Category Archives: Salad

Bruschetta with Fresh Tomatoes, Basil and Garlic


This is one of our favourite quick dinners with tomatoes and basil picked fresh from the garden if the chooks haven’t helped themselves!

For the gluten free option I just cook up some polenta, top with a few dollops of pesto, recipe in the blog, and then add a few spoonfuls of the tomato and basil mixture, delicious.

Serves 4.


8 thick slices ciabatta bread

2 teaspoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, peeled but whole

8-10 medium tomatoes, deseeded and diced

12 large basil leaves, torn

salt and pepper


Preheat the oven to 200degrees Centigrade.

In a bowl combine the tomatoes and basil with a little salt and pepper.

Take each slice of bread and drizzle a little olive oil over each side and pop onto a baking sheet.

Once the oven is up to temperature put the baking sheet in and bake for 10-15mins until the bread is crispy and golden.

Take a garlic clove and rub lightly all over the top side of the bread, place onto your serving plate. Repeat with the other slices of toast.

Top with the tomato mixture and a little freshly ground pepper, serve immediately.



Red Quinoa Salad with Middle Eastern Influences


I first started cooking with quinoa a few years ago and always made the same salad, this salad is a huge leap from my previous efforts but we all love it and the flavours really pack a punch!

Leftovers are still lovely and zesty the next day and are super in wraps and pittas. I have also used leftovers to stuff large portobello mushrooms, delicious!

Serves 10.


2 cups red quinoa, cooked as per instructions and cooled completely

2 red onions, very finely sliced

10 Roma tomatoes, deseeded and cut into small cubes

2 lemons, zest of one and juice of both

2 teaspoons sumac

4 tablespoons Za’atar

50mls olive oil

salt  and pepper to taste


Cook the quinoa as per the packet instructions, allow to cool.

Cut the onion up very finely and then set aside in a bowl of water for 10-20 mins.

Dry the onion and assemble the salad.

In a large bowl combine the cooled quinoa, onion, tomatoes and lemon zest, mix well.

In a small jug, combine the lemon juice and oil.

Pour the dressing over the salad, sprinkle over the sumac and 3 tablespoons of Za’atar, mix well.

Season with salt and pepper and check the seasoning.

Spoon into your serving dish and sprinkle over the remaining Za’atar.


Green Salad with Edamame Beans


As a family we love edamame, soy beans.

We first discovered them while eating sushi in Jakarta and since then they have always made an appearance when I make sushi here.

Recently I have started adding them to salads and this salad is one of my favourites.

More edamame than anything else, it is filling and full of goodness, and as a plus, entirely green much to the boys delight!

Follow the instructions to cook your edamame, we can now get them shelled and unshelled in the freezer section, this recipe uses the shelled ones.

The dressing is just oil but if you want, a little regular oil and lemon juice whisked up works very well too.

Leftovers are lovely in a wrap or topped with a poached egg for breakfast!

Serves 6.


200g  washed baby spinach

400g blanched and cooled with ice, edamame

1/2 a continental cucumber finely sliced

6 spring onions, topped and tailed, sliced finely

2 teaspoons lemon infused olive oil


Simply pile up in layers, I do spinach, cucumber, edamame and onions.

Repeat layer and then drizzle a little oil over to dress.

Crunchy Garlic Mushrooms with a Green Salad


This is a very simple dinner that the adults in our house enjoy, I’m still waiting for the boys to eat mushrooms!

I use gluten free bread, the cost of it can be out of this world so to save I often buy it when it’s reduced, make it into breadcrumbs and freeze, due to the cost the crusts go in too!

Fresh peas are in season, I’m so excited to see them again! If you don’t have fresh just defrost some frozen peas, no need to blanch.

Serves 2.



4 large portobello mushrooms, brushed clean, stalks removed

80g fresh bread, gluten free or regular, crumbed

2 cloves garlic, minced

salt and freshly ground pepper


Two handfuls mixed lettuce leaves

15 green beans

15 fresh pea pods, shelled

1 spring onion

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard


Preheat  the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade.

