10 addictive salads for spring & summer

When the sun starts to shine, it’s much easier to eat a big bowl of salad. Especially when they look as good as these ones do!

Hawaiian Tuna Poke Bowl

Justine Schofield’s Simple Every Day is published by Plum RRP $34.99

Serves 4

  • 150g quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 large avocado, diced
  • 2 Lebanese cucumbers, diced
  • 1 small mango, diced
  • Small handful of edamame beans
  • 6 pieces pickled ginger, julienned, plus 1 tsp of
    pickling liquid
  • 200g sashimi-grade tuna, cut into 1cm cubes
  • 4 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 25g seaweed salad
  • Black sesame seeds, to serve


  • 3 tbsp whole-egg mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 tsp hot chilli sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • Juice of 1 lime

Cook the quinoa as per the packet instructions and let it cool to room temperature.

To make the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk well.

Place the avocado, cucumber, mango, edamame, pickled ginger and pickling liquid in a bowl and lightly toss.

To assemble the poke bowl, divide the quinoa among four serving bowls. Pile the cucumber mixture on top, then add the tuna, spring onion and seaweed salad. Drizzle on the dressing, scatter over the sesame seeds and serve.

Salted Kale with Chickpeas and Green Tahini

This is an edited extract from Real Food By Mike by Mike McEnearney published by Hardie Grant Books RRP $45 and is available in stores nationally. Photographer: ©Alan Benson

Serves 4

  • 1 large handful activated walnuts
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 bunch young kale
  • 200g cooked chickpeas, drained
  • 1 handful coriander leaves
  • 1 handful mint leaves
  • 1 tbsp thinly sliced spring onion
  • 1 tbsp each black and white sesame seeds, toasted
  • Seeds from 1/2 pomegranate
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 125g Green tahini
  • 1 pinch sumac

Green tahini (makes 250g)

  • 225g tahini
  • 1 tbsp garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 10g baby spinach leaves
  • 100ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley
  • 1/2 bunch coriander leaves

Make the green tahini by blending tahini, garlic, sea salt, lemon juice and spinach leaves with 125ml water in a food processor until green and smooth. Blend in the olive oil, parsley and coriander and pulse to combine.

Dehydrate or toast the walnuts until crisp. Season to taste.

Massage lemon juice and salt into the kale and let it sit for 15 minutes.

Move the kale to another bowl and toss with remaining ingredients except the green tahini and sumac. Add the juice from the curing bowl for more acidity if needed.

Smear the green tahini on a serving platter to make a shallow pool. Place the salad on top and sprinkle with sumac.

Sourdough Fattoush Salad

Image and recipe from Hummus and Co. by Kristy Frawley and Michael Rantissi (Murdoch Books RRP $39.99)

Serves 6–8 as a side dish

  • 1/4 loaf sourdough, cut into large cubes
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 2 small Lebanese cucumbers, chopped
  • 2 vine-ripened tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 small red onion, sliced
  • 3 tbsp oregano leaves
  • 1 handful coriander leaves
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses


  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tbsp sumac

Preheat oven to 170°C. Put the bread cubes on a baking tray, drizzle with oil and toss to combine. Bake for about 7–8 minutes until toasted and golden. Set aside to cool.

To make the dressing, mix all the ingredients together and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Put the bread cubes, cucumber, tomato, onion and herbs in a large bowl and mix to combine. Pour the dressing over and lightly toss. Drizzle over the pomegranate molasses.

Sesame Chicken Salad with White Pepper

Image and recipe from Thai Food Made Easy by Tom Kime (Murdoch Books RRP $39.99)

Serves 4

  • 4 coriander sprigs, leaves picked and stems reserved
  • 6 celery stalks, from the centre of the bulb
  • 4cm piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped, peel reserved
  • 3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 6 white peppercorns
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 green chillies, seeded and finely chopped
  • 4 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp ground white pepper
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds

Bring a pan of water to the boil. Add the coriander stems, 2 celery stalks, the ginger peelings, chicken and white peppercorns. Keep at a simmer for 5 minutes, skimming the surface to remove any scum that rises. Cover the pan with a lid, remove from the heat and stand for 20 minutes — this will result in perfectly cooked, juicy poached chicken. After 20 minutes remove the chicken from the stock and set aside to cool.

Cut the remaining celery stalks into thin half-moon slices. Bring a little water to the boil in a small saucepan and parboil the celery for 10 seconds, then refresh under cold running water to stop the cooking. Drain and set aside.

