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4 delicious salad recipes your taste buds will love this summer

4 delicious salad recipes your taste buds will love this summer MAIN

Healthista picks their 4 favourite salad recipes from new book Saladology. We are sure these recipes will be a flavour extravaganza for your taste buds this summer  

When you think of a ‘salad’, does a boring concoction of lettuce, cucumber and tomato come to mind or is that just me?

The trust this salads can be delicious, filling and full of flavour, and the best part they are super versatile.

Jack and Theo Kirwan, co-founders of acclaimed Dublin-based restaurants, Sprout, are devoted to showing just how full flavoured a salad can be.

Their first cookbook, Saladology, includes more than 100 exciting recipes, ranging from simple side salads, attention-grabbing vegetables, satisfying noodles, pasta, fish and meat dishes.

It’s a collection of ideas inspired by their favourite food experiences, reimagining what a salad can be – and always with an emphasis on delicious.

Here are 4 of Healthista’s favourite recipes from Saladology – we like peppers if you couldn’t tell…

Salad Recipe #1 Basil Orzo with Red Pepper and Pine Nuts

Orzo is like a cross between a long-grain rice and short-cut pasta, and its almost buttery texture works so well through a salad.

This tastes even better the next day, so make extra and have it for lunch during the week.

READ MORE: 6 healthy salad recipes that will actually fill you up

Basil Red Pepper Orzo salad recipe

Serves 4

  • 4 red peppers (ideally Romano, but any will work)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 50g (1¾oz) pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 250g (9oz) orzo pasta
  • 2 handfuls of rocket
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the basil dressing:
  • Large handful of basil (20g/¾oz)
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to finish
  • 1 garlic clove, finely grated or very finely chopped
  • Juice of ½ lemon, plus extra to serve
  • ½ tablespoon white wine vinegar
To serve:
  • A chunk of Parmesan cheese, shaved with a vegetable peeler
  • Flaky sea salt

1. Preheat the oven to 220°C (200°C fan, 425°F), Gas Mark 7.

2. Place the peppers in a low-sided roasting tray and drizzle with the olive oil, then season generously with salt. Roast for 20–25 minutes until the skins are blistered and charred slightly.

3. Meanwhile, toast the pine nuts and fennel seeds in a small dry frying pan over a medium heat for 1 minute until lightly golden. Remove from the pan and set aside to cool.

4. Cook the orzo in a pan of salted boiling water for 8 minutes, or according to the packet instructions.

5. While the orzo is cooking, blitz all the dressing ingredients together in a blender, seasoning with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper, until smooth and bright green.

6. Once the orzo is cooked, drain and rinse under cold running water until completely cooled, then drain well and add it to a bowl.

7. Remove the peppers from the oven and set aside to cool a little, then pull off the tops and remove the seeds and all the skin, and slice the peppers into thin strips.

8. Pour the dressing over the orzo, then toss in the rocket and the roasted peppers.

9. Pile on to a serving plate and top with the toasted pine nuts and fennel seeds, shaved Parmesan, a squeeze of lemon juice, flaky sea salt, black pepper and a little extra virgin olive oil.

Salad Recipe #2 Butternut Squash with Walnut Pesto and Feta

I get most of my recipe ideas from past experiences or memories, and this one came from a butternut squash bruschetta with these flavours that I enjoyed years ago and it stuck with me.

The sweetness of the squash contrasts nicely with the tangy, spicy pesto and salty feta. It’s lovely for a warm winter salad, but could be baked into a pasta dish or bulked out with cannellini beans.

READ MORE: 8 healthy recipes for glowing skin

Butternut Squash Red Pesto salad recipe

Serves 2 to 4 (as a side)

  • 1 butternut squash, about 1kg (2lb 4oz)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 100g (3½oz) feta cheese, sliced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Chilli flakes, to serve
For the walnut pesto:
  • 75g (2¾oz) walnuts
  • ½ tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 15g (½oz) Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • Large handful of basil (about
  • 20g/¾oz), plus extra leaves to serve
  • 400g (14oz) sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 150ml (10 tablespoons) extra virgin olive oil

1. Preheat the oven to 210°C (190°C fan, 410°F), Gas Mark 6½.

2. Cut the butternut squash in half lengthways and scoop out the seeds, then cut into chunky wedges. Place them on a baking tray, add the olive oil and a generous pinch of salt and toss with your hands until well coated.

