Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Turmeric Dressing

This warm Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Turmeric Dressing is the perfect way to serve cauliflower. The cauliflower is golden and crunchy at the edges, soft within and paired with sweet red peppers, lush peppery rocket and drizzled generously with the vibrant Tahini Turmeric Dressing.

Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Turmeric Dressing

I can’t sleep. Everything is keeping me up at the moment and I’m worrying perpetually about the baby. I’m due next week and ever since I had this last minute diagnosis of gestational diabetes (which the doctors are still unconvinced I actually have but are treating it like I do anyway) I’m convinced my baby and I are suffering from every affliction under the sun.

Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Turmeric Dressing

It wasn’t this way when I was pregnant with Cole, I think I was naïve and just assumed everything would be okay and it was. However since I have become a mother and spend most of my social time talking to other mums, listening to their stories and engaging more with birth stories in the media then I realise how lucky I had it with Cole and that terrifies me.

Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Turmeric Dressing

Last night I couldn’t sleep due to itching. I have had itchy skin for the past few weeks and have put it down to hormones and one of those weird pregnancy things. But I couldn’t sleep and I did what any nervous mother does at 3am I googled it. Does Google make things better or worse? Turns out the itching could mean something which of course will probably lead to dire consequences for the baby. When does it not? Or it could mean nothing. Let’s face it, it’s usually nothing. All I know is as I wait for the midwife to call me back I am itching more than ever and convincing myself that this is something else I and the doctors have missed during my pregnancy. The baby is arriving next week regardless as I am being induced early due to the maybe gestational diabetes. It is the same course of action they would take for the itching thing as well so it’s all being taken care of anyway so really I’m worrying over nothing. That’s easy to say but as I wait here feeling my baby kicking and shuffling around like he’s trying to reassure me I won’t rest or sleep properly until he’s in my arms happy and safe. Then of course comes the worry that comes hand in hand with a having a newborn. But at least it’s a different kind of worry and that would be a relief at this stage.

Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Turmeric Dressing

Launching from my inner turmoil about pregnancy and motherhood to a roasted cauliflower recipe is always going to be a bit clunky I’m afraid. I’m sure there’s an analogy somewhere about giving birth and brassicas but my brain is everywhere and you’re just going to have to go with it.

I was going to post this recipe over the weekend but I only remembered during my sleepless night last night that this delicious recipe has been patiently waiting to be published since Saturday.

Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Turmeric Dressing

Roasted cauliflower is the perfect accompaniment to the Tahini Turmeric Dressing I posted last week and this salad has overtaken cauliflower cheese as my favourite way to serve this particular vegetable. I absolutely adore it as an accompaniment to steak on our patented Steak Fridays. It’s no effort to make and feels very virtuous heaping a pile of delectable vegetables next to your steak. I love the way cauliflower roasts in the oven, the balance is to get it beautifully golden and crisp at the edges of the florets whilst keeping the inside of the vegetable soft and creamy.

Cauliflower needs robust flavour so paired with the sweetness of the red pepper and the pepperiness of the rocket it’s a perfect combo. Then the Tahini Turmeric Dressing is an absolute bonus, bringing all the elements together into a complete dish.

Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Turmeric Dressing

I need all the help I can get making my meals as delicious as possible so that I don’t miss my sugar hit afterwards and this Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Turmeric Dressing really hits the spot.

Print Recipe
Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Turmeric Dressing
This warm Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Turmeric Dressing is the perfect way to serve cauliflower. The cauliflower is golden and crunchy at the edges, soft within and paired with sweet red peppers, lush peppery rocket and drizzled generously with the vibrant Tahini Turmeric Dressing.
Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Turmeric Dressing
Course salad
Cuisine British
Keyword cauliflower, salad
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings
6 people
Ingredients
  • 1 kg cauliflower
  • 2 red peppers diced large
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons Tahini Turmeric Dressing
  • 100 g rocket
Course salad
Cuisine British
Keyword cauliflower, salad
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings
6 people
Ingredients
  • 1 kg cauliflower
  • 2 red peppers diced large
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons Tahini Turmeric Dressing
  • 100 g rocket
Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Turmeric Dressing
Instructions
  1. First par-boil the cauliflower. Place the cauliflower in a large saucepan of boiling water, bring back up to the boil then simmer for 10 minutes.
  2. Drain the cauliflower then tip into a large baking dish with the diced red pepper, tossing together with the olive oil and sea salt.
  3. Roast for 20 minutes, give the dish a good old shake then roast for a further 20 minutes until the cauliflower is starting to crisp and brown.
  4. Remove from the oven and coat liberally with the Tahini Turmeric Dressing.
  5. Serve over the rocket.
Recipe Notes

*Recipe for Tahini Turmeric Dressing here

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Tahini Turmeric Dressing

Tahini Turmeric Dressing

Gluten-Free Cauliflower Cheese

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Simple Brown Rice Salad with Pesto Vinaigrette

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Garbage Salad

Garbage Salad is made at the end of the week to use up all the odds and ends from the fridge, supplemented by fridge staples such as salami and halloumi. No extra shopping required.

