The rains have finally stopped, the days are getting longer and we are all looking forward to summer…and barbecues of course. The Nigerian salad will look great beside the burger at your next barbecue.
Nigerian salad is not the type of salad you eat to lose weight – it is more of a treat and is usually served as a side to jollof or fried rice at Nigerian parties. This hearty salad is quite filling and could actually be a meal on its own or a side to your favorite dish.
The Nigerian salad recipe depends on who is making it; although I will say cucumber, eggs and tomatoes are almost always present. The remaining ingredients can be free styled; green peas, baked beans, corned beef, sweetcorn, pasta; the possibilities are endless. The idea is to load as much vegetables as possible in with salad cream (usually Heinz) as dressing.
This Is What You Need
A few notes about the ingredients…
- Dressing: I didn’t include dressing on the ingredient list because I believe it is a matter of preference. Creamy dressing works very well with this salad and most people use either salad cream or mayonnaise. I prefer mayonnaise, jazzed up with sriracha sauce. You can use your preferred creamy salad dressing.
- Cucumber – Any type of cucumber will work for this recipe.
- Tomatoes: Use any ripe tomato variety; cherry, heritage, beef etc. You can even use yellow and orange varieties for additional splash of colour in your Nigerian salad.
- Sweetcorn: You can either use frozen or canned. I used frozen because I had some at home.
- Carrots: I prefer grated carrots so that the texture blends with the other ingredients in the mouth, (plus it is more convenient). I find chopped carrots quite chewy, but this also a matter of preference. You can grate, chop or julienne depending on personal preference and skills.
- Dill: This herb works particularly well with creamy dressings and adds some zing to the salad. It is an optional ingredient.
How To Make Nigerian Salad
Put the eggs to boil. You want hard boiled eggs. Slice.
If you using frozen sweet corn, pour the corn in a microwave safe dish with enough water to cover; and enough room left for the water to boil without spilling Place in the microwave and heat for 5 mins. Bring out and pour in a colander to drain. Keep aside to cool.
If using canned sweetcorn, drain in a colander and keep aside.
Pour the baked beans in a colander to drain as you don’t want the excess liquid in the salad.
Slice the onions thinly. Soak in a bowl of cold water with some salt. Leave for 10 mins then drain.
Wash the all the vegetables. Grate the carrots. Slice the lettuce. Slice the tomatoes
Cut and remove the seeds from the cucumbers as described in this post.
Add all of the ingredients into a bowl. Tear the dill and spread over the top, then refrigerate.
Bring out of the fridge when you are ready to use. Serve and add dressing to the served portion. The salad will last 24hrs in the fridge without added dressing.
Recipe FAQ and Notes
Onions – I find the taste of raw onion rather strong, but like the splash of purple it adds to the salad. Therefore I mellowed it down by soaking the sliced onions in cold water and salt for about 10 mins before use. If you don’t mind the bite of raw onion, you don’t need to do this.
Cucumber - If you only have the variety with bitter skin, you should peel it off. I scraped off the middle of the cucumber where the seeds are because there is a lot of excess liquid here which could make the salad too wet. If the lettuce becomes too wet, then it will wilt quickly.
How do I store Nigerian salad? - This salad should be kept cold in the fridge. It will last 24hrs, after that the lettuce will start to wilt. It shouldn’t be left out for more than a few hours. If it has been left out, do not put back in the fridge.
More Ingredients to Add
Nigerian Salad Recipe
- 4 Eggs
- 1 cup Sweetcorn frozen or 1 can
- 1 can Baked beans
- ½ Onion small
- 3 Carrots medium
- ½ head Lettuce
- 6 Tomatoes medium size
- ½ Cucumber big
- Dill a few sprigs - optional
- Put the eggs to boil. Slice.
- If you using frozen sweet corn, pour the corn in a microwave safe dish with enough water to cover; and enough room left for the water to boil without spilling Place in the microwave and heat for 5 mins. Bring out and pour in a colander to drain. Keep aside to cool.
- If using canned sweetcorn, drain in a colander and keep aside.
- Pour the baked beans in the colander to drain.
- Slice the onions thinly. Soak in a bowl of cold water with some salt. Leave for 10 mins then drain.
- Wash the all the vegetables. Grate the carrots. Slice the lettuce. Slice the tomatoes.
- Cut and remove the seeds from the cucumber.
- Add all of the ingredients into a bowl. Tear the dill and spread over the top then refrigerate.
- Bring out of the fridge when you are ready to use. Serve and add the dressing to the served portion.
This salad will go well with;