We are delighted to have teamed up with the incredibly talented Simpkin & Roses who have shared with us their top salad recipes for inspiration for your next summer party.
Husband and wife team Annabel and Hugh Carter started their catering company Simpkin & Roses ten years ago, born out of a love for delicious food and high quality produce and a talent and creativity for cooking and formulating new and exciting recipes. They create bespoke culinary experiences from private dining to weddings, festivals and corporate events. You can find out all about them here.
Perhaps you’re looking for interesting ideas for the August bank holiday weekend, or a summer wedding buffet, or maybe you just want to jazz up your next summer dinner party. Whatever the occasion, Simpkin & Roses have the perfect summer salads to share with you, great as a meal on their own with some crusty bread, or as an accompaniment for some delicious barbecued meat or fish.
“Salads are a fantastic way to feed a crowd at a summer gathering for friends and family.” – Annabel Carter, Simpkin & Roses
Figs, Almonds, and Green Beans, with Sumac
“This salad goes perfectly with barbecued lamb, perhaps a butterflied, marinated leg, and served with a couscous salad. It could also be topped with some crumbled feta or labneh.”
Serves 6 people as a side dish
500g trimmed green beans
100g toasted and chopped almonds (pistachios work well too)
10 fresh, ripe figs
A few sprigs of mint
A couple of pinches of sumac
Optional feta or labneh to scatter over the top
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper
Blanch the green beans by plunging them into some boiling salted water. Do not put the lid on as this can make them lose their colour. Boil for 3 minutes then whip them out and chill in some really cold water. Drain them and dry them on some kitchen paper.
Make the dressing (olive oil, molasses, balsamic vinegar) and toss half of it through the beans. Add some salt, sumac, and pepper, and some of the chopped almonds. Then put them on a serving platter, cut up the figs and spread them around, tear some mint over the top, and scatter with more almonds.
Drizzle the remainder of the dressing over the whole dish, add a pinch more sumac and serve.
Chargrilled Courgette, Ricotta, Oven Dried Tomato, and Lemon Salad
“This requires a little more preparation but takes seconds to assemble. It would go beautifully with anything from the barbecue, or would be a lovely side dish to a light lunch combined with a couple of other salads. You will need a char-grill pan, and ideally a mandolin too. Potato peelers tend to slice too thinly, and doing it by hand with a knife results in slices which are bit too thick.”
Serves 6 people
400g vine cherry tomatoes
4 tbsp lemon olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper
Small handful of basil
Some fennel seeds
1 teaspoon sugar
Zest of one lemon
Chives and chive flowers to garnish
Preheat oven to 100°C whilst you cut the tomatoes in half across their equators. Lay them on a baking tray lined with baking paper, drizzle over a little olive oil, and scatter them with fennel seeds crushed with the salt, pepper and sugar in a pestle and mortar.
Place in the oven and leave for about 4-5 hours, checking on them at regular intervals to see that they are not burning. Adjust the temperature accordingly on your oven.
Trim the courgettes’ tops and bottoms and slice them on the mandolin. Lay these in a char grill pan and char on one side. Once this is done lay them on a tray and layer them up with sheets of baking paper in between until they are ready to be assembled into the salad (this can be done a day in advance and kept in the fridge).
Choose a flat platter to serve this on and start with a layer of rocket, followed by some courgette which you can artistically curl around to lift it all slightly. Scatter some of the roasted tomatoes and some ricotta. Zest a little lemon over it and scatter some chives and basil. Then drizzle some of the lemon oil, balsamic and salt and pepper.
Repeat with another layer of rocket and keep going until you use all the ingredients. Decorate with some chive flowers.
This salad is really good with some chopped toasted hazelnuts scattered over the top too for a bit of crunchy texture.
Hot Smoked Salmon With Pea Shoots, Dill New Potatoes, and Lemon
“This is a really easy salad you can put together for friends on a balmy summer evening or for a weekend lunch. The secret is extremely good hot smoked salmon which you can make yourself, or buy, and freshly bought and freshly cooked ingredients.”
Serves 6 people
1kg new potatoes
300g crème fraîche
2 tsp grainy mustard
1 bunch dill
1 punnet of pea shoots
1 bunch fresh watercress
900g hot smoked salmon
1 small bunch chives
A shaving of horseradish (optional)
Steam or boil the new potatoes until tender and leave to cool.
Mix the crème fraîche with the mustard, some salt and pepper, lemon zest, chopped chives, chopped dill, and a shaving of horseradish to your taste. Add a little bit of lemon juice too.
Toss the cooled potatoes in half of the dressing, and arrange them on a platter. Scatter over a little of the watercress. Flake the salmon in large pieces over the top and add the remainder of the watercress. Then drizzle over the rest of the dressing and decorate with pea shoots.