Garbage Salad

Garbage Salad has revolutionised the way I look at my fridge at the end of the week. Instead of gazing bleakly into the abyss claiming that there’s nothing for supper but the dog ends of the week’s eating, I can conjure up a delicious and satisfying salad in moments that everyone in the family will eat and enjoy.

Garbage Salad

Garbage Salad began life for me when I was a wee one and my mum was trying to get me to eat more veg. She would simply cut up as much salad veg as she could, stick it in a bowl with tuna, grated cheese, salad cream, crumble crisps into it and call it Mish Mash. I would devour it. I remember clearly sitting on the kitchen counter next to her watching her prepare it whilst sneaking bits of salad and crisps.

Garbage Salad

So I started making the same thing for Cole, with slight variations. Gone is the salad cream as I abhor it in adulthood, I don’t bother with the crisps either as the salad is just as good without, although don’t tell Cole that. What I have realised though is that he gets the majority of his salad in whilst I’m actually preparing it and it’s an activity in itself. He helps make it, eats a load of healthy salad and dinner is done in the bargain. I’m telling you the child can eat his weight in yellow pepper and I’m all for it.

Garbage Salad

What I didn’t expect since I started making it for Cole is how much nostalgia the meal would bring back and then actually how delicious it is. I’ve started making it for my lunches when Cole is at nursery and I’m not getting the slightest bit bored of it. The great thing is that the salad varies every time I make it as it depends on whatever odds and ends we’ve got hanging around the fridge. I used salami and halloumi in this particular recipe as I always keep a good supply of both in for emergency meals since they last an age unopened. If I don’t want salami or halloumi then I substitute with tuna and cheddar. Or maybe bacon and feta. The dressing rarely changes since a bit of mayo, mustard and olive oil takes seconds to prepare but the other week I had some leftover Caesar salad dressing in so I used that instead and it revolutionised the meal once again.

So this recipe isn’t so much a recipe but an inspiration for you to clear out your fridge at the end of the week, before the new shop arrives and make an amazing chopped salad. It makes you feel ultra organised, very healthy and is pretty damn delicious too.

Garbage Salad

Print Recipe
Garbage Salad
Garbage Salad is made at the end of the week to use up all the odds and ends from the fridge, supplemented by fridge staples such as salami and halloumi. No extra shopping required.
Garbage Salad
Prep Time 15 minutes
Servings
2 people
Ingredients
  • 180 g halloumi sliced and grilled
  • 100 g salami cubed
  • ½ avocado diced
  • ½ little gem lettuce chopped finely
  • ¼ cucumber halved, seeds removed and sliced
  • Handful of cherry tomatoes diced finely
  • 1 celery stick diced
  • 3 tablespoons sweetcorn
  • ¼ red pepper diced
  • ¼ yellow pepper diced
  • 2 tablespoons olives sliced
  • small handful parsley leaves finely chopped
Dressing
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon American yellow mustard
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
Prep Time 15 minutes
Servings
2 people
Ingredients
  • 180 g halloumi sliced and grilled
  • 100 g salami cubed
  • ½ avocado diced
  • ½ little gem lettuce chopped finely
  • ¼ cucumber halved, seeds removed and sliced
  • Handful of cherry tomatoes diced finely
  • 1 celery stick diced
  • 3 tablespoons sweetcorn
  • ¼ red pepper diced
  • ¼ yellow pepper diced
  • 2 tablespoons olives sliced
  • small handful parsley leaves finely chopped
Dressing
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon American yellow mustard
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
Garbage Salad
Instructions
  1. Make the salad by tossing all the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Whisk the dressing ingredients together then pour over the salad, mixing well with salad forks.

