Recipes: The Ultimate Salad Book by Chantal Lascaris

This entry was posted on 30 September 2021.

As author Chantal Lascaris says, it’s time for the salad to take centre stage! Traditionally salads have been viewed as side dishes, but those featured in The Ultimate Salad Book, are anything but as they move boldly into the realm of main dishes.



Cheesy Roast Vegetable Salad


Cheese makes everything taste better. Nothing could be more appetising than chargrilled halloumi draped over vegetables that have just started to char and caramelise. Dry-grilling halloumi creates a most appealing golden crust with a soft and squishy inside. The citrus dressing pulls together this salad packed with vegetable goodness, creating a substantial side or main that is guaranteed to become a regular feature on your table.


1–2 medium aubergines, sliced lengthways about 1cm thick

1½ cups diagonally sliced baby marrow

2 cups quartered red pepper

2 cups cubed butternut

¼ cup olive oil

2 cloves garlic, crushed

½ tsp dried rosemary

salt and pepper to taste

300g halloumi, cut into 0.5cm slices

2 cups roughly torn baby spinach

½ cup pitted black olives

fresh thyme sprigs for garnishing



¼ cup orange juice

¼ cup olive oil

2 tsp white wine vinegar

salt and pepper to taste


Preheat the oven to 180ºC.

Place the aubergine slices, baby marrow, red pepper and butternut on a greased baking sheet.

Whisk the olive oil, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper and pour over the vegetables. Toss to combine and roast for 20–30 minutes until the butternut has softened and the vegetables start to char. Remove and set aside.

In a non-stick griddle pan, cook the halloumi until grill lines appear.

Place the baby spinach leaves on a platter, arrange the vegetables on top, drape over the halloumi slices and scatter over the black olives.

Whisk the dressing ingredients and pour over the salad. Finish it off with a few sprigs of fresh thyme.



Cajun Swordfish Salad


I enjoy eating swordfish. Its meaty texture and mild taste make it the ideal partner for Cajun seasoning. This bold rub is full of spicy, zesty flavours, which hark back to the kitchens of Louisiana, the home of Cajun cuisine. The coconut milk in the dressing is the perfect antidote to the kick from the rub, while the celery provides crunch and the cucumber coolness.


600g swordfish steak, filleted

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 large cucumber, sliced on the diagonal

2 stalks celery, chopped

1 cup roughly chopped baby spinach

½ cup roughly chopped fresh mint



2 tsp salt

2 tsp garlic powder

2 tsp paprika

1 tsp ground black pepper

½ tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp dried origanum

1 tsp dried thyme



¼ cup rice wine vinegar

½ cup coconut milk

salt and pepper to taste


Mix the ingredients for the Cajun rub.

Cut the swordfish into bite-size pieces and place into a sealable bag with the olive oil and Cajun rub. Gently massage the bag to ensure the fish is well coated. Place in the fridge for about 30 minutes to allow the flavours to develop.

Toss the cucumber, celery, baby spinach and mint in a serving bowl.

Heat a non-stick frying pan and sauté the swordfish for about 5 minutes until just cooked. Be careful not to overcook the fish, as it can become dry. Add a touch more olive oil if necessary. Allow to cool slightly before adding the fish to the salad.

Whisk the dressing ingredients and drizzle over the salad.



Herbed Cranberry and Chicken Salad


The secret to keeping this salad looking attractive is to dress it halfway so that the fragrant herbs retain their vibrant greens and don’t arrive at the table limp and soggy. Herbs are such a useful way to add flavour and texture to a salad. The slightly spicy chives contrast perfectly with the sweet cranberries, while the earthy parsley balances beautifully next to the stimulating blue cheese. All in all, these herbs provide an unexpected punch of flavour to this salad.


400–600g skinless deboned chicken thighs

1 tsp dried thyme

salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp olive oil

¼ cup water, or as needed

2 cups mixed salad leaves

½ red onion, thinly sliced

½ cup sliced chives

½ cup torn fresh parsley

½ cup torn fresh dill

¼ cup crumbled blue cheese



2 Tbsp red wine vinegar

¼ cup olive oil

¾ cup dried cranberries, plus extra for garnishing

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

3–4 Tbsp water

salt and pepper to taste


Season the chicken thighs with the thyme, salt and pepper.

