Salads on a stall in Eastern Turkey 2015


Many of the best salads are born of serendipity, made from ingredients thrown together because one happens to have them. These are some pleasing combinations, but all can be altered according to what is available. The side salads mostly are good either as an accompaniment or as a starter; the larger salads can make a light meal, or in smaller portions can serve as a starter.


Side salads



Larger salads

See also Salmon and aubergine salad and Mackerel and potato salad in the fish section.


To make this condiment your poet begs
The pounded yellow of two hard-boil'd eggs;
Two boiled potatoes, passed through kitchen

Smoothness and softness to the salad give.
Let onion atoms lurk within the bowl,
And, half-suspected, animate the whole.
Of mordant mustard add but a single spoon,
Distrust the condiment that bites too soon;
But deem it not, thou man of herbs, a fault
To add a double quantity of salt;
Four times the spoon with oil of Lucca

And twice with vinegar procur'd from town;
Lastly o'er the flavour'd compound toss
A magic soupçon of anchovy sauce.
Oh, green and glorious! Oh, herbaceous

Twould tempt the dying anchorite to eat;
Back to the world he'd turn his fleeting soul,
And plunge his fingers in the salad-bowl!
Serenely full, the epicure would say,
Fate cannot harm me, I have dined today.


(Rev. Sydney Smith, 1839 in a letter to his daughter)






1 ½ - 2 avocadoes

3 heads chicory

200gr/7 oz cooked sweetcorn kernels (tinned are fine)

3-4 tablespoons olive oil

1 dessertspoon wine vinegar

1 big tablespoon French mustard (preferably the grainy sort)


This is good either as first course or as a hearty salad.

Cut the chicory into 3 cm/1 in slices. Peel and cut the avocado into 3 cm/1 in pieces. Put the chicory, sweetcorn and avocado into a salad bowl and dress with the remaining ingredients.




This is a good salad for eating with grilled oily fish like mackerel or sardines.

1 medium beetroot, cooked and peeled

1-2 medium tomatoes, peeled and deseeded

1 small shallot, peeled and finely chopped or crushed or put through a garlic squeezer

1 clove garlic, peeled and very finely chopped

1 dessertsp red wine vinegar

1 small tsp sugar

olive oil, salt, pepper, basil

Cut the beetroot and tomato into smallish chunks. Mix together the vinegar, sugar, garlic  and shallot. Once the sugar is dissolved, stir in 1-2 tbsp olive oil and pour this dressing over the tomato and beetroot. Add salt and pepper and mix well. Sprinkle some torn basil leaves (if available) over the top.




1 cucumber

200gr cherry  or other sweet tomatoes

100-200gr feta

White wine or cider vinegar

1 tablespoon chopped dill (or chives or mint)

Salt, pepper, caster sugar, good olive oil


Peel the cucumber and remove the central core if the seeds are other than minimal. Cut into 1 cm cubes. Mix with 1 teaspoon each salt and sugar and 1 dessertspoon vinegar. Put into a colander, place the colander on a plate and leave the cucumber to drain for half an hour or more. Cut the tomatoes and feta into similarly sized cubes. Add to the drained cucumber.  Drizzle with olive oil, grind some pepper and scatter the dill over the top.



A good accompaniment to cold meats. Can be served lukewarm or cold.


250gr shelled young broad beans (frozen will do)

100gr new or waxy potatoes

50-75gr feta

12 pitted black olives, chopped in half

1½ tablespoons finely chopped shallot

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 dessertspoon wine or cider vinegar


Peel the potatoes and cut into thick slices. Cook in boiling salted water for 10 minutes. Add the broad beans and continue cooking for another 5-10 minutes or so,  until both potatoes and beans are cooked. Drain and mix with the olive oil, vinegar, parsley, shallots and olives. Crumble the feta on top. 







Originally, salade niçoise was made with raw vegetables (tomatoes, peppers, tiny broad beans, celery, spring onions), hard-boiled eggs, anchovies and olives – never cooked potatoes or green beans, or tuna. This version uses some cooked vegetables, but is relatively light on the tuna (which can indeed be omitted altogether).

4 eggs

400gr small new or waxy potatoes

12 anchovy fillets (or one 30gr tin)

100-150gr good quality tinned tuna (optional)

200gr green beans, topped and tailed

100gr shelled young broad beans (frozen will do)

4 ripe tomatoes, peeled and cut into four

2 inner stalks of celery, sliced

4 spring onions, trimmed and sliced into thin rounds

2-3 tablespoons black olives

1-2 cloves of garlic peeled and very finely chopped

parsley or basil

1 tablespoon capers

olive oil, wine vinegar, salt and pepper

Cook the potatoes, peel and cut into bite-size pieces. Boil the eggs for 7 minutes and peel. Cook the green beans and broad beans and refresh under cold running water. Make a dressing with 1-2 tablespoons of vinegar, 150ml olive oil, chopped garlic, salt and pepper.  Mix the beans, potatoes, celery, spring onions, olives and capers together with the dressing. Arrange the quartered eggs, anchovies, tuna and quartered tomatoes on top and sprinkle some chopped parsley and/or torn basil leaves over them.   



GREEN BEAN AND MOZZARELLA SALAD  (for 2, or 4 as a first course)

150-200gr green beans

125-150gr mozzarella

1 large (beef-type) tomato (or equivalent smaller tomatoes), peeled and deseeded

100gr tinned tuna in olive oil, drained of its oil

1 small clove garlic, peeled and very finely chopped

olive oil, salt, pepper, fresh basil

Top and tail the beans and cut into short lengths. Cook in boiling salted water until just done, drain and place in a salad bowl. Add the garlic and salt and pepper to taste, and toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Cut the mozzarella and tomato into 2 cm pieces, and flake the tuna. Arrange on top of the beans and sprinkle with a few torn basil leaves.