Coronation Chicken Wild Rice Salad

This Coronation Chicken Wild Rice Salad is one of the recipes I make the most often. It comes with me to every picnic or gathering where I am required to bring food. I never grow tired of it as it’s light, fresh and full of flavour thanks to the curried roasted chicken thighs which are simply out of this world. The wild and basmati rice make it a complete meal where little else is required.

Coronation Chicken Salad

This post is a week late which pretty much sums up the kind of life I’m living right now. If I appear to be on time for anything then it’s probably because my watch has stopped meaning something else for me to add to the never ending to do list.

curried chicken thighs in a roasting dish

a bowl of salad dressing with a spoon in iit

I can’t complain though because it’s been a fantastic week, full of cake, balloons, party hats and bubbles. Yes, the Queen celebrated her 90th birthday at the weekend but in the Hartley household there was another more meaningful birthday this week as Cole turned a full 1 year old. With that I break down into floods of nostalgic tears for little newborn tootsies, tightly curled fingers, sleepy little yawns and without question the endless days where I held onto him contentedly on the sofa, surrounded by cushions, digestive biscuits and binge watching my Gilmore Girls DVDs.

Coronation Chicken Salad

So I haven’t watched a DVD since 2015 and these days Cole pretty much refuses to be held at all, shooting off my lap or out of the pram or out of the car seat as he practices using his wobbly little legs, inching closer and closer to walking. My life mostly involves careening about the house rescuing him from whatever danger he seems to be courting next. I also had to buy him his first pair of shoes as well this week to protect his feet which were getting filthy from London terrain. So it’s milestone after milestone and I’m struggling to keep up.

Coronation Chicken Salad

We celebrated his birthday by taking a hoard of North London mummies and babies to London Zoo along with a giant picnic and we had such an excellent day, even if he did nap through most of the animals. It was a truly British summer day and I made this Coronation Chicken Wild Rice Salad for us all to share. Actually it was a lazy choice of salad as it’s the one I bring to every large picnic gathering and I’ve been meaning to blog about for ages. It’s easy to make, so delicious and good with or without the rice to bulk it out. Even though it’s a mildly spiced coronation chicken, meaning that it’s suitable for adults and babies alike, it is certainly not lacking in flavour due to the freshly ground spices and tangy with lime and yoghurt to make up the dressing along with the usual mayo.

So happy birthday to Her Royal Highness but more importantly to My Royal Highness. It’s been an amazing, non-stop, emotional rollercoaster of a year but one I really don’t want to disembark from.

Print Recipe
Coronation Chicken Wild Rice Salad
This Coronation Chicken Wild Rice Salad is a light fresh and modern take on a classic recipe.
Coronation Chicken Salad
Course salad
Cuisine British
Keyword chicken, salad
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
8-10 people
Ingredients
Curry Paste:
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • seeds from 3 cardamom pods
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
Salad
  • 8 chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 300 ml natural yoghurt
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 225 g wholegrain basmati and wild rice mix cooked according to packet instructions, then cooled
  • 8 dried apricots finely chopped
  • 4 spring onions finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli seeds removed and finely sliced
  • two large handfuls of mixed baby leaves
  • large handful of coriander leaves
  • 50 g flaked almonds toasted
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds black or white
Course salad
Cuisine British
Keyword chicken, salad
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
8-10 people
Ingredients
Curry Paste:
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • seeds from 3 cardamom pods
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
Salad
  • 8 chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 300 ml natural yoghurt
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 225 g wholegrain basmati and wild rice mix cooked according to packet instructions, then cooled
  • 8 dried apricots finely chopped
  • 4 spring onions finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli seeds removed and finely sliced
  • two large handfuls of mixed baby leaves
  • large handful of coriander leaves
  • 50 g flaked almonds toasted
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds black or white
Coronation Chicken Salad
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 190°C
  2. First make the curry paste by grinding together the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, fennel seeds and cardamom seeds until fine using a spice grinder or a pestle and mortar. Tip into a large bowl and add the turmeric, ginger, garlic powder, salt and mix well. Remove 1 tablespoon of the spices and set aside in a small bowl for later.
  3. Stir the coconut oil into the rest of the spice mix until a thick paste has been formed.
  4. Rub the paste all over the chicken thighs until they are evenly covered. Place in the oven and roast for 15 minutes then remove from the oven and scatter over the sesame seeds, place back into the oven, turn the heat up to 220°C and roast for a further 15 minutes. Remove and leave the chicken until cool enough to handle then shred the meat and crisp skin from the bones. Place in a bowl whilst you prepare the dressing.
  5. To make the dressing whisk together the mayonnaise, yoghurt, lime juice and almond butter with the reserved tablespoon of the spice mix.
  6. Mix the chicken, the cooked rice, the chopped apricots, spring onions and chilli in with dressing until completely covered.
  7. Toss the baby leaves and coriander leaves together in a large bowl then add in the coronation chicken, mixing lightly so the leaves don’t get too heavy with the dressing.
  8. To serve, scatter over the flaked almonds, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds.

