Saturday, August 11th, 2012

Weekend Entertaining Salad Selection

Couscous with harissa chicken, chargrilled zucchini and crunchy, nutty salad, yoghurt drizzle

Coconut chicken pitas with crispy mung bean, cucumber and baby heirloom tomato salsa, lime coconut dressing

Puy lentil and green pea salad with balsamic bacon, egg and pumpkin seed, balsamic dressing

Farro and yellow pea salad with spinach and flaked salmon,white bean and black sesame dressing

Brown rice and garlicky chilli prawn salad, with capers, broccoli and radish, crushed peanuts

All images © Katie Quinn Davies 2012

Also ~ in one or two of the above pics I used some really adorable little jars which I found 2 weeks ago on a very cool little site called ‘Little Ink’ check it out. Suzie ~ the girl who runs it, is wonderful and she has some really adorable bits and pieces on there for sale.

Last weekend we had some friends around for Saturday lunch as six weeks ago they had a beautiful little boy ~ Connor Vincent Martin, and we were dying to meet him and celebrate his arrival with his proud mum and dad, Simon and Bronwyn.

I have been incorporating a lot more pulses, legumes and grains into our diet here for dinners etc. And find, one of the best things to serve for a weekend get-together is a great salad ~ filled full of interesting textural ingredients ~ nuts, pulses, cheeses etc. and paired with a beautiful piece of BBQ fish or lean meat which I love to marinate the night before then chargrill on the day, pair the lot with some amazing crusty sourdough bread a some great chilled wine and you’re set.

I have a recipe coming up in one of my Delicious features, which is an idea along these lines and it’s a great, hassle-free way to entertain. I found with the salad I made on Saturday; Couscous With Harissa Chicken, Chargrilled Zucchini And Crunchy, Nutty Salad, Yoghurt Drizzle it tasted even better the next day and it gave me inspiration to work on some salad recipes which you can use primarily as a main menu item for a lunch or dinner, then use the left-overs for a work lunch the next day.

All the salad takes approx. 30 minutes or so to prepare and all meat can be marinaded the night before so take this into account when prepping. Feel free to omit some of the ingredients i.e. in the Puy Lentil And Green Pea Salad With Balsamic Bacon, Egg And Pumpkin Seed, Balsamic Dressing you can easily exclude the bacon if you want to make it a vegetarian option. Alternatively you could substitute the coconut chicken for haloumi in the Coconut Chicken Pitas With Crispy Mung Bean, Cucumber And Baby Heirloom Tomato Salsa, Lime Coconut Dressing recipe. This is great lunch idea as it’s fantastic served in either wholemeal pita bread or low-fat mountain wraps.

Initially when I was making this latter recipe I asked my husband Mick to taste some of the mung beans straight from the packet ~ I’m going to be honest here, not a lot of true-blooded Aussie men are going to get too enthralled when a plate of mung beans is put in front of them (!) and yep, he totally hated them (LOL), I’ll be frank too, they’re not the first thing I’d be reaching for in a hurry, but they are really good for you, add great texture to a salad and are good and crunchy. I decided the best thing to do with them was to sweeten them up a little in an effort to subdue some of their bitterness, which is the factor I find difficult to warm to. So throw them in a pan with a small amount of light olive oil, a drizzle of agave nectar syrup, pinch of salt and pepper and toast them until crispy and golden, their flavour changes dramatically and a lot of the bitterness disappears. Mick loved them, a total turnaround and they added a really nice texture to the salsa. Mung beans are a nutritional powerhouse; packed full of folic acid (so good if you’re planning to become, or are pregnant), low in saturated fat and sodium, and very low in cholesterol. They are also a good source of protein, thiamin, niacin, vitamin b6, and a very good source of dietary fiber, vitamin C and vitamin K amongst others

I thought a fitting book giveaway this month would be Simon Bryant’s ‘Vegies’.

Simon is a well known chef here in Oz and featured daily on TV in a wonderful show alongside Maggie Beer called; The Cook and the Chef.

I met Simon a few months ago at the 2012/2013 Penguin Book launch, he was a super guy, really cool with a great attitude and lovely to chat to. You can read more about Simon and his background as a chef here at his own website.

On a side note, the book is stunning, one of my faves from this year. I love the design, really great punchy typography, modern, young and striking. It’s a great size and bound beautifully with the superb photos all printed on gorgeous uncoated stock and shot, but the one and only, and a good friend of mine; Alan Benson

From Penguin: 

Simon’s long-awaited debut cookbook is a vibrant, inspiring collection of vegie recipes that will appeal to vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. Simon guides you through the changing seasons, as he shares tales from his vegie patch and brilliant tips for selecting the finest produce. Discover new ways to enjoy your favourite vegies and learn simple cooking techniques to make them really shine.