Make a dressing by mixing the garlic, chillies and chopped ginger in a bowl with the spring onions, fish sauce, vinegar, salt, sugar and white pepper and set aside for the flavours to infuse.

Slice the poached chicken into bite-size pieces. Mix the chicken with the blanched celery and the sesame oil. Add the dressing and set aside for 5 minutes.

Set a small frying pan over medium heat and dry-fry the sesame seeds for about 3–4 minutes until they pop and turn golden brown, then remove from the heat.

Tear the coriander leaves into the chicken salad and add the toasted sesame seeds. Mix everything together and serve.

Mango, Avocado, Lime and Lentil Salad

This is an edited extract from Real Food By Mike by Mike McEnearney published by Hardie Grant Books RRP $45 and is available in stores nationally. Photographer: ©Alan Benson

Serves 4

  • 1 handful rocket, washed
  • 100g black or green lentils, soaked and steamed
  • 2 mangoes
  • 1 avocado
  • 100g activated walnuts
  • 45g taggiasca olives*
  • 45g green olives
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 tbsp walnut oil
  • 1 tbsp salted capers, rinsed

Place the rocket in a large bowl and spoon over the cooked lentils. Remove the skin from the mangoes and avocado, cut the flesh into wedges and place it on top of the salad. Scatter over the walnuts and olives.

For a light dressing, combine the lime juice, walnut oil and capers and pour over the salad.

*Italian taggiasca or cailletier olives are very small and purple-green. They have an intense flavour and a lovely crisp texture. If you can’t find taggiasca olives, lovely riviera olives from southern France are also delicious, or kalamata will work too. It’s all about the crisp texture, as the mango and avocado are soft.

Roasted Vegetables and Giant Couscous

Edited extract from Skinny Salads by Kathryn Bruton, published by Simon & Schuster Australia, $35.00

Serves 4

  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 2 medium zucchinis
  • 2 capsicums (red, orange or yellow)
  • 1 red onion, finely sliced
  • 2 rosemary sprigs, leaves picked
  • 5 thyme sprigs, leaves picked
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 100g giant (Israeli) couscous
  • 1 vegetable or chicken stock cube
  • 1 1/2 tbsp salsa verde dressing
  • 1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Salsa Verde dressing (makes 325g)

  • 1 garlic clove
  • 4 cornichons
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 5 anchovies
  • 40g flat leaf parsley
  • 20g mint leaves
  • 10g dill leaves
  • 10g tarragon leaves
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line two large baking trays with foil and set aside.

Chop the eggplant, zucchinis and capsicums into roughly 1cm dice or larger. Combine in a bowl with the sliced red onion, rosemary, thyme and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Add the olive oil and use your hands to gently toss the vegetables until coated.

Spread in an even layer on the baking trays and roast for 20–25 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a pan of water to the boil with the stock cube. Add the couscous and cook for 10–12 minutes, until al dente. Drain under cold water and set aside.

To make the salsa verde, finely grate the garlic and place in a small food processor. Add the cornichons, capers and anchovies and pulse until roughly chopped. Add the remaining ingredients, along with 2 tablespoons of water, and pulse a few more times to roughly chop the herbs. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

When the vegetables are done roasting, allow them to cool slightly, then mix in the cooked and cooled couscous. Dress with the salsa verde, garnish with chopped parsley
and serve.

Spring Tabbouleh

This is an edited extract from Real Food By Mike by Mike McEnearney published by Hardie Grant Books RRP $45 and is available in stores nationally. Photographer: ©Alan Benson

Serves 4

  • 150g bulgur (or quinoa for a gluten-free option)
  • 125ml extra virgin olive oil, plus 1 tbsp extra
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 heirloom tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 2 bunches flat-leaf parsley, shredded
  • 1⁄2 bunch spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch green asparagus, thinly shaved lengthways
  • 155g fresh peas, blanched
  • 200g snow peas, roughly sliced
  • 1 fennel bulb, shaved, fronds reserved
  • 1⁄4 savoy cabbage, diced
  • 1 broccoli head, shaved
  • 2 tbsp sumac, plus extra for sprinkling

Soak the bulgur in boiling water (1:1 volume ratio of water to bulgur) with a pinch of salt and the extra tablespoon of olive oil. Cover and allow to cool so all the liquid is absorbed.

Whisk the lemon juice and olive oil together to make a dressing.

Toss the bulgur with all the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. The bulgur will absorb the dressing, so only dress the salad when you’re ready to serve. The sumac is good tossed through the salad along with a little more sprinkled on top.

