So Summer is here! And what better food for al fresco dining than a yummy salad? The lovely folks at Fresh Gourmet sent me a selection of their range of croutons and toppings that are perfect for summer salads, they include three delicious crouton flavours – Basil Pesto, Cheese & Garlic and Cracked Black Pepper as well as crunchy Crispy Onions. They challenged me to create an experimental salad recipe using at least one of their products and of course I accepted!
As a vegetarian I find that salads feature in quite a lot of my meals, especially over the warmer summer months. I absolutely love a traditional Greek salad and have developed quite a few variations over the years that our whole family enjoy!
I decided to keep a Greek or Mediterranean feel to my salad but create something a bit different. One of my favourite root vegetables is beetroot, it's just so versatile, I love it roasted in the winter, in salads in the summer and in chocolate cake all year round!
I decided to team beetroot with Greek Feta for a yummy summer salad with a twist!
50g of fresh peppery rocket
3 large salad tomatoes
100g Greek Feta Cheese
100g Sweetfire Baby Beetroot
80g of green Halkidiki Olives
Fresh Gourmet Sea Salt and cracked Black Pepper Croutons
For the dressing:
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
(quantities to taste)
After washing all of the ingredients and chopping roughly into large chunks, I started with a bed of rocket in the serving bowl, then took the tomato, cucumber, feta, beetroot and olives together and tossed them together in a colander before adding on top of the rocket. I then completed this this tasty offering with a generous sprinkle of of the fresh gourmet croutons.
For the dressing I mixed Extra Virgin Olive oil with Balsamic vinegar and added Oregano to taste, a light but tasty dressing for this summery salad...
All that was left was to taste it! It looked so pretty I didn't want to spoil it, but I soon gave in and I can honestly say it tastes even better than it looks!! I was a bit concerned that the multitude of strong flavours would be a bit much and overpower each other but that was not the case! The sweet beetroot and salty Feta complemented each other perfectly and the peppery rocket was a lovely contrast with the refreshing cucumber and tomato. The well seasoned crispy croutons were an ideal topping, giving the extra bite needed to complete this summer delight. I can see this being a regular for us over the next few months! But don't just take my word for it, my children gave it the thumbs up too...
Ben, 5 said..."It's really cool and tasty" while Elizabeth, 2 simply went with "More, please?"
The Sea Salt and Cracked Black Pepper croutons are just one of the new range from Fresh Gourmet, I also really enjoyed the cheese and garlic croutons, which were a lovely addition to a butternut squash soup adding a bit of Italian flavour and extra crunchiness while still taking on the yummy taste of the deliciously sweet squash. The Ciabatta croutons had a really light and crispy texture and although these were yummy with a more traditional Caesar salad they also made a moreish snack on their own and I found myself eating them straight from the packet!
The final product in the range offers something a bit different but just as delicious! The crispy onions were the perfect addition to our burgers and sausages at a recent BBQ they gave added texture and helped to bring the flavours of the meat to the forefront (so i'm told, I had some on a veggie burger!)
Overall I was really impressed with the products on offer from the Fresh Gourmet range and I can see them becoming staples in our cupboard as they are so versatile! Also being baked and not fried makes them a healthier alternative.
At just £2 per large 80g pouch (that is easily resealable for freshness) from most supermarkets, they are a great way of adding some extra texture and taste to a variety of different meals.
So what salad will you be trying them with? Do let me know what you think of my Feta & Beetroot Salad recipe if you try it...
Keep cool x
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Click on the badge to check out some more great recipes xI was sent a selection of fresh gourmet products to use in this recipe.