Spring Salads


Colourful salad creations

A Roman proverb has it that four people are needed to make a good salad: A spendthrift for oil, a miser for vinegar, a wise man for salt and a madman to stir it all up!

There is a method to the madness. Because the individual elements of a salad are not cooked together – they maintain their integrity to the end – the selection must be particularly sensible.

  • Make a salad easy to eat by braking leaves into bite sized pieces
  • If you are making a big salad, season the actual bowl before filling it, so that the seasoning does not get trapped in the curl of the leaves
  • Always dress your salads, even if they are being used as a side dish or garnish
  • Try to keep leaves with similar tastes together, rather than using a dozen different leaf varieties. For example the soft peppery leaves of rocket and watercress combine beautifully. Dress with a squeeze of lemon juice and a lug of olive oil. To make this more exciting, add parmesan shavings
  • Use dressings that are appropriate to the leaf variety you are eating. Subtly flavoured dressings work best with strong leaf types, so that the taste combine rather than contradict one another. Similarly, leaves that have a gentle flavour can be made more exciting with strong tasting dressings.
  • To combine the dressing ingredients thoroughly always put them in a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake well.
  • Do not be afraid to add warm accompaniments to a salad, such as bacon, chicken strips, steamed vegetables and toasted nuts.
Roasted asparagus, cherry tomatoes, black olives and basil
500g fresh, green asparagus, trimmed
250ml  black olives, pitted
20 cherry tomatoes cut in half
50ml olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
25ml pesto (100g nuts, garlic, 100g parmesan cheese, 125ml olive oil, 80g fresh basil leaves. Blend first five ingredients together
  and add basil leaves last = pesto)


  1. Mix all the ingredients together in a baking tray. Bake at 180°C for 10-12 minutes turning 2-3 times. Cool and use with the Feta cheese mousse.
Feta cheese mousse
200g feta cheese, crumbled
250ml     plain yoghurt
75ml cold water
25ml gelatine powder
125ml smooth cottage cheese


  1. Line the chosen mould with cling wrap. Mix all the ingredients -except the gelatine and cold water- in a food processor. Scoop out into a mixing bowl.
  2. Sponge the gelatine in the cold water, melt over medium heat and pour into the feta cheese mixture and mix through.
  3. Pour into the prepared mould and set overnight. De-mould just before serving and dress with the green asparagus mixture.

Serve with Asian Greens e.g. Mizuna – has a mild peppery flavour with spiky green or purple leaves; Tat Soi – has flavoursome dark green leaves and grows in a flat rosette shape, nutritious and can be eaten raw or cooked; red mustard – reddish purple leaves and green veins, hot mustard like taste with a strong bite, younger leaves good for salad and older leaves for stir fries. Asian greens are easy to grow and flourish almost all year round.

Olive oil and Lemon juice dressing
30ml     lemon juice
90ml olive oil
5ml salt
5ml freshly ground black pepper

Mix together and shake well before use

Honey, wholegrain mustard and garlic dressing
5ml          garlic paste
15ml honey
15ml wholegrain mustard
30ml lemon juice
90ml olive oil

Mix together and shake well before use