This past week I dined with my book group girls. The book we are reading at the moment is Donna Tartt, The Secret History. I’ll be honest and say our group is fairly new, and the success rate at which we actually read and discuss book is around 50%… but that aside, we do put on a good spread!
This week we were at Ruth’s pad, and let me tell you, this is a girl who know how to do a good salad. If you don’t think salads can be exciting… well I’m going to let her prove you wrong. Here’s what we tucked into…
Like me, she’s a fan sharing plates, and these salad dishes were perfect for our summer soiree. The main event was a butternut squash salad which was full of flavour and surprisingly filling. Here’s how to create Ruth’s bowl of goodness:
- Chop up some butternut squash, toss the squash in rapeseed oil, half a teaspoon each of paprika, cumin and hot chilli powder and a pinch of sumac if you have it (harissa paste is nice too).
- Roast at 200 until soft, about 25 mins.
- Finely chop half a red onion put in a bowl and squeeze half a lime onto it and let it sit while you get everything else ready.
- Simmer the bulgur wheat for 15 mins or until tender and let it cool a bit. Toss it all together with some spinach leaves once the squash and bulghar have cooled.
- Add in about a tablespoon each of fresh herbs, it’s really up to use what you use, parsley, basil and chives are good.
- Finally toast some pumpkin seeds in a dry frying pan and sprinkle on top then squeeze the other half of the lime on top and some olive oil.
Next up was a rather impressive, butterbean salsa dish. This was a really easy mix of tinned butterbeans (drained and rinsed), some chopped plum tomatoes, and about a quarter of a finely chopped red onion. Add a good gulg of olive oil, seasoning and a good handful of fresh herbs – parsley or coriander would work well. If you like a bit of punch in your salad you could always throw some chopped chilli into the mix.
As we loaded our plates high we also tucked into some roasted peppers, grilled halloumi and iceberg lettuce. With some olive oil, balsamic vinegar and hummus also on the table, there was nothing holding us back from enjoying an amazingly fresh and tasty meal.
Our next meeting will no doubt be just as tasty, and hopefully we will have actually finished reading the book and can enjoy some intellectual discussion as well as oohing and ahhing at Ruth’s salad skills.