3 easy spring salads

By Kirstin Buick
18 September 2013

Our food blogger Sarah Graham shares three light, easy and delicious salad recipes.

Our food blogger Sarah Graham shares three light, easy and delicious salad recipes.

I've already talked about the wonders of the change of seasons in my previous posts (A taste of spring and Time to fire up the braai), winter giving way to spring and sunshine and all that general loveliness. And it translates to our plates. Obviously, warmer weather and sunnier skies means we like to eat lighter food, healthy food that “cleanses” us after all the heavier stews and pasta dinners on those cold winter nights. Fresh food releases us from the grips of rich wintery puddings and glasses of wine and hot chocolate. And I for one am more than happy to oblige in helping you out with a little spring-time kick-start. So, here are three of my favourite spring-time salads that will bring a smile to the face of even the most avid pie-eaters. And these are not salads that involve limp lettuce leaves that leave you in the grips of hunger, but rather salads that satisfy, without the guilt. Bon appétit, friends.

Two-minute tuna and chickpea salad

Serves 2

Preparation time (just over) 2 minutes

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

Dressing

1 heaped tsp dijon mustard

1 Tbsp honey

2 Tbsp red wine vinegar or lemon juice

4 Tbsp olive oil

Pinch of salt

Salad

1 tin tuna in brine, drained

1 can chickpeas, drained

1 stick celery, chopped

½ ripe avocado, cubed

1 ripe tomato, cubed

½ small red onion, finely chopped

Fresh parsley leaves, for serving

WHAT TO DO

Dressing

1 Place the dressing ingredients in a jam jar, put the lid on and shake until the ingredients emulsify (become creamy)

2 Taste and check to see that the flavour balance is to your liking, if not adjust accordingly. Set aside.

Salad 1 Place all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and toss together gently. Serve with the dressing. 2 Serve with pittas, fresh crusty bread, over penne pasta or couscous, or as a salad on its own.  

Grilled honey and soy salmon salad with barley and herb salad

Serves 2

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: about 38 minutes

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

Barley & herb salad

½ cup pearled barley

1tbsp each of chopped fresh mint, basil and parsley

2 tbsp red wine vinegar or lemon juice

2 tbsp olive oil

1-2 tsp honey

½ tsp dried chilli flakes (optional)

Small handful of roughly chopped sugar snap peas (optional)

50 g crumbled fresh feta or ricotta

Salt and pepper to taste

Honey and soy salmon

2 (each about 150 g) salmon fillets

3-4 tsp honey

3-4 tsp soy sauce

juice of 1 lime

1 thumb-sized stick of fresh ginger, grated

Salt and pepper to taste

WHAT TO DO

Barley & herb salad

1 Rinse the barley in a sieve or colander under cold running water. Place in a saucepan and cover by about ½ cm with boiling water and leave to simmer on the stove for about 30 minutes. Remove from the heat, drain and when cooled add to a bowl along with the remaining ingredients and set aside.

Honey and soy salmon

1 Preheat the oven grill to the highest setting. Place the salmon fillets in an oven-proof dish or pan and drizzle over the honey, soy sauce, lime juice and scatter over the freshly grated ginger. Grill for about 8 minutes for medium/cooked through. Spoon over the juices from the dish just before serving.

3 Serve the salmon as soon as possible with a generous helping of barley and herb salad and an extra drizzle of lime or lemon juice.

Tip You could easily replace the barley with couscous, penne pasta or boiled baby potatoes.  

Asian-style prawn and noodle salad

Serves 2

Preparation time: 10 minutes

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

Asian-style sauce

1 tsp sesame oil

2 tsp soy sauce

½ tsp chopped fresh chilli

2 tsp sweet chill sauce

2 tsp honey

1 tsp grated fresh ginger

Juice of 1 lime

Noodle salad

200 g rice noodles

1 red pepper, de-seeded and sliced

½ cup snap peas, halved on the diagonal

200 g shelled and deveined prawns

A few fresh basil leaves, to serve

WHAT TO DO

Asian-style sauce

1 Mix the ingredients and set aside.

Noodle salad

1 Pre-heat the oven grill.

2 On the stovetop, cook the noodles according to packet instructions, adding the red pepper and snap peas for the last 2 minutes. Drain and set aside.

3 In a shallow roasting dish, add the prawns and coat with two-thirds of the Asian-style sauce. Place under the grill for approximately 5-7 minutes, tossing half way through until the prawns are a rosy pink colour and cooked through. (Alternatively fry quickly in a hot wok).

4 Plate up your noodles, red pepper, snap peas and prawns and drizzle over the remaining sauce as well as any juices from the roasting dish. Serve with a few leaves of fresh basil and an extra squeeze of lime juice if you like.

Sarah Graham

Food blogger, cookbook author, cooking show host

You can read more of Sarah’s thoughts on her blog afoodieliveshere.co.za make clickable or buy her cookbook bitten in major bookstores in South Africa and online via afoodieliveshere.co.za/bitten-cookbook/ make clickable

Sarah’s previous blogs:

Sarah Graham blogs for us

Sarah Graham: Moving forward

Souped up

What’s with all the baking?

A taste of spring 

Time to fire up the braai

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