Summer salads can be a glorious celebration of all things flavoursome and seasonal.
It’s been an epically hot dry summer here in New Zealand and I’ve loved every second of it. It has meant that easy summery salads have been on the menu most evenings.
I sometimes intentionally make up the recipes so that they’re easy to transport if you want to make a spur of the moment decision or pack it up and take it to the beach and eat while sitting around a sunset camp fire.
This particular salad would be great for that with the smokey paprika dressing mirroring the smokiness of the fire, it also transports exceptionally well and is even better after a few hours so making it ahead of time is easy.
Wilcox Perlas potatoes are in season right now and are nutty waxy little potatoes which are jam-packed full of flavour. They are only in season for a few months each year which makes them wonderfully seasonal in a world where so many fruits and vegetables are available all year around. I love truly seasonal produce, the flavours are always better and it usually means the produce has been locally grown.
500g Perlas potatoes
A little olive oil
1 chorizo sausage (approx 150g), sliced into rounds
2 handfuls of green beans, trimmed and lightly blanched in salted boiling water
3 handfuls of cherry tomatoes, cut into halves
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced into half moons
A few sprigs of fresh thyme
A handful of fresh basil
A few snipped chives
Sea salt flakes and cracked black pepper
A few handfuls of salad leaves such as a little gem or mesclun mix(optional)
For the dressing
In a small jar add
1/3 Olive oil
1/3 sherry vinegar
1/2 tsp of coconut sugar or honey
1/4 tsp of smoky paprika
A pinch of sea salt and a twist or two of ground black pepper
To make the dressing, place everything into the jar and shake vigorously, set aside.
To make the salad, place the potatoes into cold salted water, bring it the boil and then cook until tender all the way through. Remove from the heat and strain.
In a large frying pan, add a little olive oil and the sliced chorizo, fry until lightly cooked on both sides. Remove the chorizo from the pan and add the cooked Perlas potatoes. Flatten the top of each potato lightly with a fork, cook with the thyme in the pan until golden on both sides and then add the chorizo back in. Cook for a further minute and then remove from the heat.
On a large serving platter, lay the potatoes, chorizo, then scatter with the beans, the tomatoes and fresh herbs and a few handfuls of salad leaves if you fancy and then drizzle with some of your dressing.
Leave the salad leaves off if not eating right way.