Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Freezer Salads for a Taste of Summer in Winter

Has anyone ever written an ode to lettuce? I know it's about 98 percent water, so why make a fuss about it? Well, to me, it's a gentle reminder of summer. And funnily enough, when I don my boots, hat, gloves, scarf and heavy overcoat and step outside into that icy blast, the thought of summer just goes, whoosh, right out of my head.

I mean, really! Did we ever get to wear so few clothes? Or eat raspberries that weren't from the freezer section of the supermarket? Or not give a thought to the drunken man lurching across the footpath and worry that because of the cold he probably won't wake up in this world the next morning?

Hmm. Solution: Shell out the big bucks on lettuce leaves, or better still, eat your greens. I have compiled a small handy list of what I call Winter Salads. Things you can buy frozen or canned, make in a jiffy and still pretend that after dinner you are going to stroll around Patriarch's Pond admiring the trees.

Winter Salad

2 cups finely shredded carrots

1 medium onion, roughly chopped

2 cups celery, roughly chopped

4 cups parsley, roughly chopped

Vinaigrette made of 4 parts olive oil and one part vinegar plus 1 heaped teaspoon mustard

Put the carrots, onion and celery in a large bowl. Add the chopped parsley. Add the well-mixed vinaigrette and toss well.

Cover and refrigerate. Serve super cold.

Sauteed Snow Peas

500 grams frozen snow peas (don't defrost)

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

salt and pepper

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 tablespoons parsley

Warm serving bowl. Saute the garlic in the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat for one minute.

Add the frozen snow peas, season with salt and pepper and increase the heat to high.

Saute for another three minutes. Just before serving, sprinkle with lemon juice and cayenne pepper. Toss with minced parsley and serve immediately.

Spinach with Pine Nuts and Raisins

1 kilogram frozen spinach


2 tablespoons butter

1 clove garlic, crushed

1/4 cup chopped ham

1/4 cup raisins

1/4 cup pine nuts

Cook the spinach according to instructions: generally, place the frozen spinach in a small saucepan with 1/4 cup water and a few tablespoons olive oil, cover tightly and cook over low heat until well cooked.

In the meantime, warm the butter in a frying pan and add the chopped garlic and ham and saute for a few minutes. Add the raisins and pine nuts. Stir. Pour the ingredients over the cooked spinach and mix well. (Pretend it's a salad and toss like mad.)

Let sit for a few minutes for the flavors to develop, but make sure you serve it hot.

Green Bean and Pear Salad

4 cups frozen green beans

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 firm small pears

1/4 cup almond flakes, toasted

Cook the beans in boiling salted water until just cooked but still a bit crisp. Reserve the boiling water. Rinse the beans under cold running water. Drain well and toss in the olive oil.

Peel, core and quarter the pears. Cook them for a few minutes in the boiling water until soft. Rinse until cold.

Carefully toast the almonds until lightly brown.

Cut the pears into even finer slices and place around the edge of a serving platter. Pile the beans in the center and scatter the toasted almonds over the top.