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and brown the chicken thighs on all sides. Cook the chicken until done, adding the water if the pan gets dry. Remove from the heat and allow to cool before slicing the chicken.

Using a hand blender, whizz the dressing ingredients until smooth.

Combine the mixed salad leaves with half the chicken and the red onion in a serving bowl. Season with salt and pepper and pour over half the dressing. Toss to combine.

Scatter over the chives, parsley, dill and blue cheese.

Add the remaining chicken, drizzle over the rest of the dressing and garnish with extra dried cranberries.




(Parsley, Bean and Lemon Salad)


This salad is loosely based on a classic Middle Eastern tabbouleh. The most recognisable feature of tabbouleh is that the ingredients are all finely chopped. I’ve substituted chickpeas and red kidney beans for bulgur wheat, but the most common ingredient, parsley, is still a prominent player. Some new introductions are feathery dill leaves and crunchy celery, while the lemon and garlic dressing rounds it off beautifully.


1 x 410g can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

½ x 410g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 cup cubed cucumber

¼ red onion, diced

2 stalks celery, chopped

2 cups roughly chopped fresh parsley

2 Tbsp roughly chopped fresh dill



¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup lemon juice

1 clove garlic, crushed

salt and pepper to taste


Combine the salad ingredients in a bowl and toss.

Whisk the dressing ingredients, pour over the salad and toss well. Chill in the fridge until ready to serve.







Shawarma Salad


This is a salad that has all the deliciousness of a classic shawarma but without the meat. One of the integral parts of a shawarma is the sauce, and this dressing hits the spot: hummus, lemon and garlic, which all blend perfectly with the chickpeas, red onion and tomato, not to mention the array of aromatic spices to complement it all. Served with pita bread on the side, you’ve got your Middle Eastern street food sorted.


1 tsp ground cumin

½ tsp smoked paprika

½ tsp ground turmeric

½ tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp ground ginger

salt and pepper to taste

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 x 410g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

2 cups chopped cucumber

2 cups chopped tomatoes

2⁄3 cup sliced red onion

2 cups roughly chopped fresh parsley



1⁄3 cup hummus

2 cloves garlic, crushed

2 Tbsp lemon juice

1–2 Tbsp water as needed


Preheat the oven to 200ºC.

In a large bowl, mix the spices, season with salt and pepper, add the olive oil and combine to form a paste.

Add the chickpeas and toss through, ensuring the chickpeas are well coated. Arrange the chickpeas in a single layer on a greased baking sheet and bake for 15–20 minutes until crispy. Remove and allow to cool.

Combine the balance of the salad ingredients in a serving bowl, add the chickpeas and toss to combine.

Whisk the dressing ingredients and drizzle over the salad.



Glorious Granadilla Truffles


These fruity truffles contain all the ingredients of a deliciously decadent dessert: chocolate, cream, nuts and some fruit to ease the conscience. The tanginess of the fruit provides contrast and colour to this rich dessert. These truffles can easily be kept in the freezer and then placed in the fridge before serving, so they certainly won’t go to waste. Makes about 30


1/3 cup cream

1 cup granadilla pulp with seeds

860g white chocolate, chopped (keep about 80g aside for coating)

10 small strawberries (or any other berry of your choice), halved depending on size

toasted desiccated coconut for coating

crushed mixed nuts for coating

gold dust for coating

pear slices for serving

lemon zest for serving


Warm the cream and granadilla pulp in two separate saucepans.

Place the bulk of the chopped chocolate into a bowl and pour over half the heated granadilla pulp and all the warmed cream. Let it sit for about 1 minute and then gently stir until creamy and well combined.

Add the remaining granadilla pulp and stir until combined.

Refrigerate for a few hours until the mixture starts to set.

Once slightly hardened, take about a third of the mixture and, using a small spoon, create 2.5cm diameter balls with a strawberry in the centre of each.

Roll the rest of the mixture into solid 2.5cm-diameter balls. Roll half in toasted coconut and the other half in crushed nuts.

Melt the remaining chocolate in a double-boiler and carefully dip the strawberry and nut-coated truffles into the melted chocolate to coat them. Sprinkle over some gold dust and place all three batches in the fridge to harden.

Serve with slices of pear and a scattering of lemon zest.


Extracted from The Ultimate Salad Book by Chantal Lascaris, out now.





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