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the top 20 stonesoup salads

Now that (sadly) the end of Summer is on the horizon, it’s time to wrap up the definitive guide to salad with a highlights tour of the top 20 stonesoup salads.

Got an all time favourite salad? Would love to hear about it in the comments.

the top 20 stonesoup salads

in no particular order

chickpea salad chickpea & parmesan salad. [5 ingredients | 10 minutes]
This is one of my alltime favourite meal-in-a-minute salads. It’s super simple and completely satisfying.

Canned chickpeas, drained and tossed with shredded parmesan cheese, a little lemon juice and some salad leaves – although it’s fine without any greenery.

I always have some chickpeas, parmesan and lemon in the house just in case.

Perfect for
: a quick lunch.

spinach, pearl barley & ricotta saladspinach, pearl barley & ricotta salad.
I just love this salad.

There’s something that feels so healthy about eating spinach like this. And then there is the lovely chewy texture of the pearl (dehulled) barley and creamy cheesy ricotta. Delish.

Perfect for: a vegetarian meal on it’s own or an accompaniment to a quiche or vegetarian tart.

raw beet saladraw beet salad.
This salad has a lovely earthy flavour and crunchy texture. It actually improves with a few hours standing, making it a great prepare ahead dish.

It is a lovely accompaniment to slow roasted lamb or your classic roast chook or even to serve as a bed for crispy skinned pan fried salmon.

Perfect for: A pretty coloured side dish salad with a bit of a unique ‘wow’ factor.

tuna butter bean saladbutter bean & tuna salad. [5 ingredients | 10 minutes]
An oldie but a goodie with canned tuna and butter beans.

One of the best things about this salad, apart from how fresh and tasty it is, is that it keeps well for a few hours or even a few days.

On the top of my list for when I need a packed lunch that can sit patiently for a while.

Perfect for:
a packed lunch

warm salad of lentils, baby beets & ricottawarm lentil salad with beets & ricotta.[5 ingredients | 10 minutes]
The best way to prepare canned lentils is to pour boiling water over them which removes the gluey juices and warms them up a little so they are able to absorb your dressing.

Then all that’s required is to mix up a little balsamic vinegar and oil and toss through some parsley for freshness.

Perfect for:
a healthy, inexpensive dinner in under five minutes.

roast chicken & bread saladBBQ chook & bread salad.
This is minimalist home cooking at it’s best.

A pared back concept with a shop bought BBQ chicken, some rustic bread, dressing, a few leaves and a not-essential-but-nice-to-have handful of toasted pine nuts.

Perfect for: a casual Summer dinner.
warm fig salad with proscuitto & buffalo mozerellawarm fig, prosciutto & buffalo mozzerella salad.
One of the good things about Summer turning into Autumn is fig season.

This salad has my favourite Autumn fruit teamed with wilted BBQ radicchio, torn bread and the usual suspects of buffalo mozerella and prosciutto or Parma ham. Finished with a balsamic dressing given a little spike with some garlic and rosemary, they all combine to make an unforgettable main course salad.

Perfect for: an easy Autumn dinner.
shaved cabage, reggiano & balsamic saladshaved cabbage salad with parmigiano reggiano & aged balsamic.
A little mound of shoestring cabbage ribbons supplemented by superbly intense cheese, so finely grated that it was almost invisible.

Highlighted with a crowning drizzle of the slightly sweet but punchy balsamic vinegar. This salad is a chance to get out your most prescious and ancient Balsamic.

Perfect for: a light lunch.
warm salad of pumpkin & chickpeas with tahini dressingwarm salad of roast pumpkin (squash) & chickpeas.
This salad really capatilises on the nutty sweetness of good roast pumpkin, highlighted with a few spices.

Nutty chickpeas give it a more substantial feel and the creamy tahini sauce brings it all together. It really is the business and it’s vegan too.

Perfect for:
a virtuous Vegan dinner.
pea & asparagus saladasparagus and double pea salad.
A little green combo of asparagus, sugarsnap peas and snow peas this is the perfect side salad for when you want something fresh and green but a bit more interesting and substantial than just green leaves.

You could turn it into a main course salad with a few hunks of salty feta or even some grilled haloumi.

Perfect for: a fresh green side salad with a bit of crunch.
tuna saladtuna chilli salad. [5 ingredients | 10 minutes]
This came from experimenting with minimalist, low prep salads.

It has just three ingredients – tuna in chilli oil, lemon juice and a bag of mixed leaves.

Apart from being light and healthy feeling it can be made with pretty much no kitchen equipment.

Perfect for: healthy eating on the road.

smoky paprika potato saladroast potato salad with smokey paprika.
Potato salads are great for BBQs and picnics because they tend to be good travellers.

The mustard and leek dressing much more flavoursome than your standard gloopy mayonnaise salad. Baking the potatoes rather than boiling adds a lovely dimension to the salad. The addition of smokey paprika brings an almost meaty chorizo-like depth.