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Simple Brown Rice Salad with Pesto Vinaigrette

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Spiced Roast Squash and Goats Cheese Salad

Spiced Roast Squash and Goats Cheese Salad combines sweetly caramelised roasted butternut squash, cream and cooling goats cheese with fruity muscat grapes with a garlicky blackberry vinaigrette. A fully satisfying salad as a main meal or a delicious accompaniment as part of a larger meal.

Spiced Roast Squash and Goats Cheese Salad

So the full title of this salad is Spiced Roast Squash and Goats Cheese Salad with Radicchio, Sorrel, Muscat Grapes and Garlicky Blackberry Vinaigrette which would definitely have been the longest recipe title on the blog. Every ingredient is so important in this salad. Oh, and pumpkin seeds. Sorry pumpkin seeds – you know this salad wouldn’t be the same without your good time crunch. Oh, and the rocket – but he’s used to his time in the sun so I don’t feel too guilty about that.

So this is the salad that I have been chowing down on for weeks. I am in the zone. It all started when I chanced upon this year’s bounteous crop of radicchio and sorrel at the farmer’s market. I am an absolute sucker for the bitterness of radicchio and the lemon twang of sorrel, they both make salads so interesting. It’s such a shame that the supermarkets don’t stock more salad leaves individually so unless we are able to get to a good farmer’s market or grocers we are subject to a boring mix of floppy bland leaves whose fate will only ever be to wither and die in a corner of our fridges.

Spiced Roast Squash and Goats Cheese Salad

I think the reason this salad has worked so well for me these past few weeks is that it is so quick to put together, an absolute must since I rarely have more than ten minutes to make lunch and shovel it in whilst my eight-month old is amusing himself for a few moments smushing up his own lunch in his little fist and smearing it all over his face.

Since weaning Cole I have made it a thing to have several tubs of pre-roasted vegetables in my fridge so I can feed him quickly and efficiently but this has also proved invaluable for getting me back on track to a relatively balanced diet. As he’s eating breakfast or having a rare moment of independent play I will happily peel, de-seed, chop and roast a butternut squash or slam some quartered aubergines or courgettes in the oven. Preparing butternut squashes is one of my kitchen peeves but it doesn’t seem so bad if you are not doing it at the beginning of the long road to dinner.

I don’t know why I never thought to run my kitchen in such an organised fashion before, it has made tossing a lunch or dinner together so easy. I initially roast the veg without any salt (we’re in baby country now) or flavouring and then if I’m preparing my own dinner I can give them a 10 minute blast in the oven with all the spices and seasoning in the world and bob’s your bingo they are ready to go. I swear I think I have revolutionised meal prep in my kitchen forever more.

Spiced Roast Squash and Goats Cheese Salad

So all the leaves are torn, the goats cheese crumbled, the squash roasted with some shawarma spices, the heady sweet muscat grapes chopped and the pumpkin seeds are scattered so all that is left to do is the dressing.

Now, here’s where you’re going to feel a bit swizzed with this recipe since the key ingredient of my dressing is homemade blackberry vinegar – a really easy ingredient to source if you spend your late summers bottling vinegars, keeping them under the bed for the rest of the year. However, if you don’t do this then you really should. No, what I meant to say is that if you don’t do this then you might need to do a bit of a search in some specialist online food shops or beg a bottle off your local preserver. If there’s a WI near you, someone will be bottling their own fruit vinegars – guaranteed – and you needn’t be too fussy as any fruity vinegar will do in a pinch. The joy of them is that they imbue such a sweetly rounded flavour to the finished dressing so that all you really need to do is whisk in a bit of Dijon, some seasoning, garlic and then your olive oil.

Spiced Roast Squash and Goats Cheese Salad

The salad is absolutely lovely on its own and serves a good lunch for two, however if you wanted to use it as a side for a bit of grilled lamb or a roast chicken then you will be seriously pleased you did.

