Salads & Small Plates

This makes a great packed lunch, just take the dressing with you in a jar and toss at the last minute. If you can’t find smoked mackerel, any fish works well here, I also love hot smoked trout and salmon or swap in some cooked shredded chicken. I’ve used cooked beetroot here but you can easily buy raw and cook...

This vibrant salad is a melange of fresh, simple ingredients that packs up well for a picnic (just take the feta to scatter on top before you serve). If you don’t like feta, swap with goat’s or any cheese of your choice. Sumac is a Middle Eastern spice that adds sweetness to the dressing....

Smashing is a classic Chinese technique which breaks open the cucumber’s skin, helps release the seeds and splits the flesh into delicious chunks. This spicy sesame dressing is punchy and addictive, so watch out! Start this recipe ahead of time as the dressing needs time to marinate the cucumbers....

The zingy five spice sesame dressing is the key to this bold Chinese chicken salad. Poach a whole chicken and then shred the meat to toss through with the crunchy cabbage, carrots and spring onion. This makes a great packed lunch, just take the nuts in a tupperware container to sprinkle on before eating....

This creamy green feta dressing can be eaten even without any salad, it’s that good! I use witlof as the base of this simple salad but use whatever greens you have on hand. The carrots add a sweet crunch and, if you’d like to bulk this up, add a handful of nuts or perhaps half an avocado, too....

This makes a lovely side to a Moroccan-style braised lamb or a simple roast chicken. One day, I didn’t have an orange in the house, so I used a mandarin instead, which was just as delicious. I’ve also been known to add a handful of feta or some grilled halloumi, too. ...

Brimming with cherry tomatoes, olives and feta, this colourful Greek-inspired pasta is the perfect picnic dish and makes for a great packed lunch. There are so many alternative pastas these days and I just love this with buckwheat pasta. Serve chilled or at room temperature. It makes a terrific accompaniment for barbequed meats and kebabs....

This is an Italian-inspired salad, using crunchy radicchio leaves and a simple dressing. Radicchio has crisp, tightly packed leaves and a delicate, slightly bitter flavour that works well with the peppery-ness of the watercress. You can also use endive or chicory. The honey in the dressing adds a welcome sweetness to the salad but you can also use maple syrup...

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Melissa x