Perfect for: a picnic or BBQ salad – or any time you have a hankering for some spuds.

shaved fennel salad with ricotta & peasshaved fennel salad with ricotta & peas.
This salad rocks. Crunchy, refreshing shaved fennel given some highlights from lemon and mint on a mellow bed of ricotta with sweet sweet peas.

Colourful, bursting with nutrients and ready in minutes. The secret with frozen peas is to cook them for just moment to warm them though and retain their sweet plumpness.

Perfect for: A fresh Summer salad.

crispy chilli squid saladcrispy chilli squid salad.
From part one of the definitive guide to salads.

This is a favourite Summer dinner using flash pan fried squid hoods. Which have the benefit that all the messy prep work is done for you and the squid is on call in the freezer for a last minute dinner that feels like you’ve gone to way more trouble than you actually have.

Perfect for:
a light Summer celebration dinner.
roast baby onion & chickpea saladroast baby onion & chickpea salad.
Excuse the old, out-of-focus photo, but this salad has been one of my favourites for years.

I love onions and particularly when they get a chance to be a leading lady rather than a salad bit part. This is great on it’s own as a vego main course but also works as an accompaniment.

Perfect as:
a side for BBQ lamb or pan fried fish.

asparagus pinenut & buffalo mozzerella saladasparagus & buffalo mozerella salad with caper dressing.
The dressing is the surprise star of this salad show.

Fresh and zesty and it-just-has-to-be-good-for-you vibrantly green coloured it brings everything together. While this is a very satisfying main course, you could ditch the bread and the cheese to turn it into a slightly unusual fresh accompaniment to some white fish fillets.

Perfect for: a light Springtime main course.

rocket &radicchio saladrocket & radicchio salad.
Another old favourite, the secret to this salad is to finely slice the radicchio into ribbons so it mingles easily with the rocket.

The other trick is the slightly sweet balsamic dressing which balances the combined bitterness of the leaves.

Perfect for: a classic side salad to serve with Italian.
char grilled veg with walnut & white bean pureechar grilled veg with walnut & white bean puree.
OK so you could argue that this isn’t really a salad but it does have a dressing and so I’ve decided to include it.

It’s one of my favourite dishes. There’s something almost magical in the way the grilled veg soak up the dressing and become oh so much more delicious than if you’d left them naked.

Perfect for: a Vegetarian BBQ.

celeriacceleriac salad.
An adaptation of the French classic celeriac remoulade, the celeriac is shaved to give ribbons rather than the classic french matchsticks. Creme fraiche is used in the dressing instead of mayo. The creamy yet crunchy nature of this salad works really well with roast chicken but would also be great with smoked fish or even pork.

Perfect for:
A Winter salad to compliment a roast chook.
tomato & bread saladcatalan inspired bread & tomato salad. [5 ingredients | 10 minutes]
A super simple salad that was inspired by the tomatoes in the markets of the beautiful city of Barcelona in the Winter. I can’t imagine what they would be like when it’s actually tomato season.

One to bookmark for when tomatos are at their most flavoursome.

Perfect for: A simple lunch.


The stonesoup definitive guide to salad.

Part 1 – Leaves
Part 2 – Dressings
Part 3 – Grains, Nuts & Seeds
Part 4 – Bread
Part 5 – Legumes
Part 6 – Shaved Salads
Part 7 – Protein
Part 8 – the top 20 stonesoup salads


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{ 27 comments… add one }
  • Conor @ HoldtheBeef 1 March, 2010, 11:18 pm

    Yes yes yes I am definitely bookmarking this post! Absolutely beautiful salads, the lot of them. Love the “perfect for” tips too!

    I also like to make an Asian noodle salad (variations on this: http://holdthebeef.blogspot.com/2009/05/and-thanks-for-all-fish.html) sometimes to go with fried fish or pork.

    I’ll definitely be trying these plates of deliciousness, thanks for putting them all together here so neatly :D

  • N. 2 March, 2010, 12:34 am

    end of summer, end of winter you mean :D
    love your blog keep posting all the delicious recipes!

  • jules 2 March, 2010, 7:35 am

    hey conor
    asian noodles salads – haven’t made one in ages. great suggestion. thx

    thanks N.
    you luck northern hemisphere people getting ready from spring.

  • Shelley Keeble 2 March, 2010, 7:43 am

    absolutely loved your brown rice & almond tabbouleh, made it a few times and I know it’s gonna be a staple. the kids happy with it too.

  • Vanessa 2 March, 2010, 10:14 am

    This has gone into my all-time favourite things on the internet. Drool! I love salads and would eat them every day – and my repertoire just tripled. Thank you so much.

  • Vanessa 2 March, 2010, 10:19 am

    Ooo, speaking of noodle salads, one of my favourites is soba noodles tossed with soy-sesame marinated chicken, cucumber, pickled ginger, lots of coriander and a mirin/rice-wine-vinegar dressing. Toooo delicious.