Print Recipe
Spiced Roast Squash and Goats Cheese Salad
Spiced Roast Squash and Goats Cheese Salad combines sweetly caramelised roasted butternut squash, cream and cooling goats cheese with fruity muscat grapes with a garlicky blackberry vinaigrette
Spiced Roast Squash and Goats Cheese Salad
Course salad
Cuisine British
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
2 people
Ingredients
  • ½ small butternut squash peeled and cubed
  • ½ teaspoon shawarma spice blend
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 100 g goats cheese crumbled
  • large handful of radicchio roughly torn
  • small handful of sorrel roughly chopped
  • large handful of rocket
  • small handful muscat grapes halved
  • small handful of pumpkin seeds
For the dressing:
  • 2 tablespoons blackberry vinegar or any other fruity vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • ½ garlic clove crushed
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Course salad
Cuisine British
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
2 people
Ingredients
  • ½ small butternut squash peeled and cubed
  • ½ teaspoon shawarma spice blend
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 100 g goats cheese crumbled
  • large handful of radicchio roughly torn
  • small handful of sorrel roughly chopped
  • large handful of rocket
  • small handful muscat grapes halved
  • small handful of pumpkin seeds
For the dressing:
  • 2 tablespoons blackberry vinegar or any other fruity vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • ½ garlic clove crushed
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Spiced Roast Squash and Goats Cheese Salad
Instructions
  1. Toss the butternut squash pieces with the spices, olive oil and a bit of seasoning and roast in an oven pre-heated to 170°C for about 20-25 minutes. When ready remove from the oven and leave to cool to room temperature whilst you prepare the rest of the salad.
  2. In a large salad bowl throw together the goats cheese, radicchio, sorrel, rocket and grapes and set aside whilst you prepare the dressing.
  3. Whisk the blackberry vinegar with the mustard and plenty of salt and pepper until smooth then add the garlic clove.
  4. Keep whisking the dressing then drizzle in the olive oil slowly until the dressing has completely emulsified.
  5. Add the butternut squash to the rest of the salad and then pour the dressing over using a judicious hand.
  6. Finally serve, scattering the pumpkin seeds over as you do.

SHOP THE RECIPE

For the shawarma seasoning blend I use Shawarma Seasoning. Middle East Spices. Their blends are fresh and flavourful and the shawarma spices work extremely well in this recipe.

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Roast Chicken and Feta Salad with Minted Yoghurt Dressing

Chicken and Feta Salad with Minted Yoghurt Dressing

This salad was borne from a desire to use up leftover roast chicken but was such a treat that I made a huge batch of it again the next day, this time roasting up a couple of chicken breasts especially for the event.

Now, I’m not one for do-ahead salads. For starters I don’t like cold salads, they need to be brought up to room temperature first so by the time you’ve decided you’re hungry you might as well have knocked it together there and then rather than twiddling your fingers for half an hour whilst the chill is knocked off your lunch.

Pre-dressed salads are also usually a problem, as heavy dressings render delicate leaves a soggy mulch, or worse if there’s garlic involved create a pungency to the whole affair which detracts from the light bright flavours you began with. My Chicken and Feta Salad with Minted Yoghurt encountered no such issues though and after having made a fair amount to last for a few days I popped it, dressing and all, into the fridge until I was ready to eat it over the next few days.

Chicken and Feta Salad with Minted Yoghurt Dressing

This salad holds no leaves to wilt or garlic to intoxify so the fresh flavours are kept intact. In fact, they are improved upon as the feta simply soaks up flavour so over the next couple of days it took on more depth from the lemon and mint. There is also no oil in the dressing so there is no chance of the dressing weighing down the other ingredients.

Okay, so I did have to take my salad out of the fridge for a bit so the flavours could re-ignite in room temperature but after about 15 minutes of impatience I dove in and found I hadn’t lost anything in its preservation.

Chicken and Feta Salad with Minted Yoghurt Dressing

Now you must be fussy when gathering ingredients for this salad, not only should you insist upon the best tomatoes you can find and of course organic free-range chicken, bone intact and skin on so it retains moisture during its roasting, but this salad also benefits hugely from the inclusion of extremely good feta. Supermarket feta is so hit and miss, more often than not a bit dry and crumbly and until you’ve overdosed on the good stuff in Greece you may not even know how much you like it. I am lucky though to be within spitting distance of Ally Pally farmers’ market on a Sunday where there is an excellent producer eager to offload his wonderful olives, pickled garlic and sundried tomato antipasti. It’s his feta that is the star of the show though, tangy, dense and sublimely creamy, although you have to get to the market early as he always sells out.

