combinations are endless, so you could try a different one each time!

Here are my finished results:

The-Dressing The-SaladIf you have a go at making the salad make sure you share your images with us through the hashtag #BlogQueensgate. Don’t forget, Queensgate Shopping Centre is open #L8 on Thursdays and Fridays with free parking after 5:30pm.

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