Simon’s recipes sing with flavour. Comforting dishes such as Sweet potato, peanut and mandarin curry and Beetroot ravioli with roast garlic and lemon-zested chevre and walnuts will warm and nourish during the colder months, while the light, fresh flavours of Lavender and orange broccoli with cous cous and Sugar snaps and capsicum with burnt chilli sambal and basil are perfect for spring and summer. Vegies effortlessly dispels the myth that vegetarian cooking can’t be daring, original and delicious.

To win a copy, simple leave a comment below noting the one fruit and vegetable you’d love to see featured more on What Katie Ate. I’ll be announcing the winner of the last book giveaway – Guillaume’s gorgeous coffee table, cookbook mid-next week ~ stay tuned.

All above cookbook images © Alan Benson | Penguin/Lantern Books


79 Responses to “Weekend Entertaining Salad Selection”

  1. August 11, 2012 at 7:44 am

    What delicious salads! Recently I’ve been inspired to branch out a bit more with salads that incorporate legumes, lentils and grains!

    One fruit I’d like to see more of is: quince
    And one vegetable: leek


  2. August 11, 2012 at 7:56 am

    My dad eats a lot of mung beans so we grew up having them on our plates regularly, I love them. The salads look delicious, I’m printing them out now. Thanks for the pretty layout. The fruit I would like to see more of is pears. The vegetable would have to be broccoli because it’s my son’s fav :)

  3. August 11, 2012 at 8:13 am

    Simon Bryant’s book sure looks enticing!

    I’m going to vote for more fennel (because it’s a bit of an acquired taste, but if you find a nice recipe – like caramelised fennel – it can be awesome).

    Fruit… I can’t quite decide. I’m thinking pomegranate (just very randomly) but I like the idea of quince too!

  4. August 11, 2012 at 8:36 am

    As a recent vegetarian this cookbook looks amazing!!!

    As for what I would like to see more of :)

    Veggie: Jerusalem Artichoke
    Fruit: Persimmon

  5. August 11, 2012 at 9:37 am

    Great Blog Post Katie!

    Vegetable – Fennel! i have been waning to start ‘branching out’ with my vegetables.

    Fruit – Summer stone fruit! getting ready for summer!!!! Peaches, nectarine etc

    Cant wait for your book!

  6. August 11, 2012 at 10:01 am

    Hi, I LOVE vegetarian food (though I’m not one) and would love to see more sweet recipes with Avocado
    Veg: Beetroot.

  7. August 11, 2012 at 10:30 am

    Gorgeous – I would love to win this book.

    Veggie – i have a lifelong obsession with sweet potato – can’t get enough of it.
    Fruit – pomegranate – it is delicious and it would photograph beautifully too ;-)

  8. August 11, 2012 at 10:51 am

    My kids can’t get enough of grapes (delicious roasted) and carrots. I’d be stoked to win this cookbook!

  9. August 11, 2012 at 10:59 am

    Love these recipes!! I would love to learn recipes for artichokes!! :)

  10. August 11, 2012 at 11:42 am

    I’ve been eyeing up this cookbook the past week. Looks amazing. I adore fennel, so am always keen to see new ways to use this underrated veg.

  11. August 11, 2012 at 11:45 am

    Oh boy! That harissa chicken salad looks lush ;)

  12. August 11, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    The vegetable: definitly fennel and the fruit peach! Thanks Katie, your salad recipes all looks stunning!

  13. August 11, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    Thanks everyone for the great comments ~ and how interesting… as so far Fennel is a definite leader! which will be an interesting exercise for me as I am SO not a fan of aniseed LOL! But this is great, gives me something to get my hands into. I do have a great fennel salad in the book and now I’ll playing around. Keep ‘em coming folks. Thanks K

  14. August 11, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    I would love some peas recipes and raspberries!!!!

    Congratulations for your salad post, incredible, yummie!!!

    Hug from Spain

  15. August 11, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    I would love some recipes with peas, abocado and raspberries. Congratulations for your last post, the salad look incredible.
    Hug from Spain

  16. August 11, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    I would choose the germinate if you can call them vegetables.
    Thank you for sharing these great recipes!

  17. August 11, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    Katie- I absolutely adore your site. Amazing photography!

    I would love to see either fennel or leek- two of my faves- that I just can’t seem to make enough of. For fruit- peaches.