Chicken and Feta Salad with Minted Yoghurt Dressing

Roast Chicken and Feta Salad with Minted Yoghurt Dressing

Serves 2

2 chicken breasts on the bone
2 teaspoons olive oil
Juice of ½ lemon
150g cucumber, halved and de-seeded
200g tomato, roughly chopped
3 celery sticks, sliced thinly
½ red onion, halved and sliced thinly
120g feta

For the dressing:
1 tablespoon yoghurt
2 teaspoons mayonnaise
good handful of fresh mint leaves, diced finely
juice of ½ lemon
1/8 teaspoon salt
pepper

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Mix the olive oil and lemon juice with some seasoning then rub all over the chicken breasts.
  3. Place in a roasting tray and roast in the oven for 40 minutes, basting halfway through.
  4. Remove the chicken from the oven and leave to rest whilst you prepare the rest of the salad.
  5. Toss the cucumber, tomatoes, celery and red onion in a large bowl and crumble over the feta.
  6. In a separate small bowl whisk together all your dressing ingredients and pour most of it evenly over the salad.
  7. Toss it all together and heap into bowls.
  8. Remove the chicken from the bone, then slice and serve over the salad, drizzling over a final bit of dressing.

Fennel and Chicory Salad with Mango Vinaigrette

Fennel and Chicory Salad with Mango Vinaigrette
Mango vinaigrette was the first salad dressing I really took note of. Before then I just thought that dressing was a bit of oil and vinegar and there you go. I was still at school and for a treat our form teacher invited the eight of us in her form for lunch after Saturday morning school at her house. Although I’m not sure how much of a treat we thought it was at the time. She meant well but I’m sure she regretted it instantly as we probably took great advantage of her hospitality being bratty teenagers. There is one residing memory I have of this lunch though and that is the homemade mango vinaigrette she served with the salad. The vibrancy of the fruit standing up to the mustardy undertones and tang of white wine vinegar has always resonated with me every time that I have re-created this dressing in my adulthood.

Mango Vinaigrette

Mango is to me a winter fruit. It’s this time of year that I make my mango chutney and lately I’ve been blitzing up the fruit to dash into sparkling water as an alternative to my sorely missed evening gin and tonics. The bright orange flesh and tropicality seem to stick two fingers up at the drizzly weather, bringing sunshine into my grey kitchen.

To use the mango as a dressing ingredient the salad must be comprised of bitter leaves to balance the sweetness. Fennel and Chicory are perfect as their firmness are not overwhelmed by the heavy dressing which might be a failure of a more droopy leaf.

Although I love the mango at the moment I make variations of this salad all year round. It pairs beautifully with a seared tuna steak, with shredded roasted pheasant and when the season comes around again I will probably make huge bowls of it for our summer barbecues.

Fennel and Chicory Salad with Mango Vinaigrette

Like any salad it’s quick to throw together, save a bit of chopping. It’s imperative, and I cannot stress this enough, that you take the time over the slicing of the veg so that the fennel, chicory and onion are as thin as humanly possible. I can get a little bit overbearing about this in the kitchen but it is important so that you do not render the raw fennel and chicory indigestible. The salad should be a joy to eat and if the vegetables are too thick then it could be a bit of a chore.

With most salads I dress them moments before it hits the table but with this one I feel it benefits from half an hour to let the dressing soften the vegetables.

Fennel and Chicory Salad with Mango Vinaigrette

Fennel and Chicory Salad with Mango Vinaigrette
Serves 4-6

1 fennel bulb
2 red chicory
1 red onion, peeled and halved
2 large handfuls rocket
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons honey
1 mango, pureed (4 tablespoons needed)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon water

  1. Slice the fennel, chicory and onion extremely finely then toss them together in a large salad bowl with the rocket.
  2. Pour in the white wine vinegar and salt and pepper into a screw-top jar then screw the lid back on and shake well until the salt has dissolved.
  3. Add the Dijon mustard into the jar and shake again until combined.
  4. Add the honey and shake once more until combined.
  5. Add the pureed mango and shake again. The mixture will be quite thick.
  6. Pour in the olive oil and shake well.
  7. Finally add the water to thin the dressing down a little and give a final good shake so everything has fully combined.
  8. Drizzle the dressing over the salad until all the leaves are just coated, you probably won’t need all of it, saving some for another day.