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Dining In Your Spring Recipe Collection (Part 4) - Easy Caesar salad, Beetroot, quinoa and chickpea salad, Slow-roasted tomato, bacon and spinach salad

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3 Big Salads. These are great as a light meal or as part of a buffet

Easy Caesar salad

A pared-down version of the classic, this can be knocked up in no time.

Easy/ Prepare ahead – Preparation time: 15 minutes – Cooking time: 10 minutes – Server 4

For the dressing

·         4 salted anchovies (from a can is fine)

·         125g (4½oz) good-quality mayonnaise (we used Delouis Fils, from Waitrose)

·         Juice ½ lemon

·         1tbsp Parmesan, grated

For the salad

·         200g (7oz) sourdough bread

·         3tbsp olive oil

·         2tbsp grated Parmesan, plus 75g (3oz) shaved with a vegetable peeler

·         4 Little Gem lettuces, leaves separated

·         12 marinated anchovies

To make the dressing, mash the salted anchovies in a pestle and mortar. Add the mayo, lemon juice and Parmesan and stir to combine. Check the seasoning.

To make the croutons, tear the bread into large chunks. Heat the oven to 200C, 180C fan, 400F, gas 6, drizzle the bread with the olive oil and scatter with the grated Parmesan and some sea salt. Bake for 10 minutes until crispy but chewy on the inside.

To assemble the salad, toss the croutons through with the rest of the ingredients and dollop the dressing on top.

Per serving: 550 calories, 43g fat (11g saturated), 23g carbohydrate

Beetroot, quinoa and chickpea salad

Description: Beetroot, quinoa and chickpea salad

Pomegranate molasses is a reduced syrup of pomegranate juice – lovely with strawberries or drizzled over salads or steak.

Easy/ Prepare ahead – Preparation time: 15 minutes – Cooking time: 40 minutes – Server 4

·         4 raw beetroot, peeled and chopped into wedges

·         4tbsp olive oil

·         250g (9oz) ready-cooked quinoa (we used Merchant Gourmet Red & White Quinoa)

·         400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed juice 1 lemon

·         4tbsp finely chopped parsley

·         250g (9oz) feta, broken into chunks

·         4tbsp pomegranate molasses (from Sainsbury’s or Middle Eastern food shops)

Heat the oven to 200C, 180C fan, 400F, gas 6. Toss the beetroot wedges with half the olive oil, season and roast in the top of the oven for 40 minutes, until blackened, crispy and chewy.

Mix the quinoa with the chickpeas, lemon juice and remaining olive oil, and season well. Toss through the parsley. When the beetroot is cooked, toss it through the quinoa mix with the feta and drizzle with the pomegranate molasses.

Per serving: 510 calories, 29g fat (11g saturated), 40g carbohydrate

Slow-roasted tomato, bacon and spinach salad

Description: Slow-roasted tomato, bacon and spinach salad

If serving at a buffet, leave the dressing on the side so the leaves don’t wilt.

Easy/ Prepare ahead – Preparation time: 20 minutes – Cooking time: 3 hours – Server 4

·         6 vine tomatoes, halved across the middle

·         2tbsp icing sugar

·         2tbsp olive oil

·         200g (7oz) British streaky bacon, grilled until crispy

·         4tbsp capers in salt, wiped to remove excess salt but not rinsed

·         100g (4oz) baby spinach

·         4tbsp pitted black olives

For the dressing

·         2tbsp red wine vinegar

·         4tbsp olive oil

Heat the oven 140C, 120C fan, 275F, gas 1. Place the tomatoes cut side up in a roasting tin, dust over the icing sugar with a sieve (icing sugar melts more evenly than ordinary sugar),drizzle over the olive oil and scatter with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 3 hours, until shriveled and slightly blackened. It’s worth making double of these – they keep in olive oil for a couple of weeks and are delicious with pasta or grilled meat.

When the tomatoes have cooled completely, toss them with the other ingredients. Whisk the vinegar with the oil and season. Serve drizzled over the salad.

Per serving: 374 calories, 32g fat (7g saturated), 13g carbohydrate

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