Love food Salads

Kale, halloumi & crispy pitta salad

This is my new favourite salad. No one element is on its own special but as a combo it just works. Everything but the haloumi can be made in advance, the night before, or first thing in the morning so it makes a great weekday lunch.

The other thing I love about this salad is that there are no out of season fruits or vegetables in it. It won’t be long now though until spring will bring asparagus and rhubarb among others. Most excitingly, we can soon forage for wild garlic.

Recipe link

Love food Salads

Spelt & squash salad

While many of us are pretty bored with winter by now (although we have passed the shortest day of the year – yippee), I am still able to share with you another salad recipe using veg that hasn’t been flown half way across the world.

The recipe link is below but you really don’t have to be a slave to every ingredient. As I can’t grow basil and parsley in the winter I left that out; I swapped the goats cheese for feta; and the spinach can be swapped out for kale. If you do use kale, massage the dressing into the kale before mixing everything together.

Recipe link

Love food Salads

Red cabbage, carrot & smoked almonds

As I promised last week, here is another winter salad for you to try out. This one comes from Nigel Slater’s Greenfeast book: autumn, winter. Winter can feel quite long and tedious, none more so than this year, so I am very pleased to have this book for fresh new ideas that use seasonal vegetables. This salad has a bit of a Scandi feel with the pickled onion and sour cream. It keeps pretty well in the fridge for a few days, good for lunches.

When you take a look at the recipe on the link below and compare it with mine you’ll notice it looks a little different. This I think that this is due to food photography not truthfully following the recipe instructions. In the official photography, the soured cream has not been folded into the salad. The photo may look better but I don’t like this playing with the truth. It’s like air brushing but for food.

Recipe link


When making this recipe you may find the pickled flavour a little strong so I recommend starting with half of the 4 tablespoons pickling liquor when making the dressing. Add the rest a little at a time to allow you to check the taste as you go – and stop when the flavour is just right for you.

Love food Salads

Roast carrot salad

My latest food challenge is to build up a collection of salads which are primarily made with vegetables and fruits that are readily available in the European winter (apologies to my overseas readers). I’ll add more recipes over the coming weeks but to remind you, already published recipes include winter apple, squash and kale salad; red cabbage & edamame salad; and grated salad.

Today’s salad is from Ottolenghi’s latest book, Flavour (page 187), together with Ixta Belfrage. It’s easy, tasty and can easily be made in advance. I halved the carrots but made up the whole chamoy as I thought it would be hard to half and Ottolenghi (oh great one) suggested it would keep in the fridge for a week, to be used for more salad or as a condiment to accompany roast veg.


  • Preheat oven to 240C (fan)
  • In a large bowl mix the carrots with the oil, maple syrup, 1.25 tsps of salt & a good grind of pepper. Spread out as much as possible on a baking tin, lined with baking paper . If necessary spread out onto two trays to make sure they’re not crowded. Roast for 18 mins – the carrots should be browned but still have a bite.
  • Meanwhile, blitz the chamoy ingredients with 1/4 tsp salt in a spice grinder or mini food processor.
  • As soon as the carrots are roasted, transfer to a large bowl with the chamoy mix and leave for 20 mins for the flavours o develop.
  • Mix the carrots, herbs and apricots and transfer to your serving dish. Finish with the almonds, lime and a good drizzle of olive oil.
Love food Salads Vegan

Winter apple, squash & kale salad

I like this salad for its ability to be a meal in itself, great for a weekday lunch. Brownie points are earned too for being environmentally friendly, if making in the autumn all the main ingredients can be made with those grown in Britain.

The full recipe can be found on BBC Goodfood and below are a few tips from me.

  • You can cook the squash and apple in the evening before you need this, while you have your oven on anyway. The croutons can also be cooled in advance on a separate tray. If you do cook them in advance then I recommend warming them through again in the oven for 10 mins or so before eating, or at least take them out of the fridge an hour before eating.
  • The hazelnuts can be cooked in the oven as well but keep checking every few minutes so as not to burn them
  • Massage the dressing into the kale for a few minutes before adding all the other ingredients. This will soften the kale a little making it easier, and more pleasant to eat.
Love food Salads Vegan

Green veg salad with Asian dressing

A lovely fresh salad which we had with the salmon in my previous post. The eagle eyed among you may notice (if you take a look at the recipe) that I forgot to add the chili. So annoying as I really do like a good scattering of chili. As Liora will attest to, I regularly miss out a key ingredient of a dish. It’s probably down to trying to do everything too fast.