3. Roast for 30 minutes, turning halfway through, until golden, soft and the skin has crisped up slightly.

4. For the pesto, spread the walnuts and fennel seeds out on a separate baking tray, add to the oven with the squash and roast for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

5. Blend the toasted walnuts and fennel seeds with the garlic, Parmesan and basil in a food processor until it becomes the texture of breadcrumbs, then add the sun-dried tomatoes, wine vinegar and half (5 tablespoons) of the extra virgin olive oil and blend again until it forms a pesto retaining some consistency.

6. Arrange the roasted squash and feta on a serving plate or platter, followed by a few generous dollops of the pesto, some extra basil and a sprinkle of chilli flakes to finish.

7. Store any remaining pesto in an airtight jar covered with the remaining 5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil to preserve it. It will last up to a week in the fridge.

Salad Recipe #3 A Sweet ‘Jammy’ Red Pepper Salad

The truth is that food is so simple and adaptable, and often the most basic of ingredients can be transformed into so much more.

Here, red onions and Romano peppers are sautéed together until jammy and saucy to make a simple midweek salad worthy of serving to an adoring lover. But these

peppers can be taken in many other directions – stirred through pasta, spooned over rice or even used as a base for a Spanish tortilla.

READ MORE: 3 healthy breakfast recipes that will keep you full till lunch

Balsamic Pepper Salad Recipe

Serves 4 (as a side)

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 red onions, halved and finely sliced into half-moons
  • 2 red Romano peppers, cored, deseeded and sliced into rounds 1cm (½ inch) thick
  • Large handful of basil leaves
  • Large handful of rocket
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the balsamic dressing:
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon runny honey
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 garlic clove, grated

1. Pour the olive oil into a large frying pan over a medium-low heat, add the onions and peppers and toss to coat in the oil with a good pinch of salt. Fry, stirring regularly, for 15–20 minutes until the onions are caramelized and the peppers are jammy and soft.

2. To make the dressing, mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl along with a pinch of salt and a grind of black pepper.

3. Toss the basil with the rocket, then spread out across the base of a large serving plate and scatter the sautéed onions and peppers on top.

4. Generously pour the dressing across the dish and finish with a big grind of black pepper.

Salad Recipe #4 Piquillo Peppers, Goat’s Cheese and Crushed Pistachios

I love the little stuffed piquillo peppers you get in Spanish tapas bars. The inspiration for this salad came from a very delicious tapa I enjoyed in my favourite bar in Barcelona, El Xampanyet.

You can, of course, go to the trouble of roasting your own piquillo peppers, but jarred ones are equally delicious and make this salad very quick to prepare if you’re under time pressure. And, like all good Spanish dishes, this dish is best accompanied with bread.

READ MORE: 3 low carb dinner recipes that will actually fill you up

Piquillo Peppers Salad Recipes

Serves 4 (as a side)

  • 150g (5½oz) soft goats’ cheese
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to finish
  • 230g (8oz) jarred piquillo peppers, the best quality you can find
  • Handful of dill, roughly chopped
  • 50g (1¾oz) shelled roasted salted pistachios, roughly crushed or chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Add the goats’ cheese to a small bowl with the extra virgin olive oil and give it a mix so that it loosens.

2. Drain the peppers from the jar and spread them out on a large serving platter.

3. Spoon the goats’ cheese on top of the peppers, then sprinkle over the dill and the crushed pistachios.

4. Drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper before serving.


Saladology Salad Recipes

Sprout & Co Saladology: Fresh Ideas for Delicious Salads by Theo Kirwan.

Published by Mitchell Beazley.

Photography: Matt Russell

Also available to purchase on Amazon


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