6. All kinds of Salad recipes

Chicken salad

For the chicken

1.3 kg higher-welfare chicken
a few black peppercorns
a few bay leaves
2 teaspoons ground cumin seeds
1 handful of almonds

For the dressing

2 tablespoons fat-free natural yoghurt
3 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise, made with free-range eggs
juice and zest of 2 lemons
1 cucumber, peeled and diced
1 small bunch of fresh basil, leaves picked and torn

To serve
4 big handfuls of mixed salad leaves


To poach the chicken, place in a large saucepan, cover with water, add the peppercorns and bay leaves and bring to a gentle simmer. Poach for about 40 minutes. If you can, leave it to cool in the liquid. Take the chicken out of the pan, remove the skin and shred the meat. Dry-fry the cumin and the almonds in a hot pan and leave to cool.

To make the dressing, mix the yoghurt, mayonnaise and lemon zest and juice in a large bowl. Add the chicken, cucumber, cumin and almonds with the torn basil. Mix well and serve.


Tricolore couscous salad

200g couscous
2 tsp vegetable stock (or use a cube)
250g pack cherry tomatoes, halved
2 avocados, peeled, stoned and chopped
150g pack mozzarella, drained and chopped
handful rocket or young spinach leaves

For the dressing
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice

1 rounded tbsp pesto

Mix the tomatoes, avocado and mozzarella into the couscous, then lightly stir in the rocket or spinach to serve. For the dressing, mix the pesto with the lemon juice and some seasoning, then gradually mix in the oil. Pour over the couscous and mix with a fork.
Mix the couscous and stock in a bowl, pour over 300ml boiling water, then cover with a plate and leave for 5 mins.


Roast radish, new potato & peppered mackerel salad

2 x 200g bags radishes
500g baby new potatoes, halved (or quartered if large)
5 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp Greek-style yogurt
juice ½ lemon
1 small garlic clove, crushed
½ small pack dill, most finely chopped, a few fronds reserved to garnish
2 bags lamb's lettuces (about 140g)
300g pack smoked peppered mackerel fillets, skin removed, broken up into large flakes

Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Put the radishes and potatoes in a shallow roasting tin. Drizzle with 2 tbsp of the olive oil and season. Roast in the oven for 30 mins, tossing once, until tender and golden.

Meanwhile, make the dressing. Whisk together the remaining oil, the yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, chopped dill and seasoning. It may separate slightly and need whisking again before serving.

Remove the veg from the oven and allow to cool for 5 mins. Toss the lettuce in the dressing, top with the veg and then the fish. Sprinkle over the reserved dill fronds and serve.

Italian bean salad

1 bunch spring onions
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
2 x 400g cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 can of butter beans
6 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
plenty of chopped parsley


Finely chop the spring onions and put into a bowl with the garlic and the chili. Mix in the cannellini beans and the butter beans. Whisk the olive oil with the white wine vinegar and add plenty of seasoning. Stir through the salad with plenty of chopped parsley.

Cauliflower & carrot salad

1 small or ½ large cauliflower
2 carrots, grated
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 tsp capers
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp mayonnaise

Break cauliflower into florets, cutting any larger ones into thin slices. Mix with carrots, red onion, capers and chopped parsley. Whisk white wine vinegar with Dijon mustard, season, then whisk in olive oil and mayonnaise.

Pour over the salad and mix well. Can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Potato salad

750g small new potatoes
4 tbsp white wine
2 tbsp olive oil
a small thinky sliced red onion
3 tbsp roughly chopped parsley

Boil the new potatoes for 15-20 minutes then drain and return to the pan. Lightly bash each potato with a masher or fork so they are cracked but still whole. Return to the heat and pour in the white wine. Boil fiercely for 2-3 minutes until most of the wine has evaporated. Stir in the olive oil, small thinly sliced red onion and roughly chopped parsley. Season and toss together.

Mackerel pasta salad

4 handfuls green beans, topped but not tailed
400 g farfalle or other dried pasta
2 handfuls black olives, stones in
juice of 1 lemon
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 jar good-quality mackerel, drained and broken into big pieces
400 g ripe cherry tomatoes, halved
1 smalL bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and drop in your green beans. Cook for 4 minutes or until just soft and cooked through. Lift them out with a slotted spoon and drain. Add the pasta to the water and cook according to packet instructions. Serve it al dente, like they do in Italy – this means the pasta is just cooked, but still has a little bite. Drain in a colander and rinse under cold water until cool.

