Family Recipes — Two Bright Salads

Vibrant summer ingredients for a light lunch with friends...

The word “salad” comes from the ancient Latin word “sal” for “salt”. In ancient times, salt was an important ingredient in salad dressing... Why? One would say it is for health benefits pre-consumption, and another would say because it brings the best flavour out of any seasonal produce.

These two family recipes, taken straight from Ali's handwritten collection, feature vibrant summer vegetables set against sharp ingredients, such as balsamic vinegar and blue cheese. It is, however, the combination of crunchy, salty, creamy, and freshness in a salad that is the real secret ingredient...

Roast Pumpkin and Chickpea Salad with Sun-dried Tomato Dressing

1/2 crown pumpkin peeled and cut into medium chunks, olive oil to toss through.
1 tin chickpeas
3/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp brown sugar
salt and pepper
3 cloves garlic
300mls olive oil

Toss pumpkin in oil and roast at 180C until cooked through and slightly caramelized (20-30 mins) Allow to cool. Drain the chickpeas.

To make the dressing - first soak the sun-dried tomatoes in the white wine vinegar, which has been heated in the microwave for 3 minutes.

Once cool, wizz in a food processor with the balsamic, garlic, sugar, salt and pepper. Do not over process, the texture should remain a little chunky.

Lastly, drizzle in the olive oil. Combine the pumpkin and chickpeas in a bowl and drizzle over the dressing to serve.
Maison de Vacances Gingham Linen Apron in Terracotta, $143
Astier de Villatte Simple Salad Bowl, $246.
Luisa Calice Rainette Green Wine Glass, Set of Two $275.

Spinach, Orange and Pine Nut Salad with Blue Vein Cheese Dressing

1 bunch fresh spinach
3 oranges, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup pine nuts, roasted

Wash spinach carefully and remove stalks. Tear leaves into a bowl.
Add oranges and pine nuts and toss gently with blue vein cheese dressing.


1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
Juice and rind of 1 orange
1/2 cup crumbled blue vein cheese
Salt and ground pepper
1 Tbsp chopped mint

Place all ingredients into a blender and mix until smooth.

Astier de Villatte Simple Dinner Plates, $147.
Astier de Villatte Adélaïde Petite Bowl, $177.
Table Runner - Chemin de Campagne by Oeuvres Sensibles, $749.
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