Lime a baking sheet with baking parchment.

In a bowl, mix the breadcrumbs, garlic salt and pepper well.

Divide the stuffing into four and fill each mushroom, pushing down a little.

Pop in the oven for 10-15 mins until golden.

While the mushrooms are baking.

Bring a pan of water to the boil and blanch the beans and peas, cool under running water.

Slice the beans into halves or thirds, slice the spring onion finely.

Layer your salad, I tend to have a layer of lettuce followed by beans, peas and finally onion.

Mix the dressing ingredients and pour over.

Remove the mushrooms from the oven, eat hot or at room temperature.

Crunchy Beetroot, Carrot and Pine Nut Salad


The weather is warming up so time to brush up on my salad skills.

This is loved by the boys and adults alike and leftovers are great in wraps and sandwiches.

I use a mandolin or the food processor to finely cut the carrots and beetroot but a grater works too, you will just loose some of the juice and have a slightly wetter salad.

Serves 6.


2 large carrots peeled and grated, or very fine matchsticks

1 large beetroot, peeled and grated, or very fine matchsticks

100g raisins

80g pine nuts

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 teaspoons white wine vinegar

salt and pepper to taste


Heat a small pan over a medium heat, toss the pine nuts in and stir regularly until toasting up, pour into a bowl to cool to ensure they stop cooking in the pan.

Combine the oil and vinegar in a large bowl, add the carrot, beetroot, raisins and cooled pine nuts, combine well.

Season and spoon into your serving dish.

Hot Smoked Trout Salad with Honey, Mustard and Dill Dressing


Asparagus is in season, hoorah!

This salad is all about asparagus and smoked trout, simple and delicious without too much effort!

I serve this with some crusty bread, it really doesn’t need anything else.

Serves 4 as a main.


1 whole smoked trout

2 bunches asparagus

200g mixed lettuce leaves

2 large tomatoes, sliced

2 avocados, sliced

3 eggs

a few dill fronds


4 teaspoons olive oil

1 teaspoon white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon honey

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon dill fronds


In a small bowl whisk the oil, vinegar, honey and mustard.

Remove the whisk and stir in the dill, a little salt and a good grinding of pepper.

Bring a small pan of water up to the boil.

Pop the eggs in, bring back to the boil and boil for 5mins.

Fill a jug with ice and water, after the eggs have boiled for 5 mins, put them into the iced water and set aside.

Take the trout and gently peel off the skin. Pull the meat off the bones, double check you haven’t picked any bones, just in case!

Preheat a large frying pan over a high heat.

On a large serving plate, lay the lettuce, top with the tomatoes and avocado slices.

Add the trout and drizzle a little dressing over.

Peel the eggs and cut into quarters, the yolks should still be a little runny, pop them around the salad.

Add the asparagus to the hot pan, gently shake to turn it for around 2mins. Remove from the heat, cut into thirds and top the salad with the asparagus.

Drizzle a little more dressing over the top and sprinkle a few dill fronds.

Baby Potato Salad


This is the best potato salad in the world and with summer around the corner it’s time to make it again! Great for barbecues and make ahead meals.

I use baby potatoes and don’t peel them, it helps hold them together and I can never be bothered on hot days!

The cooked potatoes are dressed with a balsamic vinaigrette which gives this recipe the edge!

Serves 8-10.


1kg baby potatoes, skin on

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

120mls sour cream

120mls mayonnaise

20g chives, snipped


Boil the potatoes as you would normally.

Once cooked, drain and allow to cool in a colander.

When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them into halves or quarters and place in a large bowl.

Whisk the oil and vinegar and pour over the cut potatoes while still hot. Stir well.

Once the potatoes are completely cooled, whisk the sour cream and mayonnaise together, add most of the chives, keep a little back to garnish.

Stir the sauce through the potatoes, spoon onto a serving plate and top with the remaining chives.