Text and photos courtesy Monoware

Monoware founder Daniel Baer shares a trio of summery recipes

For Daniel Baer, founder of British tableware brand Monoware, every mealtime is a celebration, whether enjoyed alone or with company. With the summer season upon us, he shares some of his favourite summer salad recipes from the brand’s archive to wow your guests or simply to elevate your own meals. Baer comments, “When I can, I like to use mostly vegetarian, fresh and local produce; it’s a great way of supporting small independent shops and your community, and you often find things you wouldn’t normally see in a supermarket.”

From a pared-back take on a classic salad niçoise to two mouth-watering summer salads, each recipe is simple and quick. Serve in beautiful ceramics and enjoy the company and the recipes!


Foodie and summer salad, Hong Kong

Whipped Feta and Griddled Watermelon Salad

A whipped feta and watermelon combination is a staple and an all-round favourite starter when it comes to summer dining. While you don’t strictly need to griddle (or barbecue) the watermelon for this dish, the addition of the heat really helps to concentrate the sweetness of the flesh, pairing perfectly with the saltiness of the feta. Look for a nice variation of shapes and sizes for the tomatoes to add extra visual appeal to your plate.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Course Salad
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

For the pickled shallot:

  • 1 small shallot, peeled
  • splash of red wine vinegar
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of sugar

For the whipped feta:

  • 100 g feta, crumbled
  • 125 g ricotta or other cream cheese
  • zest of 1⁄2 lemon
  • black pepper

For the salad:

  • 350 g mixed heritage tomatoes
  • salt
  • 2 –3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ small (peeled weight about 350g) watermelon

To serve:

  • 100 g green olives, crushed to pit
  • za’atar
  • few sprigs purple basil

Instructions
 

  • Finely slice the shallot into very thin rounds. Transfer to a small bowl and toss with the vinegar, salt and sugar. Set aside.
  • Whizz the feta and ricotta in a small food processor until velvety smooth. Stir through the lemon zest and black pepper. Chill in the fridge.
  • Slice or chop the tomatoes into chunks and toss with the salt and oil. Set aside.
  • Peel off the watermelon skin with a sharp knife. Slice the watermelon into 1.5cm slices.
  • Heat a griddle pan to very hot. Add the watermelon slices, as many as you can fit at a time without overcrowding. Sear on both sides for 2–3 mins, then set aside to cool.
  • Once cool, toss with the tomatoes and their juices.
  • When ready to serve, dollop the whipped feta onto a plate and pile up the watermelon and tomatoes, alternating between both.
  • Add the pickled shallot and pitted olives, scatter with za’atar and garnish with the purple basil.

Foodie and summer salad, Hong Kong

Saffron Aioli with Asparagus, Jerseys & Peas

Could there be a dish more summer-like than the combination of orange-juice-hued egg yolks against spring greens and waxy potatoes? This pared-back take on a classic salad niçoise with fresh asparagus is matched with a sunshine-yellow saffron aioli to bring it all together. Lay the table and take an extra-long lunch break in the sun with this salad.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Course Salad
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

For the saffron aioli:

  • pinch of saffron threads
  • juice of 1⁄2 lemon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 small clove garlic, peeled and grated
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 200 ml light olive oil
  • 400 g Jersey Royals or other baby potatoes, scrubbed
  • 200 g asparagus (trimmed weight)
  • 2 handfuls fresh peas in their pods

For the chopped gribiche:

  • 60 g gherkins
  • 2 tbsp capers, drained (or rinsed if packed in salt)
  • 3 tbsp chopped dill, plus a few more sprigs to garnish
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 eggs

Instructions
 

  • Pound the saffron in a pestle and mortar and leave to steep in the lemon juice while you make the aioli.
  • Add the grated garlic to a bowl with the salt and then crack in the egg yolks. Whisk together, then add the oil about a tbsp at a time, whisking well in between until it’s thick and unctuous.
  • A small amount at a time, stir the lemon juice and saffron into the aioli (the more you add, the looser it will become, so if you prefer it very firm, add just a little). Set aside to chill.
  • Bring a pan of salted water to the boil with the potatoes in it. Simmer until tender (a knife should easily slide into them). Set aside. Blanch the asparagus in the same water.
  • Pop the peas out of their pods.
  • Finely chop the gherkins and roughly chop the capers. Add to a bowl with the dill, Dijon mustard and oil.
  • Boil the eggs for 6 mins 15 sec from boiling and set aside. Peel.
  • Pile the potatoes, asparagus and peas onto a plate. Top with the gribiche, extra dill and soft eggs. Serve with the saffron aioli on the side for dolloping generously on top.

Anything-goes summer salad with burnt tomato dressing

Anything-Goes Summer Salad with Burnt Tomato Dressing

A juicy tomato salad that’s been soaking in sun-warmed olive oil – so moreish that the leftover dressing is good enough to drink. Blend the tomatoes into the dressing and pour it over the spicy leaves and crisp vegetables of your choice. Green beans and courgettes are used as the base here since they soak up oil so well, but anything goes!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Course Salad
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

  • 500 g mix of crisp salad leaves
  • 2 courgettes, sliced thinly lengthways and rubbed with olive oil
  • 100 g green beans or runner beans
  • 2 tbsp capers, drained (or rinsed if packed in salt)
  • 50 g almonds, toasted
  • 6 tbsp goat’s curd, to serve (optional)
  • salt and pepper

For the dressing:

  • 2 large ripe tomatoes
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 1⁄2 tsp sugar
  • 1⁄2 tsp flaked sea salt
  • 2 tsp sherry vinegar
  • 60 ml extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions
 

  • First make the dressing. Halve the tomatoes and scoop out the seeds (no need for perfection here). Place the tomatoes in a pan with a little oil and salt and heat on high until the skin blackens a little and the juices start to run. Tip them into a blender with the remaining dressing ingredients and season to taste with salt.
  • Heat a griddle pan or barbecue on high and, when smoking, add the oily courgettes. Cook until charred on each side, then add to a serving bowl. Cook the green beans in a pan of boiling water for 2 mins so that they still have a little crunch. Drain and add to the courgettes.
  • Stir through the capers and almonds, then toss through the tomato dressing. If there’s time, leave to marinate until ready to serve (up to 2 hours at room temperature), then toss through the leaves just before you take the salad to the table, topping with the goat’s curd, if using.

RELATED: Try this breaded & fried halloumi and beetroot salad

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