Twiced-Baked Cheddar & Chive Souffle, Beetroot & Spinach Salad with Walnut Oil Dressing

When a vegetarian theme was selected for the Irish Foodies September Cookalong I instantly decided I would try to use some of our own produce and also cook something I hadn’t tried before.  We have some fabulous beetroot in the garden and a lot of eggs thanks to our lovely hens so I opted for a twice baked Cheddar and Chive Souffle with a roasted beetroot and spinach salad with walnut dressing.  The one thing that this cookalong did teach me was that I don’t really prepare a lot of meat-free meals – something I will definitely rectify. [Read more…]

Zesty Coriander, Tomato and Cucumber Salad

This is my own summer salad recipe and I think it is so pretty and really brightens up the table.  It tastes so fresh and zesty and is the perfect accompaniment to a barbeque or a summery lunch or dinner.

The secret to the zesty flavour and also to the amazingly bright pink onions is to soak thin slices of red onion in lime juice for an hour or so and you will end up with wonderful tasting onions that add a really fresh touch to the salad. [Read more…]

Pea & Feta Salad

This is based on a salad I met and fell in love with in Avoca last summer.  I think their salad used broad beans but for me garden peas are much more readily available. It is a very simple but fresh, light salad that everyone seems to love… even some who claim  not to like peas. Quantities below are a suggestion only for a medium sized bowl – they are of course totally flexible depending on your preference. [Read more…]

Basic French Dressing

I have always found it hard to find a ready-made dressing that I really liked (the closest I have come to that is the fresh M&S Reduced Fat French Dressing found in the chilled cabinet).  So after reading many recipes I have come up with a very simple dressing that is easy to make and can be adapted depending on your taste.  Despite the fact that olive oil is a very popular choice for dressings in many of the recipes I have read I have to say that I am not a fan – I think it is too strong a taste and tends to overpower.  I much prefer to use Groundnut oil or Grapeseed oil, both of which have little taste and act as a perfect carrier for the other flavours.  Below is my basic recipe, the ingredients for which will live happily in your cupboard for some time, however I do occasionally add fresh extras like lemon juice, chives, fresh chopped herbs, crushed garlic or finely minced shallot depending on my mood, what is to hand and what I am using the dressing on. [Read more…]

Apple, Celery and Cheddar Salad

I love this salad. I love its simplicity, quickness, crunchiness, zestiness and green-ness. Sometimes I crave crunchy raw food and I always think that it is probably my body telling me I need to be a little bit more considerate. I first tried this salad in Avoca (Rathcoole) as part of my 3 salad accompaniment to a rather delicious lasagne and I have since made it at home to enjoy with Moussaka but more often on its own for lunch. [Read more…]