With the sun out and (hopefully) here to stay, tuck into our top salad recipes. Whether your entertaining friends or simply fancy something light, take advantage of the season's fruit and veg and make our delicious salads your summer staple.
Skinny Chicken Caesar Salad
- 4 skinless chicken breasts
- 2 tsp olive oil
- Juice 1 lemon
- 1 large Romaine or Cos lettuce, chopped into large pieces
- 1 punnet cress
- 4 hard-boiled eggs, cut into wedges
- 25g grated parmesan
- 50g anchovy fillets, half chopped in half, half kept whole
- 170g fat-free Greek yogurt
- Place chicken breasts in a large bowl with the olive oil and a little of the lemon juice before seasoning with salt and pepper.
- Line a baking tray with foil and preheat a grill to high. Place the chicken breasts in the tray and cook under the grill for 10-12 mins until golden and cooked through. Ensure you turn the chicken once during cooking.
- Transfer the chicken to a plate or board and slice roughly.
- Arrange the lettuce, cress and eggs on to a large plate and top with the chopped chicken.
- Put the parmesan, chopped anchovies, yogurt and remaining lemon juice in a bowl and season and stir well. Drizzle over the salad and top with the remaining anchovy fillets.
Walnut, beetroot and goats cheese salad
- 2 bunches baby beetroot, trimmed
- Olive oil
- 140g caster sugar
- 55g walnut halves
- 1/2 tsp sea salt flakes
- 2 bunches rocket leaves
- 80g goat's cheese, crumbled
- 60ml extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- Preheat oven to 200°C/gas mark 6.
- Use a fork to *** the beetroot a number of times and place on a baking tray before baking for 45 minutes.
- Once ready, the beetroot should be tender. When cooked, set aside to cool, peel and cut into halves.
- While cooling, line another baking tray with greaseproof paper and top with a greased wire rack (to grease, brush lightly with oil).
- Place the sugar in a non-stick frying pan and heat gently over a medium hob. Heat gently, without stirring – you can tilt the plan slightly if needed. Continue for around 5 minutes or just until all the sugar has melted.
- Add the walnuts to the pan to coat and our o to the rack to separate the walnuts from the melted sugar.
- Sprinkle the walnuts on the rack with the salt and set aside for around half an hour to cool/set.
- Mix the rocket and beetroot together in a large bowl and top with the goat’s cheese and walnuts. Combine oil and vinegar in a jug and drizzle over the top of the salad.
Lentil, chickpea and halloumi salad
- 250g pack halloumi, cut into thick slices
- 3 tbsp capers, roughly chopped
- 400g can chickpeas, drained
- 200g tin of Puy lentils
- 2 lemons
- 1 red onion, finely sliced
- 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 250g cooked beetroot, cut into matchsticks
- 1 red onion, finely sliced
- ½ pack parsley, roughly chopped
- Handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
- If using uncooked lentils, boil in a pan for 20-25 minutes or until just soft.
- While the lentils are cooking, squeeze the juice from one lemon well into a bowl, add the onion and mix together with a pinch of salt, before setting aside.
- Zest and juice the other lemon and set aside for the halloumi – keep the juice in a small jug, separate from the zest.
- Add the oil, the capers and some seasoning to the lemon juice and stir together well.
- When the lentils are thoroughly cooked, drain well and add the chickpeas, before mixing together and placing in a large bowl.
- Immediately add the dressing to the bowl, along with the beetroot, onions, parsley and the juice which the onions were in. Stir through the chopped tomatoes.
- Fry the halloumi in a medium heated pan until golden, toss with the lemon zest and serve on top of your salad.
Peach, parma ham and mozzarella salad
- 6 ripe peaches
- 100g rocket
- A few sprigs of fresh mint, stalks removed
- 12 slices of Parma ham
- 1 lemon
- A pinch of sea salt
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 250g buffalo mozzarella
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat your oven to 200/gas mark 6.
- Halve and remove the stones from the peaches, lying them cut-side up in a smallish roasting tray. The peach halves should fit together snuggly.
- Drizzle the peaches lightly with oil and slide into the hot oven and roast for 20 minutes until sticky. You may need to rotate them now and again to make sure they cook evenly.
- Allow two halves per person – place the halves on a baking tray along with a small chunk of mozzarella and a slice of Parma ham.
- Finish off by putting a simple dressing together – squeezing the lemon juice into a jam jar and adding three times as much oil, season and shake well.
- Put the rocket and mint leaves in a bowl, drizzle with the dressing before placing on top of the peaches and serving immediately.
Harissa chicken, feta and cous cous salad
- 1 tbsp harissa paste
- 40 g feta cheese, crumbled
- Large handful fresh coriander, stalks removed and roughly chopped
- 1 L low-salt chicken stock
- 200 g giant couscous
- ½ courgette, finely chopped
- 4 chicken breasts
- 2 spring onions, finely sliced
- 100 g cherry tomatoes, quartered
- Tzatziki, to serve
- Preheat oven to 200°C, gas mark 6.
- Prepare the chicken by rubbing over the harissa paste and putting them on a baking tray. Roast for 20-25 minutes until browned and thoroughly cooked through.
- While the chicken is cooking, place the stock in a medium pan and bring to the boil slowly. Add the couscous to the stock and simmer gently according to packet instructions until cooked.
- Drain the couscous and place in a large bowl, adding the chopped courgette, tomatoes, feta, coriander and onions and mixing well. Place the couscous onto a serving plate.
- Shred the cooked chicken into sizeable chunks and add to the couscous on the serving plate.
- Add drizzles of tzatziki to finish and serve.
Avocado, mozzarella and cherry tomato salad
- 1kg mixed tomatoes (make sure you have some cherry and other larger varieties)
- Balsamic vinegar
- 250g buffalo mozzarella
- Large handful of basil
- 2 avocados
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus a little extra to serve
- Start by preparing the tomatoes – slice the larger ones into rounds, while quartering the smaller, cherry-sized tomatoes.
- Once chopped, placed all tomatoes together in a colander and sprinkle over 1/2tsp salt. Toss together and leave them in the colander over a bowl for 20 minutes to draw out any extra moisture. This will avoid your salad going soggy.
- In the meantime, preheat a griddle pan over a medium heat. Prepare the avocados by stoning and cutting into thick slices, and brush the slices with oil before adding to the griddle pan.
- Leave the avocados in the pan until grill lines appear on the slices, making sure you turn to cook the other side.
- Place tomatoes on a large serving plate and scatter over the mozzarella, tearing into small pieces and scattering the chopped basil over the top.
- Season well with a little salt and some pepper and drizzle lightly with balsamic vinegar and a little extra virgin olive oil.
- Optional; serve with crusty bread.
Mackerel, broccoli and pomegranate salad
- 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
- 100g pomegranate seeds
- 1 red grapefruit
- 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 175g smoked mackerel, flaked and skin removed
- 100g watercress
- 25g pumpkin seeds
- 300g tender stem broccoli, thinly sliced lengthways
- 400g lentils, drained and rinsed
- Peel the grapefruit with a serrated knife, removing all of the white peel and pith.
- Then slice the grapefruit to separate the segments and remove the membranes between the segments.
- Once removed, squeeze these membranes to remove as much juice as possible into a separate bowl – set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix the mustard and oil together well with a generous amount of seasoning.
- With the remaining ingredients, place altogether in a large bowl and toss together with the dressing.
- Add the grapefruit segments and toss lightly, taking care not to break them apart.
- Place on a large plate to serve. Enjoy!