  • Claire 2 March, 2010, 10:32 am

    I’m with Conor – made two huge platters of noodle salad on the weekend for friends and it all went. Even the bits I’d thought would be leftovers for supper. Super easy – loads of raw julienned veg, masses of basil and mint (though would have added coriander if guests had liked it), cashew nuts that I’d toasted in a dry pan, crispy shallots and hokkien noodles. Dressing was equal quantities of sweet chilli sauce and kecap manis with juice of a lime, a splash of sesame oil and ginger. Thought it sounded disgusting but it REALLY worked! Even better the next day apparently. Thanks to hungry guests I have no way of knowing this ;-). Also did a Thai beef salad with a chilli and mango dressing on the weekend. Seems like the salad obsession continues! (and hasn’t it suddenly hit autumn with no warning. thinking warm salads will be the next wave..

  • jules 2 March, 2010, 11:12 am

    so glad you loved the brown rice & almond tabbouleh. can’t believe I missed it off my top 20. woops.

    yay vanessa,
    glad you’re enjoying the salads. and great idea on the soba noodles in salad. haven’t had them in ages.

    thanks for sharing your noodle salad – sounds delish.
    I’m hearing you about the autumn. bring on the warm salads

  • Kaushik | beyond-karma.com 2 March, 2010, 12:02 pm

    Even though I am full with dinner, looking at your delicious pictures makes my mouth water. Keep up the excellent work!

  • amber 2 March, 2010, 4:38 pm

    I love grilled vegetables tossed with fine strips of fried haloumi and dressed with olive oil, lemon juice, and slivers of preserved lemon.

    Can’t wait to work my way through your list. :)

  • jules 2 March, 2010, 4:56 pm

    thanks kaushik

    amber – I haven’t had haloumi in ages – love the squeaky cheese. and I have preserved lemons.

  • Vanessa 3 March, 2010, 12:42 pm

    Hi again Jules, just a random question: have you ever made your own pita bread or piadina or anything like that? I love flatbread and would love to be able to make it really fresh at home…

  • jules 3 March, 2010, 3:04 pm

    hey vanessa
    I have made piadina but can’t remember where I got the recipe. possibly an old gourmet traveller. I’ve posted about chappati a couple time on stonesoup. It’s really lovely fresh http://thestonesoup.com/blog/2006/10/curry-not-in-a-hurry/. hope that helps

  • Beef Recipes 5 March, 2010, 7:21 am

    Wow! These are absolutely gorgeous and well made.

  • Vanessa 5 March, 2010, 12:30 pm

    Thanks for that Jules! I shall give it a go this weekend. :)
    … I wonder if they freeze well, that would be brilliant too …

  • jules 5 March, 2010, 12:38 pm

    thanks beef recipes

    pretty sure they’d be fine in the freezer – most bread is. good luck

  • Johanna GGG 8 March, 2010, 12:19 pm

    Great round up of so many good salad ideas – I love a canned brown lentil salad with tomato and cucumber and lots of herbs – it is probably my most regular – I am also very partial to the pumpkin and chickpea style salad you have in the list – but roasting the pumpkin means it needs a little planning and/or a day when I don’t mind having the oven on

  • jules 8 March, 2010, 4:36 pm

    your lentil salad sound lovely. thanks for sharing

  • Pen 8 March, 2010, 4:57 pm

    My very favourite salad, ever, is your original chicken and bread salad. The one with lemon inserted , gorgeous spicy skin (the cardamom mix is fantastic) and onion juices squished into the bread. It’s maybe not minimalist but I reckon it deserves a place on your list.
    The next favourite salad – regularly dished up – is the cabbage and parmesan salad. It’s great lightly stir-fried before the cheese goes in, kind of gets around the “no coleslaw” brigade.
    Thanks for all the great ideas, Jules. I’m working down the list, bypassing tuna and hesitant about the mushy lentils, but it’s all good so far.

  • Mark @ Cafe Campana 9 March, 2010, 9:31 pm

    I ate the chickpea & parmesan salad for dinner tonight. It was very light and easy. I enjoyed it. Cheers

  • cynthia 25 March, 2010, 7:46 am

    have you tried fresh shelled chickpeas, hard to find? grow some. eat raw, easy, delicious, just a little shelling time, great in salads, rice, couscous, for snacking or make raw hummus
    steam lightly for fresh taste

    salad favorite – Warm Beet Salad chunks of warm beets all colors, green apples, scallions, lots of cracked pepper, blue cheese, radiccio, toasted walnuts w/ dijon, balsamic, hazelnut oil dressing

  • thedabble 9 April, 2010, 11:49 pm

    I will be making most of these salads. Great post, love it!

    My favorite salad (I made last weekend) was inspired by Sippity Sup, Jamie Oliver and Smitten Kitchen but transformed into my own version: Spicy Roasted Carrot, Avocado and Feta Salad with watercress and an orange vinaigrette. http://thedabble.com/blog/?p=1896 Yum!

    Your pictures are gorgeous by the way.

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