Put the olives on a chopping board and squash them with the bottom of a mug so the stones pop out. Throw the stones away and lightly chop the olives.

Squeeze the lemon juice into a big mixing bowl and add three times the amount of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Drop the cooked beans, pasta, olives, mackerel and halved tomatoes into the dressing and toss until everything's mixed together. Serve the salad on four plates, sprinkled with parsley leaves.

Tip: Always buy olives with stones and take them out yourself. They taste much better than pitted ones.

Mexican street salad

½ small white cabbage
½ small red cabbage
1 small bunch radishes, (about 10) trimmed and finely sliced
2 carrots, peeled and finely sliced
1 large bunch fresh coriander, leaves and stalks finely chopped
2 large jalapeno chillies (or other green chilli), to taste, finely sliced
1 red onion, peeled and finely sliced
extra virgin olive oil
juice of 2-3 limes
sea salt

The easiest and quickest way to make this is to use a food processor with a slicer attachment or a mandolin. If you don't have either of those, use a speed peeler, or simply grate everything finely.

Shred your white and red cabbage into two separate piles. Put just the white cabbage into a large bowl with the radishes, carrots and most of the coriander. Mix everything together really well, then kick up the flavours by adding almost all the chopped chilli, the sliced red onion and a good few lugs of extra virgin olive oil. Add most of the lime juice and a good pinch of salt, then toss together and have a taste. Just keep adjusting everything, adding more fragrance with the coriander, heat with the last of the chilli and acid with another squeeze of lime juice, until it's just right for you.

When you're happy, fold in the red cabbage right before serving so it doesn't stain everything, and tuck in.

Prawn & watermelon salad

zest and juice of 2 limes
12 raw prawns, from sustainable sources, ask your fishmonger, peeled
100 g unsalted cashews
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 small bunch mint
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
2 handfuls baby spinach
400 g watermelon, seeds removed, cut into chunks
4 spring onions, finely sliced
sesame oil
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Put the zest and juice of one of the limes in a bowl and toss the prawns in it. Leave to marinate while you prepare the other ingredients.

Heat a wok or frying pan, then add the cashews and heat until lightly toasted. Add the sesame seeds for 30 seconds until they start to brown and pop, then remove all the nuts from the pan. Crush lightly with the bottom of a saucepan and place in a big mixing bowl.

Add the mint, chopped chilli, baby spinach, watermelon and spring onion to the mixing bowl and toss with the toasted nuts. Add the prawns to the hot pan with a splash of sesame oil, season with salt and pepper and stir-fry lightly for a few minutes until cooked through.

Toss the cooked prawns with the other ingredients in the mixing bowl and season with lime juice, sesame oil, salt and pepper.
Tip: If you can't find cashews, unsalted peanuts will do instead.

Roquefort salad with warm croutons & lardons

olive oil
250 g piece higher-welfare smoked bacon, rind removed
2 thick slices sourdough bread, cut into 1cm pieces
4 large handfuls lamb's lettuce, watercress or rocket, washed and spun dry
2 large handfuls radicchio, washed and spun dry
1 large handful shelled walnut halves, sliced
1 bunch fresh chives, finely chopped
100 g Roquefort cheese

For the dressing
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Put a large frying pan on a high heat, and once hot, add a good couple of lugs of olive oil. Cut your bacon into thick 1cm lardons (have a look at the picture – that's roughly the size your croutons and bacon should be), and add to the pan. Fry, stirring occasionally, for around 3 minutes, or until you've got a good bit of colour on the bacon and a lot of the fat has rendered out. Turn the heat down a little and add your bread to the pan, making sure you spread the croutons out so they take on some colour. Fry for another 3 minutes, or until they've sucked up all the wonderful flavour and are lovely, crisp and golden.

Put the extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard and a good pinch of salt and pepper into a clean jam jar. Put the lid on and give it a shake, then have a taste and make sure you've got the balance right. You want it to be slightly too acidic at this stage, as you'll get quite a bit of saltiness from the bacon and French dressings tend to be quite sharp.

Once your dressing is made, get everyone around the table so they're ready to tuck in as soon as the salad is ready. Put your salad leaves on a big platter, tear in the radicchio, then pour over that wonderful, thick dressing. Scatter over most of your walnuts and chives and all the croutons and lardons. Quickly mix it all up with your clean hands so that every single leaf is coated.

Use the tip of a knife to crumble off little nuggets of Roquefort and let them fall straight on to your salad. Finish by scattering over the rest of the walnuts and chives from a height, and tuck in.

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