It’s the season of salads, but that’s no excuse to be boring! Our favourite Australian food bloggers share their recipes for healthy, colourful salads that are bursting with nutrients to boot.
Pumpkin & Cannellini Bean Salad with Haloumi and Kale from The Veggie Mama
This hearty salad is super healthy, easy to whip up and, best of all, will satisfy your hunger without leaving you feeling uncomfortably full. The cannellni beans are not only an excellent source of protein, but they also add some richness to an otherwise simple salad. The pumpkin and haloumi add a punch of flavour and the kale will give you a “superfood” dose for the day. For a vegan alternative, replace the haloumi with tofu.
- 250 grams of pumpkin, diced
- 125 grams of haloumi, sliced
- 1 bunch of kale
- 1 can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon of (organic) coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons of (organic) agave syrup
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius and then place a baking tray inside for a couple of minutes until it’s hot to touch.
- Melt one tablespoon of coconut oil onto the tray and add the pumpkin, tossing it until it’s coated all over.
- Sprinkle the pumpkin with salt and bake for 20–25 minutes until they are soft and golden.
- Arrange the kale and cannellini beans on a serving plate and add the pumpkin.
- Pan-fry the haloumi slices for about one minute each side or until they are golden brown. Add to your serving plate.
- Sprinkle with a small amount of salt and pepper before topping with a drizzle of agave syrup and lemon juice.
Kale & Chickpea Salad with Spicy Avocado Dressing from James and Matt
In the food blogging world, these guys are known for experimenting with unusual combinations of ingredients — and the results are always mouth-wateringly good. This salad is no exception. Kale is the star ingredient, but the guys admit they actually don’t like the taste. Enter a few velvety chickpeas, some hearty avocado and a touch of spice, and they’ve created a salad that not only delights the senses, but is bursting with goodness too.
- Medium bunch of kale
- 1 small capsicum
- 1 can of chickpeas
- Good quality olive oil
- 2 large avocados
- Harissa, or your favourite hot spice mix
- Salt and pepper
- Dash of lemon or lime juice
- Pull the kale from the stem and cut it into centimetre-thick strips before placing it in a serving bowl.
- Drizzle olive oil into the bowl, coating the kale. Add salt, a dash of pepper and the lemon or lime juice. If you’d like the flavour to come through a bit more, pour a little more juice into the mix.
- Massage the mix by rubbing the oil, juice, salt and pepper into the kale leaves. This process will make the leaves softer (and thus easier to chew) and will also help get rid of some of the kale “taste”. Continue for 2–3 minutes, then set the bowl aside.
- In another bowl, add the avocado flesh and mash using a fork. Add a pinch of salt and half a teaspoon of the spices. Mix until it’s all combined and then add a little more salt and/or spice. Set aside.
- Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Dice the capsicum however you like and then add both to the kale and mix through.
- Finally, coat the avocado dressing into the bowl with the kale, chickpeas and capsicum. Garnish with a sprinkle of salt flakes and some pepper.
Fig, Prosciutto & Pear Salad from Christina Soong Kroeger at The Hungry Australian
If there was ever a salad that looks too good to eat, this is it! It works best with high-quality, seasonal ingredients and, as Christina says, buying the best oil, vinegar and figs you can get your hands on will make all the difference. This salad puts figs into the sensory spotlight and the simplicity of the dish allows their sweet flavour to really shine through. The sweetness of the fruits, combined with the saltiness of the prosciutto, makes this the perfect summer salad with a twist.
- 80 grams of mixed lettuce leaves, washed and spun
- 1 pear, peeled and cut into 8 pieces
- 6 figs, cut into 6–8 pieces
- 6 slices of prosciutto
- 3 tablespoons of high-quality virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of high-quality balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon of honey
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Lay the salad leaves into a large shallow bowl or plate.
- Arrange the pear pieces on top, followed by the figs.
- Tear each slice of prosciutto into halves or thirds and then roll each piece into a mini log shape. Place on top of the salad.
- Make the dressing by whisking three tablespoons of olive oil with one tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and a squeeze of honey.
- Add dressing on the top and give a good grinding of black pepper to finish.