In Salads

Six easy and delicious salad recipes

From bacon, kale and tomato to watermelon with feta, these recipes are light but filling.

BKT (Bacon, kale and tomato)

Serves 4

250g cherry tomatoes, halved
3 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tbsp fresh oregano
200g kale, de-stemmed and shredded
200g smoked streaky bacon, cooked and sliced
1 avocado, chopped
3 tbsp ranch dressing
1 tbsp chopped fresh chives
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
150g sourdough bread

For the ranch dressing
1 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp buttermilk
1½ tbsp soured cream or plain yoghurt
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp chopped fresh chives, parsley and dill
½ clove of garlic, crushed
Pinch of smoked paprika (optional)
Pinch of dry mustard powder (optional)
Tabasco, to taste (optional)

1 Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Tear the sourdough into small pieces, toss in olive oil and cook on a tray for about 15 min, or until golden brown.

2 Make the ranch dressing by whisking together the ingredients or shaking them together in a jar.

3 Bring the oven down to 120C/gas ½.

4 Arrange the tomatoes on a baking tray, skin side down. Mix the olive oil with the crushed garlic. Use a pestle and mortar to pound the oregano and add to the oil. Drizzle the oil over the tomatoes and season well. Place in the oven for about 45 min, then remove the tomatoes and set aside. Pour any excess oil or juice into a large bowl.

5 Place the shredded kale in the bowl of tomato oil and toss to coat. Season well, then add the bacon, avocado, croutons and roasted tomatoes.

6 Transfer to a serving plate, drizzle with the ranch dressing and sprinkle over the chives.

Strawberry, melon and chicken salad with elderflower

Serves 4

2-3 cooked chicken breasts
1 cantaloupe melon
1 avocado
150g strawberries
2 little gem lettuces
2 tsp pink peppercorns, crushed
1 tbsp chopped fresh chives

For the dressing
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp elderflower cordial
1 tsp chopped fresh tarragon
5 tbsp grapeseed oil
50ml single cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 To make the dressing, mix all the ingredients together with a liquidiser or stick blender until you have an emulsion.

2 Cut the chicken, melon and avocado into cubes and place in a bowl.

3 Cut the strawberries in half and add to the bowl, reserving a few for garnish. Coat with the dressing and season.

4 Arrange the little gem leaves on a large serving plate and top with the chicken mix. Finish with a sprinkling of peppercorns, chives and the reserved strawberries.

Tip If you’re prepping this in advance, adding lemon or lime juice will stop your fruit going brown.

Fregola and chorizo salad

Serves 4

200g cooked fregola or giant couscous
400g brussels sprouts
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tbsp olive oil
½ head of radicchio, finely shredded
400g tin borlotti beans, drained
1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
200g cooking chorizo, cut into small cubes
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
30g feta
2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
2 tbsp fresh flat leaf parsley or chervil leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the marinated red onions
2 red onions, finely sliced or chopped
2 tsp soft brown sugar
1 tbsp red wine or balsamic vinegar
Good pinch of salt

1 Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Prepare the brussels sprouts by taking off the outer leaves and halving them. Mix them with the olive oil and maple syrup, then roast for 20 min until tender. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.

2 Toss the onions in the sugar, vinegar and salt. Cover and leave to marinate at room temperature for anything from 20 min to a few hours.

3 Mix the fregola, sprouts, radicchio and onions in a large bowl. Rinse the borlotti beans, drain and add to the bowl and season.

4 Heat the olive oil in a large pan and cook the chorizo until lightly browned. Remove with a slotted spoon and add to the bowl.

5 Pour away most of the fat in the pan, retaining about 1 tbsp. Add the rosemary and garlic to the pan and cook for 1 min. Pour in the balsamic vinegar and simmer for 1 min. Remove from the heat and leave to cool until tepid. Pour into the salad bowl and toss everything together.

6 Arrange in a serving bowl. Finish with a sprinkling of feta, pine nuts and parsley and a drizzle of olive oil.

Freekeh salad

Serves 4

400g brussels sprouts
200g jerusalem artichokes, peeled
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tbsp olive oil
150g cooked freekeh
2 red apples, cored and sliced
100g medjool dates, thinly sliced
70g whole almonds, toasted and roughly chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the dressing
2 tsp date syrup
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 tsp wholegrain mustard

To serve
30g parmesan cheese slivers (optional)
Fresh flat leaf parsley leaves

1 Heat the oven to 180C/gas 4.

2 Prepare the sprouts by peeling away any outer leaves and cutting them into quarters. Slice the jerusalem artichokes into 1cm-thick pieces. Mix them with the sprouts, maple syrup and olive oil. Season well and roast in the oven for about 20 min, or until tender. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.

3 Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing. Mix the salad ingredients with the dressing and arrange on a serving plate. Scatter the parmesan slivers and parsley leaves.

Tip You can use pomegranate molasses instead of date syrup in the dressing.

Salade cauchoise

Serves 2

200g new potatoes
3 celery sticks, sliced
1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon, chervil and chives
2 tbsp crème fraîche
4 spring onions, chopped
50g watercress
50g ham, cut into thin strips

For the dressing
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1 clove garlic, crushed
3 tbsp rapeseed oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Boil the potatoes until they’re just tender. While they’re cooking, whisk together the dressing ingredients and season well.

2 Drain the potatoes thoroughly and toss, while still hot, in the salad dressing. Leave to cool. When cool enough to handle, cut the potatoes into chunks or slices and leave them in the dressing.

3 Fold the potato mixture with the celery, herbs, crème fraîche and spring onions. Serve on a bed of watercress, topped with the ham strips.

Watermelon and feta salad

Serves 2

400g watermelon, cut into 3-4cm chunks
60g feta, crumbled
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
10 black olives
2 tbsp shredded fresh mint
50g rocket
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil, to serve
2 tbsp marinated red onions, (see fregola and chorizo recipe)

Toast the pumpkin seeds by dry-frying them until they start to pop.

2 Arrange all the ingredients together on a serving plate with the marinated red onions. Season well and drizzle with olive oil.