A Sumptuous Summer Salad

Summer has arrived! Apparently but I’m not getting over cocky, this is Ireland after all, the past week might have well been our summer but let’s not get negative.  Irish people are great with the good weather, once the sun shows his face its BBQ’s, beach, little to no clothes almost instantly! Who knows how long this is going to last, it might rain in an hour, carpe diem QUICK!!! You gotta use it or lose it!  So this Saturday, I did exactly that, the decision was made that morning.  I was originally going to the shops to get ingredients for homemade pizza but the glorious sun quickly changed our plans to barbecue, the troops were rounded and lo and behold a splendid barbecue manifested a few hours later.  There was steak, marinated chicken, prawns on sticks, homemade coleslaw and cous cous salad and what I want to talk about today, a new salad that I was debuting.

I got the idea from something I had seen on Food Network about grilling apricots and I decided to incorporate this into a salad for the summer season.  I’m a big fan of fruit in salads and grilling the apricots not only slightly caramelises them but it also intensifies their sweetness, they actually taste like tomatoes!  Added to the salad is crispy pancetta pieces, toasted hazelnuts and goats cheese, it’s a substantial salad that you could well have as a main course but being greedy we had it as a side to accompany all the other grilled goodness.  Quick post today as I’m back out to enjoy the sunshine, QUICKKKK!!

Apricots on the grill

Grilled Apricot Salad with Rocket
Serves 10 as a side
1 Punnet ripe apricots
1 Bag of Rocket and 1 bag of leafy herby salad leaves
50g toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
150g semi hard goat’s cheese, cubed
150g Pancetta pieces
4 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Tbsp. White wine vinegar
Salt and Pepper
1 Tsp. Agave syrup

Halve the Apricots, remove the stone and brush them with olive oil.
Heat a griddle pan to a high heat and place the apricots halved side down on the pan, cook for 3-4 minutes, brush the rounded sides with olive oil then turn and cook for a further 2-3 minutes, allow to cool slightly
Meanwhile cook the pancetta pieces in another pan until brown and crispy
To assemble the salad, slice the apricots, whisk all the ingredients for the vinaigrette together, add the hazelnuts, pancetta and cheese, toss the salad and enjoy

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