Back in December we had my granddad’s birthday party in his backyard. Our family has the catering gig completely down pat. Usually there is an organiser who decides what we’ll be having and then the goodies are divvied up for us all to make something to bring along. So, for granddad’s birthday, I was on salad duty. Turns out we all were, there was a lot to choose from but these are my two favourites which are both winners every time.
This is what I got to sample on my plate that day. See, we go alright on the catering front hey!
Beetroot, feta and rocket salad
1 bunch baby beetroot, trimmed and stalks removed
1 block of your favourite type of feta, I like either goats or Danish personally
2 large handfuls rocket, rinsed
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 Tsp fine salt
Crack black pepper
Trim up the baby beets and throw them into a baking dish, throw over a dash of olive oil and rub them around it, then cover the dish with foil. Pop them in the oven at 200 degrees celsius for 1/2 hour or until soft when pierced with a knife and skins are starting to shrivel slightly. When they’re done, allow to cool, then slip the skins off. This is a messy job, I do it under running water and it doesn’t alter the flavour at all.
Once cool, throw the beets into a serving bowl. Cut them up a little if you like to make them go further. Mix up the dressing – balsamic, olive oil, salt and pepper in a jar and give a good shake – then pour over beets and really coat them. Then, scatter your rocket over the top and crumble up the feta and do the same. Done!
You could throw over some toasted nuts or seeds if you like, walnuts go well as well as pine nuts. Feel free to use baby spinach if you happen to have that on hand instead of rocket, works just as well.
Orange, macadamia and rocket salad
This one is a cinch.
2 Oranges, segmented
3/4 cup macadamias, toasted
3-4 large handfuls rocket
1/2 block goats feta
Throw the washed rocket into a serving bowl, peel and segment the oranges and scatter over the top. Toast the macadamia’s in the oven for about 10 mins at 200 degrees celcius. Keep a close eye on them though, they turn brown all of a sudden, you only want them lightly toasted. Once done, give them a rough chop with a large knife and scatter them over the top. Squeeze the remainder of the orange over the top of the salad and give it a nice little splash over with the macadamia oil, then top with the crumbled feta and serve.
Both are great to take to gatherings. They’re that little bit different, but both flavoursome and flavours that most people will like without being too left of field. You’ll have people asking you for the recipes in no time!