  18. August 11, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    Hi Katie, I’m a big fan from Poland :) Yes…I know, far away, but you can’t even imagine how many fans you have here :)

    So fruit: pear
    vegetabels: broccoli

    PS. Can’t wait to see your book!

  19. August 11, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    lovely salad ideas, eyeing that harissa chicken, noms. I would love that book looks gorgeous. I want to see more with watercress. xN

  20. August 11, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    I’d LOVE to win a copy of this book!! For a fruit I’d like to see apricots and for a vegetable I’d say swiss chard.
    ALways LOVE your blog!! ….xo

  21. August 11, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    You are such an inspiration, encouragement and refreshment to me!!!

    Thank you – thank you for sharing! =]

    Katy Noelle

  22. August 11, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    Lovely salad ideas! Would love to see Heirloom Beet Recipe and some Figs for Fall Salads!

  23. August 11, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    oh my, the best selection, thank you for sharing!

  24. August 11, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    oh my, the best selection, thank you for sharing!

  25. August 11, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    I’d love to see more with fennel, for I really like it but somehow I always end up making a pasta-dish with fennel – I need more inspiration. x Andrea

  26. August 11, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    I adore broccoli and blueberries and the benefits from eating them. So those are what I’d like to see more recipes for.

  27. August 11, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    i would love to see more broccoli, more broccoli:)

    best from berlin,anja

  28. August 11, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    Great salad ideas- im a vegetarian and was really inspired.
    I’d love to see more beetroot and peach on the blog. Keep it going!!

  29. August 11, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    Great salads! I’m a vegetarian and these were really inspiring.I’d love to see more beetroot and peach.
    Keep it going! I love this blog!

  30. August 11, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    Awww!…I <3'd the 'Cook and the Chef'& watched all the reruns!! Why did it have to end??Love them both...I have a Maggie beer cookbook that longs for Simon Bryants's book to join her on my shelf! ;)
    Hmm…I’d love to see Fennel exposed {roots & all} And the Pomegranate…But without the seeds!I don’t like them, but luurve the flavour…Is it possible??
    Thanks for the opportunity Katie to voice my opinion…”Bring back the Cook and the Chef”…!!
    Sonya{aka bliss}<3

  31. August 11, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    What a gorgeous chicken harissa recipe Katie! Gorgeous AND healthy too. I love salads and will put your on my “To Cook” list to try. Keep up the good work. And you’re so right – salads are an easy way to take in your legumes and whole grains. Cheers Catherine

  32. August 12, 2012 at 2:33 am

    Katie, you are one of my favorite photographers, I love your work! Can not wait to buy your book. Cabbage and watermelon, should be nice to see in your blog. Thank you!!

  33. August 12, 2012 at 3:30 am

    Will be trying your harissa chicken for dinner sometime this week!

    I’d like to learn more about celeriac: I find it really intimidating. And for a fruit choice, it’d have to be pomegranates.

    I’m so excited to check out the cookbook – I miss the Cook and the Chef…

  34. August 12, 2012 at 3:32 am

    Will be trying your harissa chicken for dinner sometime this week!

    I’d like to learn more about celeriac: I find it really intimidating. And for a fruit choice, it’d have to be pomegranates.

    I’m so excited to check out the cookbook – I miss the Cook and the Chef…

  35. August 12, 2012 at 3:57 am

    Radish! Raspberries! Whatever! I just found your site through Pinterest and I’m totally in love.

  36. August 12, 2012 at 4:41 am

    hi Katie! I like beets and passion fruits and would love to see you work your magic with those ingredients.

  37. August 12, 2012 at 6:07 am

    Oooh… I just discovered your beautiful blog, Katie. Your work is stunning and so inspiring. I’m another fan of the cook and the chef. I loved the show and, as a vegetarian, I am always looking for new recipe ideas.
    As far as fruits and vegetables I would live to see more of, I would say Pears for fruit and spinach for my vegetable choice.
    Thanks Katie. I’m likely to find myself cooking up a storm tonight after these images. :)

  38. August 12, 2012 at 6:47 am

    I’ll just take this chance to say that I love your site. Now for a fruit I would say apricot and vegetable fennel.

  39. August 12, 2012 at 8:03 am

    Love your salad. Please do more of this.

  40. August 12, 2012 at 9:46 am

    Great post once again. It’s always a pleasure to receive news from your blog. Salad topic is particularly welcome by now… a precious source of inspiration for days to come.

