Australia Day Salads Perfect for Any Summer Barbecue!

Yesterday my mother organised a BBQ for Australia Day. My sister and I were put in charge of the salads and my dad was in charge of cooking the meat on the barbie (Aussie slang for barbecue). I’m not going to lie, a task like that may seem simple but I did feel a bit of pressure, pressure that I put on myself.

I researched some salads to make. It took me ages. A few hours in fact. Of course I was doing a bit of research for internet shopping, Facebook’ing and other stuff in between. But anyways, I simply doubted myself too much. This sounds ridiculous – well, I guess it is ridiculous haha. I ended up finding a recipe for a Summer Chickpea Salad on the Jamie Oliver website. I did make three other salads:

Green Garden Salad

Mango, Haloumi and Rocket Salad

– A random salad consisting of baby rocket and spinach leaves, red and yellow capsicum, red radish, avocado and cucumber with a dressing that consisted of extra virgin olive oil, white wine vinegar and lemon juice.

The Jamie Oliver Summer Chickpea Salad stood out the most to me (the Mango, Haloumi and Rocket Salad came second). This is because it tasted so delicious!!! And it’s actually a meal in itself! I made it again today and I thought I’d share the recipe on my blog so you can try it out as an accompaniment to your barbecue or as a meal. It’s very healthy too!

All the ingredients and instructions are from the website and are all of Jamie’s words. The picture below is from the one I made today and I forgot to buy red/Spanish (whatever you may call them) onions but the brown one tasted just as good. I also forgot the tomatoes and to add salt and pepper but I’m not really a fan of too much salt so the salt from the feta was enough for me.

Image

“- 1 small red onion, peeled

– 1-2 fresh red chillies, deseeded

– 2 handfuls ripe red or yellow tomatoes

– 1 lemon

– extra virgin olive oil

– sea salt

– freshly ground black pepper

– 410 g tinned chickpeas, drained, or around 4 large handfuls of soaked and cooked chickpeas

– 1 handful fresh mint, chopped

– 1 handful fresh green or purple basil, finely ripped

– 100 g feta cheese

First of all, finely slice your red onion. Once that’s done, finely slice your chillies then roughly chop your tomatoes, mixing them in with the onion and chillies. Scrape all of this, and the juice, into a bowl and dress with the juice of half a lemon and 3 tablespoons of good extra virgin olive oil. Season to taste. Heat the chickpeas in a pan, then add 90 per cent of them to the bowl. Mush up the remaining chickpeas and add these as well – they will give a nice creamy consistency. Allow to marinate for a little while and serve at room temperature.

Just as you’re ready to serve, give the salad a final dress with the fresh mint and basil. Taste one last time for seasoning – you may want to add the juice from your remaining lemon half at this point. Place on a nice serving dish and crumble over the feta cheese.”

I love how the recipe requires the chickpeas to be heated. This means that when you add the cheese, it melts through it a bit and the flavours from the mint and basil really come out too. After making this salad I wasn’t surprised it tasted so good because I remembered that Jamie Oliver did come up with it and he is such an amazing chef!

Hope you all enjoy it!

Matija

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