5th June 2022
With the weather warming up and summer being just around the corner, salads are back on the menu. But we’re not talking about a handful of wilted green leaves, flooded with dressing.
Summer salads are the ideal dish to celebrate seasonal ingredients. Vibrant veg, fresh fruits, and punchy herbs should all be shining. And the one addition needed to take these types of dishes to the next level – cheese. Specifically Italian cheeses.
Whether hard or soft, Italian cheeses have the ability to add that touch of indulgence and premiumisation to a salad and make it stand out on a menu.
So, we’ve pulled together three of our favourite summer salads to highlight Italian cheese:
Burrata is massively on trend at the moment, and we’re not surprised. Who doesn’t love a ball of mozzarella filled with the freshest, creamy centre, oozing onto their plate? Here we’ve paired it with sweet, juicy nectarines which are at their best in the summer and salty prosciutto for contrast.
1 large Burrata or 2 small
2 nectarines, stoned and cut into wedges
4 slices of prosciutto
2-3 large tomatoes, cut into wedges
100g cherry tomatoes, halved
50g mixed salad leaves
6 thin slices of baguette
4tbsp olive oil
Handful basil leaves
1tbsp thyme leaves
1 lemon, zested & juiced
Heat a griddle pan to high. Brush the nectarines and baguettes slices with a little oil, add to the griddle pan turning when bar marks appear. Set aside.
Mix the remaining oil with the lemon juice and zest the mix well. Season with salt and pepper, add most of the thyme leaves, and half the basil leaves, chopped.
Arrange the tomatoes, nectarines, toasted baguette and salad leaves on a plate or platter. Drizzle over the dressing, lay the prosciutto, before topping with the burrata. Add the remaining basil and thyme before drizzling with a little more oil. Slash the top of the burrata with a sharp knife to reveal the oozing centre.
Delicious, bite-sized pieces of creamy mozzarella are paired with seasonal tomatoes, fresh broad beans and a punchy, herby salsa in this dish.
120g Mozzarella Pearls
250g tomatoes, mixed sizes and colours
100g broad beans, cooked and podded
1 small red onion, sliced thinly
20g basil leaves
20g parsley leaves
1tsp Dijon mustard
Slice any large tomatoes and quarter the smaller ones.
To make the salsa verde, chop the basil, parsley and capers, before putting into a bowl and mixing in the mustard, vinegar, oil, and some seasoning.
Layer the larger tomatoes on the bottom of your serving bowl, before topping with the smaller tomatoes, red onion, and broad beans.
Dress the mozzarella pearls in a little of the salsa verde, before adding to the bowl and drizzling over the remaining salsa verde.
You can’t talk Italian cheese without the ‘king of cheeses’, Parmigiano Reggiano. We’ve used in an absolute classic dish – Caesar Salad. Crisp, refreshing lettuce is paired up with a creamy sauce and the savoury punch of the Parmesan. And we’ve doubled up on the cheese with both grated and shaved to ensure the rich and nutty flavour of Parmesan is there in every mouthful.
Need a vegetarian option, then use Gran Levanto veg hard cheese and leave out the anchovies.
50g Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
25g Parmigiano Reggiano, shavings
1 head of romaine lettuce
1 small ciabatta roll
2tbsp olive oil
2 anchovy fillets
1 small garlic clove, grated
½tbsp white wine vinegar
Cut the ciabatta into large chunks, toss with the oil, and then bake at 180°C until golden.
Mash the anchovies and garlic together in a bowl, add the mayonnaise, vinegar, and a good grinding of black pepper. Mix well then stir in half of the grated Parmigiano Reggiano, and thin down the mix with a little bit of water if needed.
Chop the romaine into large chunks, add to a bowl with most of the ciabatta croutons and dressing. Mix well then pile onto serving bowls, topping with the remaining dressing, croutons, and Parmigiano Reggiano.
Why not add pan-fried chicken for an extra dimension?!