This is Elvira Fei's recipe for Panzanella.


300gr stale crusty bread

3 hard-boiled eggs

1 large cucumber, skinned

1 large white onion, peeled and finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped

1 large tomato, peeled, deseeded and chopped

Handful parsley, finely chopped

2-3 basil leaves, chopped

1 large and 1 small tin tunny, flaked

Olive oil, salt, pepper, vinegar (to taste)

Soak the bread in a little water and then squeeze it out. Add all the other ingredients and toss. Leave in a cool place overnight to allow the flavours to mingle.




This makes both a good summer main course or a first course for four people. The recipe is based on a dish that was served at the Carved Angel in Dartmouth when it was in the hands of Joyce Molyneux.

1 skinned chicken breast

Chicken stock (from cube will do)

½ -1 avocado, depending on size

¼ - ½  melon, depending on size

Handful of watercress or rocket

1 dessertspoon white wine vinegar

½ teaspoon elderflower cordial

2 tablespoons groundnut or sunflower oil

1½ tablespoons single cream

1 dessertspoon finely chopped tarragon or fresh mint



Poach the breast for about 15 minutes in the barely simmering stock. Leave in the stock for 10-15 minutes, then remove to cool (it need not be too cold). Cut it into thickish slivers. Peel and cut the melon and avocado into smallish chunks and mix with the chicken. .Make the sauce by whipping together the last seven ingredients. Pour over and mix well. Serve surrounded by the rocket or lettuce.




A good salad for a buffet or picnic. 3-4 tablespoons of chopped black olives can be used instead of the sun-dried tomatoes.


3-4 chicken thighs

250gr green beans (preferably the flat stringless sort) - sugar snap peas or mangetout are

  also good

400gr tin of chick-peas, drained and washed

100gr sun-dried or sun-blushed tomatoes (partially rehydrated)

1-2 cloves garlic, skinned and slightly crushed

2 tablespoons each chopped parsley, mint and chives

Salt, pepper, olive oil, Dijon mustard, wine vinegar, thyme or origano


Season the chicken thighs well with salt and pepper. Heat some olive oil in a frying pan with the garlic and a couple of sprigs of thyme (or equivalent dried thyme). Add the chicken thighs and fry gently, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes or until cooked through, turning once or twice. Turn up the heat and continue cooking skin side downwards, for a further 5 minutes or so until the skin is nice and brown and crispy. Leave to cool and cut the meat (with the skin) into short strips. Top and tail the green beans and cut them into 3cm/1 inch lengths. Cook in boiling salted water until done. Drain and refresh briefly in cold water. Peel the skin off the sun-dried tomatoes (fiddly, but it does make a difference) and chop them roughly. Mix the chicken, chick-peas, beans, sun-dried tomatoes and chopped herbs together and dress with a mustardy vinaigrette. Serve at room temperature.





200gr chicken livers, cleaned and cut into bite-sized pieces

1 small onion, peeled and chopped

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 pinch chili powder

2 cm piece of ginger root, peeled and grated

2 chicory heads (or cos or little gem lettuce), cut or torn into 3-4 cm pieces

1 tablespoon chopped green coriander

2-4 tablespoons yoghurt (optional)

200-300gr new potatoes, peeled, cooked and kept warm

salt, sunflower or rapeseed oil

Melt the onion in 2 tbsp oil, and add the ground cumin, ground coriander, chili and ginger. Cook for a few more minutes. Add the chicken livers and fry gently on all sides until done. Add the potatoes and warm through. In a salad bowl, toss the chicory or lettuce and the green coriander togethner with the chicken livers and potatoes with their oil and spices, adding salt to taste. Serve immediately, with yoghurt spooned on top if desired.  



This makes a good light meal, and can be served with new potatoes.

250-300gr salmon fillet

1 largish courgette

250gr tomatoes, peeled and deseeded

2 tablespoons of stoned and chopped green olives

1 garlic clove, peeled

Dill or other green herb

Olive oil, cider vinegar, wholegrain mustard, salt, pepper

Poach or grill the salmon until just cooked. Leave to cool a bit and remove any skin or bones. Plunge the tomatoes for 15 seconds into water that has just boiled for 15 seconds and then slip off their skins. Cut into bite-size chunks, squeezing out most of the seeds. Cut the courgette into quarters lengthwise and then into 2 m chunks. Heat a little olive oil in a saucepan or frying-pan and gently fry the courgettes, without allowing them to gain too much colour, until they are just soft (they should still have some bite). Push the garlic through a garlic squeezer into the courgette pan and mix well in while the pan is still hot, so that the garlic is heated enough to lose its raw edge. Pour the courgettes, oil garlic and all, into a serving dish. Add the tomato pieces, olives, salt and pepper. Make a dressing with a little olive oil (not too much, as the salad already contains the oil from the courgettes), a dessertspoon of cider vinegar and a dessertspoon of wholegrain mustard. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix in. Flake the salmon over the top and gently fold in so that it does not disintegrate too much. Sprinkle copiously with dill. Serve lukewarm or cold.


SALADE AU LARD (for 2-4)


This is based on a recipe from the Ardennes.


1 endive (scarole) or curly endive (scarole frisée)

4-8 new or waxy potatoes (such as charlottes), peeled and cooked

150-200gr lardons

1 shallot, peeled and finely chopped

Olive oil, salt, pepper


Wash the endive and cut into bite-sized pieces, eschewing tough outer leaves. Fry the lardons in a little olive oil until gilded. Slice the potatoes and add to the lardons along with the chopped shallots and the endive. Mix together well. Continue frying gently and turning until the endive is beginning to wilt. Season generously with salt and pepper and serve while still warm.