  41. August 12, 2012 at 10:28 am

    I love all your recipes, but I would love to see some more featuring the good old staples of every household…. Potato and pumpkin. Fruit is harder but maybe more berries, they always look so delish but apart from chucking them on top of a pav, really not sure :)


  42. August 12, 2012 at 10:55 am

    Thanks for the salads – I am catering for one on a low carb diet, one who is almost vegetarian – always looking for more interesting and tasty vegetable based recipes. And I’d love some ideas for beetroot (purple and golden)- I grow them easily, but then what to do with them.

  43. August 12, 2012 at 11:40 am

    Makes me want summer to some around a lil quicker to start the bbq and make such gorgeous salads.

    Would love to see seasonal fruit and veggies featured, to be inspired to cook what we’ve got in season. But if i had to choose….most aussie backyards have trees loaded with lemons at the moment? And cauliflower always seems to be a challenge to think of new ideas!

  44. August 12, 2012 at 11:46 am

    Vegetable – Rhubarb. I ADORE rhuburb. OMG! Maybe its my sweet tooth. I love any vegetable that can become devilishly sweet!

    Fruit: Mango. There is no fruit that conjures up no greater feeling than a balmy summer than the mango <3

  45. August 12, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    Yum. I would love you to feature more about different types of potato. I never know which type to use for what recipe!

  46. August 12, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    Watermelon and Eggplant!

  47. August 12, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    Love that we are seeing more lentils and veggies with the meat! Fabulous! I’d love to see more ways with the earthy and rather beautiful beetroot! Cawlifower too to get the teens to eat their veggies. LOL on the moong beans … happens here too.
    What a gorgeous sounding book that is Vegies..and stunning photography too. WOW!

  48. August 12, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    Did it eat up my comment? Ummmm…
    Veggie – beetroot
    Fruit – apple

  49. August 12, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    Those salads look delish, I will defo be trying the harrisa chicken one this week!
    I think the veggie I’d like to see more of is fennel root. The fruit I’d like to see more of are plums, they are so delish and I think under-used.

  50. August 12, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    Beautiful, beautiful…

    I’d love to see more on gooseberrys and beetroot. It’s their best season now here in Finland.

  51. August 12, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    those salads looks amazing!
    Stunning photography, food & prop styling.
    Love it.

    I’d love to see more recipes with Fennel, Kale or Swiss Chard

  52. August 12, 2012 at 10:27 pm

    Lovely recipes indeed, nice and healthy!
    I’d like to see parsnips featured, they have such lovely natural sweetness, and also Quince as it still isn’t as well known as it deserves!

  53. August 12, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    swedes please. a very strange and exotic looking vegetable.

    star fruit – how do you use these to gain the best taste from them?

    would love to win this beautiful book (by a spunky man).

  54. August 12, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    It has been such a chilly winter I feel like I have never looked forward to Spring more.

    Vegetable: Asparagus
    Fruit: Strawberries

    I’m ready Springtime!

  55. August 12, 2012 at 11:51 pm

    I have a tonne of oranges that I never know what to do with other than making juice or eating as is, so a recipe with oranges would be grand.

    I’m also stumped when it comes to celery beyond dunking it in dip.

    An additional request I would absolutely love would be a tutorial on how to make different types of cheeses at home then recipes you can use them in…I think I must spend 50% of my pay on Haloumi and ricotta every week! haha

  56. August 12, 2012 at 11:53 pm

    I have a tonne of oranges that I never know what to do with other than making juice or eating as is, so a recipe with oranges would be grand.

    I’m also stumped when it comes to celery beyond dunking it in dip.

    An additional request I would absolutely love would be a tutorial on how to make different types of cheeses at home then recipes you can use them in…I think I must spend 50% of my pay on Haloumi and ricotta every week! haha

  57. August 13, 2012 at 6:55 am

    Wow, can’t wait to great out the farro and split peas! Thank you for the inspiration.

    Any chance of a few more kale recipes?

    Thanks again for such a lovely place to visit… x

  58. August 13, 2012 at 7:35 am

    Veggie: fennel…fennel…and fennel…xoxoxoxoxo
    Fruit: plum…xoxoxoxox

  59. August 13, 2012 at 10:30 am

    would love love love this cook book to squeeze onto my shelf

    I always want to buy Daikon but have no idea how best to use it
    as for a fruit I have a fruit bowl overloaded with mandarins at the moment which I am sick of peeling and eating.

    love your work Katie’

  60. August 13, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    i’m not sure if this counts but preserved lemon? i mean, it is fruit. i just always seem to have some and never know what to do with them besides tagine.

    as for veg, avocado (except i think maybe that’s also a fruit?). because i love it so much and it would be great to use it in more dishes, if not all dishes!

