Having your parents over after moving out can be an anxiety inducing experience. Your house has to be spotless, any signs your independence involves light touch binge drinking hidden and you have to prove you paid attention at home and can now cook.

Luckily, I’m here to help. I know, I know, you don’t make friends with salad but these are salads to impress anyone (including your mum)! So, put on some stretchy pants because these salads rock and are very, very impressive.

Salads to impress - Beetroot Salad - Little Lauren's Adventures

Roast beetroot salad

This one is perhaps my favourite salad. I love it because you can eat it as a meal if you are truly lazy but also the colours really impress people.

All you need is:

A bunch of beetroot
½ block Danish fetta
½ cup walnuts
½ bunch of mint (ripped)
2 tbs olive oil
salt and pepper to season

Salads to impress - Beetroot salad and pork - Little Lauren's Adventures

Let’s Do This:

  1. To cook the beetroot, break them off the stems and wash thoroughly, it doesn’t really matter if there is dirt still on the beet because a) protein and b) you can peel the skin off later. Wrap them in aluminium foil and cook in the oven at 180 Celsius for 20 minutes
  2. Meanwhile you can chop the parsley and if you feel fancy roast some walnuts in a dry fry-pan.
  3. Once cooked take the beets out and allow them to cool for about 5 minutes.
  4. Next, over the sink, peal the skin off the beats. I say the sink because beets often stain benchtops etc so watch out!
  5. Quarter the beets or roughly chop into mouthsized pieces.
  6. Mix the beets, walnuts, parsley, olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl with crumbling in half the fetta. Combine them until they are a beautiful pink stained mess.
  7. Crumble the rest of the fetta on top for colour!

Served best with: Roast chicken or lamb

Salads to impress - Cous Cous salad and pork - Little Lauren's Adventures

Warm cous cous salad (inspired by the Curtis salad)

What you need:

1 cup of Israeli Cous Cous
1 large tomato (diced)
1 diced zucchini (this can be subbed for cucumber for a fresher feel)
2 tsp of basil pesto
¼ block of Greek or Danish Feta
Olive oil, salt and pepper for dressing.

Salads to impress - Cous Cous salad - Little Lauren's Adventures

Let’s Do this:

  1. Cook the Israel Cous Cous as per packet instructions.
  2. If using zucchini I recommend stir-frying it in some olive oil with garlic until its golden ( skip this step if you have subbed in for cucumber –obviously, ew warm cucumber)
  3. Also now is a good time to prepare the other elements of the dish (all that dicing and chopping) if you haven’t already
  4. Once the cous cous has cooked glug in a little oil and stir to prevent it from sticking and scoop out into your serving vessel about 1 tbs. This can be altered depending on how oily your pesto is (I used homemade pesto so it looks quite brown).
  5. In no particular order add all other ingredients, crumbling through the feta.
  6. Mix well.

Served best with: Pan fried salmon

Salads to impress - Pear Salad - Little Lauren's Adventures

Pear and rocket Salad

This is the best salad to impress when you have surprised guests or can’t be bothered because it is so easy but packs a punch

All you need is:

2 cups of rocket (the fresher the better)
1 pear (any variety) sliced into chopsticks with some statement pieces
¼ cup of sunflower seeds
2 tbs olive oil
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper

Salads to impress - Pear and Rocket salad - Little Lauren's Adventures

Let’s Do This:

  1. Cut the pear into chopsticks avoiding the core seeds. For presentation also cut some bigger pieces to layer on the top.
  2. Wash the rocket an arrange in a plate.
  3. Add the olive oil and balsamic vinegar and sunflower seeds mix well.
  4. Mix through the pear pieces reserving the “presentation pieces”.
  5. Layer the presentation pieces on top of the salad with an artistic smattering of sunflower seeds and drizzle some olive oil on top.

Served best with: Crackled pork, lasagne or any pasta dish

Salads priced at approximately $14, $12, $7.50 respectively each serve four as a part of a meal priced 22.05.2017 Olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper considered pantry staples

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