You will see that I have changed the title of this salad from the original. That is because it works just as well without lentils if they are not something you especially like. However, if you don’t have a strong view either way then you should definitely add the lentils. Lentils have great health benefits so are definitely worth eating. It also makes the salad a more substantial side.

The recipe

Some tips

  • While the recipe asks for puy lentils, unless you’re happy to buy the pre-cooked pouches, these are not always easy to find. Green lentils do the job just as well though.
  • Make sure you don’t over boil your lentils, you want to make sure the lentils retain their shape and not turn mushy. I boiled my green lentils for 20 minutes. I also didn’t use stock, just water.
  • Don’t dress your salad too early as the acid from the dressing starts to ‘cook’ the veg. 10 to 15 minutes ahead of serving is perfect.
Love food Salads

Tomato & pomegranate salad

Another great Ottolenghi salad. As with many salads it is very often the dressing that makes it. It is especially true of this salad and so you can feel very comfortable swapping out some elements and adding in others. For example in the version I made here I swapped out some of the tomatoes for a diced yellow pepper. A greater ratio of peppers to tomatoes has the advantage of reducing the tendency for the salad becoming too watery in the fridge, if you make ahead of time or have any left overs.

Love food Salads

Avocado, grapefruit & cashew salad

This is one of the many Sabrina Ghayour recipes, from Feasts, we keep returning to – it is a perfect combination of ingredients. The rose harissa in the dressing is an essential ingredient recipe and should not be substituted for regular harissa.

I’m not sure why but while regular harissa can sit in my fridge for a long time after opening, rose harissa seems to develop beyond the edible stage after a few weeks. Its not a cheap ingredient so I now freeze whatever is left in an ice cube tray and then transfer to a freezer bag to use as needed in the future.

When preparing the grapefruit, make sure you use a sharp knife to make the job of segmenting and removing the pith and membrane between each segment easier. The right knife will give you beautiful segments, with very little wastage.

Ingredients (serves 4-6): salad

  • 100g rocket leaves – can use spinach or a mix of the two
  • 2 large red or pink grapefruits
  • 2 large avocados
  • 100g toasted cashews

Ingredients: dressing

  • 2 tbsp rose harissa
  • 2 tbsp clear honey
  • 1 tbsp wine vinegar (red or white)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp water
Love food Salads Vegan

Red cabbage salad…

… with nori and ginger

As with many salads, its the dressing that makes it. This one with ginger, sesame oil, mayo and light soy sauce is really quite special. You can have a play with the salad ingredients themselves but I recommend sticking to the dressing recipe exactly as given.

Recipe link

Love food Salads

Roast beetroot salad…

… with ginger and tahini dressing

Roasted beetroot is a great way of eating beetroot. Serving it with a mix of salad leaves or rocket as I have (in the pic), plus the ginger and tahini dressing makes it a very lovely salad.


  • 500g raw beetroot cut into wedges
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1/2 large lemon, juice
  • 1 tsp maple syrup or honey
  • 1 tsp finely grated ginger
  • 1 small garlic clove crushed
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • salad leaves or rocket


  • Toss the beetroot wedges with 3 tbsp olive oil, season and spread out in a roasting tin. Roast for 20 mins (190C), then stir in the thyme and roast for a further 20/25 mins.
  • Put the remaining 2tbsp oil, tahini, half the lemon juice, maple syrup or honey, ginger, garlic and turmeric on a bowl. Add a small amount of water and mix with a fork. It will thicken up. Keep adding water until you have a good consistency to drizzle over the salad. You can also keep adding a bit more of the other half of the lemon juice at a time to get the right taste for you. We don’t like our dressings to be too lemony.

Tip: The beetroot will take a very long time to cook if the wedges are too thick. A 1cm thickness is about right. Check its ready by piercing with a knife to see if the the knife goes through easily.