Tuna Niçoise with Vibrant Vinaigrette

Luke Hines’ Healthy Made Easy is published by Plum RRP $39.99

Serves 4

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 large fennel bulbs, very finely sliced
  • 80ml coconut oil, melted
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bunch asparagus, cut into 5cm lengths
  • 200g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 100g pitted black olives
  • 8 white anchovy fillets
  • 2 tsp capers, rinsed and chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, finely sliced
  • 400g canned tuna, drained


  • 125ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
  • 2 tbsp tarragon leaves, chopped

Place the eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Cover with a lid, bring to the boil then simmer for 3 minutes. Remove the eggs and cool, then peel and halve.

Preheat oven to 180ºC. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Arrange the fennel slices on the tray, drizzle with coconut oil and season well. Roast for 10–15 minutes, tossing occasionally, until lightly golden. Set aside to cool.

Steam the asparagus in a steamer over a saucepan of boiling water for 3–5 minutes or until tender. Set aside to cool.

To make the vinaigrette, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk well.

Combine the fennel, asparagus, tomato, olives, anchovies, capers and onion in a bowl. Season and add just enough dressing to moisten. Top with eggs and tuna chunks.

Crudites Salad

Edited extract from Skinny Salads by Kathryn Bruton, published by Simon & Schuster Australia, $35.00

Serves 6

This is a celebration of vegetables in all of their raw beauty. The recipe is far from set in stone — use whatever vegetables you love most, or what’s in season. Choose which dips or dressings that appeal to you most and have fun creating stunning displays of gorgeous ingredients.

  • 1 bunch radishes, halved or quartered
  • 200g heirloom carrots, halved or quartered lengthways
  • 4 Lebanese cucumbers, quartered lengthways
  • 1 head of red chicory, leaves picked
  • 150g sugarsnap peas
  • 3 beetroot, mixed colours, peeled and sliced or quartered
  • 4 celery sticks, halved lengthways and cut into thirds

Arrange all the vegetables on a big platter and serve with your dips of choice.

Chermoula Dressing

The intense flavour of this dressing adds a real depth to any salad. It can also be used to marinate meat, chicken or fish, as a pasta sauce or spread on crusty bread to make the base of a cracking sandwich.

  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 pickled roasted red capsicum, finely chopped
  • 30g coriander, finely chopped
  • 15g flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Toast the cumin in a dry frying pan for a couple of minutes until aromatic, but not browned. Pound using a pestle and mortar until roughly ground.

Add the garlic, paprika, chilli flakes and a generous pinch of salt and pepper and grind until you have quite a dry paste.

Add the remaining ingredients and pound just long enough to give you a chunky, textured dressing. Taste for seasoning, and let it out with a little water if it’s too thick.

Roasted Red Capsicum, Basil and Chilli Dressing

You won’t believe this has only 8 calories per tablespoon. Low calorie does not equal bland or boring — this little gem is anything but.

  • 2 red capsicums
  • 1 red chilli
  • 20g basil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 240°C. Place the capsicums on a baking tray and roast for about 35 minutes, until blackened. Ten minutes before they’re ready, add the chilli to the tray. Transfer the capsicums and chilli to a bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave until cool enough to handle.

Tear each pepper in half, reserving as much of their natural oil as possible, and remove the seeds. Place into the bowl of a food-processor along with the chilli, basil, sherry vinegar and any oil from the roasted peppers. Blitz until smooth and season with salt and pepper.

The dressing will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week and is suitable for freezing.

Sumac, Chilli and Lemon Yoghurt Dressing

Not only is yoghurt a great vehicle for flavour, but used in a dressing it makes any salad feel more substantial.

  • 60ml natural yoghurt
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 1/2 tsp sumac
  • 1/2 tsp mild chilli powder
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Mix all the ingredients together and season to taste.

Pineapple and Mango with Chilli, Mint and Lime

Edited extract from Skinny Salads by Kathryn Bruton, published by Simon & Schuster Australia, $35.00

Serves 4

  • 1 medium pineapple
  • 2 medium under-ripe mangoes
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1/2 red chilli, roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 bunch mint, leaves picked and finely shredded
  • 5 fresh kaffir lime leaves, finely shredded
  • 1 lime, quartered

Peel and slice the pineapple and mango and put into a large bowl.

In a pestle and mortar, grind the sugar, chilli and salt until you have a rough paste. Scatter over the fruit and toss to combine. Garnish with the mint and lime leaves and serve with lime wedges.