  61. August 13, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    wow, this looks delicious!
    i’ll have to try these recipes, they seem perfect for a summer lunch/dinner.
    xo, cheyenne

  62. August 13, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    Yum they all look amazing! We have friends coming for lunch tomorrow so I may have to make the harissa chicken salad as part of our meal.

    My favourite veggie I’d like to see more recipes with is eggplant. And for a fruit, some more ideas with berries.

  63. August 14, 2012 at 12:02 am

    I would love to see more recipes with yellow squash. I think the only ways I heve ever had it are steamed or roasted and surely there must be more ways to cook with it?

  64. August 14, 2012 at 1:53 am

    I am making that couscous salad tonight, but instead of chicken i have taken a lamb rack out of the freezer, but i think it will go perfectly.

    I would love to see more recipes for the following, as i don’t really know what to do with them:
    Veg – Celeriac
    Fruit – Persimmons



  65. August 14, 2012 at 3:19 am

    Wow Katie, your lentil and green pea salad looks fantastic! I am a big fan of The Cook and The Chef and would love to read Simon’s book.
    Vegetable: cauliflower
    Fruit: peaches

  66. August 14, 2012 at 5:59 am

    Can’t wait to make these salads Katie, I love them!!

    And Simon’s book looks wonderful!

    I always get beetroot in my co-op veggie box haul and am at a loss with what to do.
    And fruit – raisins!

  67. August 14, 2012 at 8:05 am

    Thanks for your yummy recipes, I’m going to attempt the chicken salad tonight, yum, I can’t wait!

    And what a gorgeous book! that Simon sure is a clever guy, it looks absolutely heavenly.

    As for fruit & veg I’d like to see more recipes of / and therefore cook with:

    Veg: green papaya
    Fruit: figs

  68. August 14, 2012 at 9:23 am

    great salad ideas! will definitely try them out! :)

  69. August 14, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    Veg: I see kohlrabi sometimes at the farmer’s market but never pick them up because I don’t even know where to begin with them.

    Fruit: Blood Oranges. They’re in season at the moment and I want to see what they can be made into!

  70. August 14, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    Delicious and unique salad flavors! I’ve been trying to incorporate more legumes/lentils and find it so flavorful and comforting in salads :)

  71. August 14, 2012 at 11:54 pm

    I can’t say I’m a fan of fennel – too aniseedy for me! Although I did try a salad done with really finely sliced fennel and lemons – just both put through a fine slicer in the food processor – cant remember what else was in it but I remember being shocked by how good it was!

    I am obsessed with mushrooms – done anyway, they can be rich and homey or fresh and zingy – ill always gravitate towards a recipe that celebrates the humble mushie. :)

    Fruit is a tough one – I am a baker so love cooking with apples, summer fruits and berries. One thing I would love to see more ideas for how to use it is preserved lemons.

    Thanks for the inspiration – I have recently discovered – and LOVE your blog. :)

  72. August 15, 2012 at 12:39 am

    To alualuna… Karen Martini has two of my favourite recipes which would be perfect for you. Fennel & Brown Rice Soup as well as Cardamom & Orange Chicken with Pomegranate Dressing. So yum! They were both published in The Age & you can find them online. x

    As for me, recipes featuring Australian bush greens would be amazing!

  73. August 15, 2012 at 6:15 am

    What a great idea. The harissa chicken salad looks amazing!

    For me, the veg would be: celeriac. One I’ve been meaning to give a go.

    Fruit: plums. I like my fruit to have a sharp edge to them.

  74. August 15, 2012 at 11:41 am

    thank you for sharing these great salad ideas. i am a huge fan of couscous but since always i make the same recipe – until today.

  75. August 15, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    Love all the salad ideas! The book looks amazing, I’m a strict vegetarian so always on the hunt for new veg cooking ideas!

    I’d love to see more Aubergine/Eggplant recipes on What katie Ate, as I always end up roasting them and would love to see some inspiring ideas for other ways of cooking them.

  76. August 15, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    Hi Katie – beautiful website and awesome photography. Thanks for the opportunity to win Simon’s cookbook.
    Vegetable: globe artichoke
    Fruit: guava

  77. August 16, 2012 at 7:04 am

    What a beautiful post Katie! So many fun twists and original spins on the everyday ‘salad’… beautiful photos, thank you for the inspiration and the chance to win Simon’s lovely cookbook!

  78. January 10, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    that all looks so delicious. just discovered your site, and I am so glad I did. look forward to going through the archives.

  79. February 5, 2013 at 11:12 am

    This is exactly the fourth post, of yours I went through.
    Yet I really love this specific 1, “What Katie Ate

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