Radish cucumber and chive salad

Have you rediscovered radishes? Their slightly peppery flavour and crunchy texture make for a lively accompaniment. Do like the French and eat them for breakfast with butter. Or like the Italians, with a drizzle of equally peppery olive oil and a wedge of creamy pecorino.

This salad is wonderful with grilled sausages or equally heavy dishes, and dead simple to put together — slice and toss.

  • 1 bunch radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1 cucumber, thinly sliced
  • a few chives, chopped
  • generous drizzle of good peppery olive oil
  • juice of ½ lemon (or so)
  • sea salt and fresh-cracked black pepper

Toss together and serve.

Summertime mixed vegetable salad

“This salad is really inspired by what vegetables you enjoy or what vegetables you can find. Remember: keep it local and keep it fresh! Here is what we put into ours at Wildflower Grill.” — Chef Nathin Bye.

  • 2 red beets
  • 2 golden beets
  • 2 candy cane beets
  • 1 bunch small, multi-coloured carrots
  • 1 grilled green and yellow zucchini
  • 1 bunch grilled asparagus
  • 4 heirloom tomatoes (or whatever fun tomatoes you can find)
  • 1 pint box cherry tomatoes or mini zebra tomatoes
  • 1 bunch local lettuce (whatever you prefer: romaine, green leaf)
  • 1 bunch watercress

All ingredients are added together and tossed with a squeeze of fresh lemon, salt and pepper to taste, then drizzled with the white balsamic vinaigrette.

White balsamic vinaigrette

  • 1 T Dijon mustard
  • 2 T shallots, chopped fine
  • 1 T garlic, chopped fine
  • 1 c white balsamic vinegar
  • ½ c white grape juice concentrate
  • 4 t honey
  • 1 T fresh parsley and thyme
  • 1 c olive oil
  • 2 c canola oil
  • 1 t salt
  • ½ t pepper

Add all ingredients into a blender except the canola and olive oil.

While blender is on, slowly drizzle the combined oils into the blender. Add salt and pepper and then reserve dressing for further use. Serves 6-8 people.

Quinoa salad with spinach, feta, pomegranate and roasted almond

Adapted from Gluten-free Vegetarian. This salad delivers intense flavours along with super nutrition.

  • ½ c water
  • ¼ c black quinoa
  • ½ c sliced almonds
  • 4 c spinach leaves
  • ¾ crumbled feta
  • ¼ c sliced red onion
  • 1 pomegranate, seeded
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • 3 T cold pressed canola oil
  • 1 t Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste

Bring the water and quinoa to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Turn heat off and leave the covered saucepan on the burner for an additional 5 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff with a fork. Set aside.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350ºF. Spread the almonds over a baking sheet and toast in the oven for about 5-7 minutes until they are fragrant and lightly browned. Watch closely.

Whisk the vinegar, oil and mustard in a large bowl. Season lightly as the dressing should be slightly undersalted due to the feta. Add spinach and toss well. Toss again very gently to incorporate the feta, onion and quinoa. Divide between 4 or 6 plates, then toss pomegranate seeds and toasted almonds over. Serves 4-6.

Chili beef salad with cilantro pesto

A Vietnamese-inspired warm salad.

  • 2 medium-sized sirloin steaks, trimmed
  • sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • 1 T olive oil
  • ¼ t chili flakes
  • ½ t fish sauce (or to taste)
  • 1 zucchini, sliced
  • 2 bunches small carrots, peeled and blanced
  • baby spinach leaves
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • juice of ¼ lime
  • cilantro pesto
  • 2 c cilantro leaves
  • 1 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ¼ c pine nuts
  • 1 long green chili, seeds removed and chopped
  • 1 t lemon juice
  • ¼ c olive oil
  • sea salt and cracked black pepper

Season the beef and set aside. Process the cilantro, garlic, pine nuts, chili, lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper in a food processor for 2-3 minutes or until smooth. Brush the beef with oil and chili flakes. Preheat a large non-stick frying pan over high heat (Or preheat the barbecue). Add the beef and cook for 3-5 minutes each side for medium-rare. Let rest for at least five minutes, then slice the beef into thin strips, place in a large bowl, along with the meat juices, fish sauce, vegetables and a squeeze of lime juice. Toss to combine. Check seasoning. Divide the salad between four plates and drizzle with the coriander pesto to serve. Serves 4.

Warm salad of roasted squash, prosciutto and pecorino

From Jamie’s Kitchen. “This is one of those easy salads with a twist. You may have tried a Parma ham, rocket and Parmesan salad with a little balsamic, but by adding warm roasted squash and trying it with Pecorino, which is slightly smoother than Parmesan, it’s a real pleasure and even feels a bit posh.”
Jamie Oliver

  • 1 butternut squash
  • olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small dried red chili
  • 1 heaped t coriander seeds
  • 20 slices prosciutto or Parma ham
  • 4 handsful arugula
  • 6 T extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1 sml block Pecorino or Parmesan

Preheat your oven to 375ºF.

Carefully cut your butternut squash in half, keeping the seeds intact. Remove the 2 ends and discard them. Cut each half into quarters and lay in a roasting tray. Rub with a little olive oil. In a pestle and mortar, pound up a flat teaspoon each of salt, pepper and your chili and coriander seeds. Scatter this over the squash. Roast the squash for 30 minutes or until soft and golden. Allow to cool a little.

Lay your prosciutto on 4 plates — let it hang over the rim of the plates and encourage it to twist and turn so it doesn’t look neat and flat. Tear up your warm squash and put it in and around the ham. Sprinkle over the seeds and the arugula. Drizzle over the olive oil and balsamic, add a tiny pinch of salt and pepper, and use a vegetable peeler to shave over the Pecorino.


The Hardware Grill’s feta-terranean has been a menu stalwart for over 16 years. For good reason, its savoury flavours hit the spot. Exec chef Larry Stewart has provided a home version of the recipe. Try with a glass of Dr. Pauly Riesling.

  • 3 each red and orange peppers
  • 3 large portobello mushrooms
  • 4-5 roma tomato
  • 1 lb goat feta cheese (bring to room temperature before serving)
  • 1 jar good balsamic vinegar
  • ½ c pesto (best to make your own, but store bought will do in a pinch)
  • ½ c mayo
  • extra virgin olive oil

Cut and seed peppers, rub with oil and roast at 400ºF for about 30 minutes, until skin blisters. Cool to room temp and peel. Slice mushrooms ½ inch thick at angle and brush with oil, grill. Reduce balsamic on low heat by 2/3, to syrupy stage. Score tomatoes and drop in boiling water 1 minute then remove skin, quarter. Mix pesto and mayo together and reserve.

To serve: Place mushroom slices on a plate, then alternate peppers with feta and tomato wedges. Drizzle with balsamic syrup, oil and fresh ground pepper. Top with 1 T pesto-mayo Serves 6-8.