Salad Splendour

How salads have changed. Gone are the days when asked to make a green salad, you only needed torn lettuce, and  tomatoes, cut into wedges.

Housewives soon decided that the lowly green salad needed an upgrade. So welcome the extra ingredient. This was the one that gave the salad your own personal touch.

If all our friends had to bring green salads and put the bowls on a table, I could, with quite a high degree of accuracy, tell you who brought what. Mary (for obvious reasons I haven’t used their real names) loved to put raw onions in hers. She was criticised by the other women but personally l enjoyed it. Sue always added sliced hard boiled eggs with avo. Daphne tried to be fancy, cheese pieces and pitted green olives were her signature ingredients. Gail, she was a bit nutty, added cashews for crunch. And then there was Patricia. She was the purist. A green salad meant only lettuce to Pat. Her salad contained ordinary lettuce (iceberg), butter lettuce, red leaf, arugula and baby spinach…. Nothing else!

A new kid on the block when it comes to salads is the Asian import, noodles. Noodle salad soon became very popular, pleasing people from all backgrounds.

The following recipe is supplied by

Winter Noodle Salad

I’ve got a spicy miso dressing to serve with this Winter Noodle Salad that will warm your tastebuds right up! The umami satisfying flavour will mean you won’t even miss the meat in this veggie salad.
Even though this is a cold Asian salad, the miso dressing with red pepper flakes and ginger make it feel comforting and satisfying.

So how do we make this Asian Noodle Salad?
First boil some thin egg noodles in a pan with tenderstem broccoli until just cooked (about 3-4 minutes). Drain and run under cold water, then toss in a little sesame oil (to prevent the noodles from sticking) and put to one side.
Next whisk up the miso dressing in a bowl – use white miso paste, olive oil, rice vinegar, lemon juice, honey, garlic, ginger, black pepper and red pepper (chilli) flakes.

Sprinkle on black and white sesame seeds and serve this lovely Winter Salad with the rest of the miso dressing.

In your serving bowl, add the noodles, broccoli, thinly sliced green cabbage, spiralized carrots, thinly sliced red pepper, spiralized cucumber and chopped fresh coriander (cilantro). Drizzle on half the dressing and toss together.

Tip – Serve the salad warm:

If you would like to serve it warm, don’t run the noodles and broccoli under cold water. Just toss with sesame oil as soon as they’re cooked, then mix with the rest of the veggies (the heat from the noodles will warm the other veggies a little too).
You can also warm the miso dressing in a saucepan for a few minutes before pouring onto the salad

The pasta salad stems from America and because of it’s ease in making and versatility, soon gave potato salad a run for it’s money. The following recipe is supplied by:

Macaroni Salad is much different than simple Macaroni pasta. While macaroni pasta has Italian origins, Macaroni Salad is strictly American in origin. Some of the earliest reports of traditional “Macaroni Salad” recipes being published date back to 1914. These recipes served the salad on beds of lettuce, in molds like Jell-O and sometimes mixed with other shelf stable foods like canned tuna.

It has been theorized that Macaroni noodles combined with creamy dressings is America’s melting of two cultures. Macaroni coming from Italian immigrants and mayonnaise based potato salads from German immigrants. 

Simple Macaroni Pasta Salad Recipe

Here’s a simple 15 minute recipe for a macaroni salad that will hit the spot at your next BBQ.

Macaroni Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 package of Dagostino Penne pasta
  • 1 ½ cups of mayonnaise
  • 1 ½ cups of chopped celery
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 3 tablespoons of sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley

Now feel free to get creative with your dressing ingredients and seasoning mixtures. Some add ingredients like pickle juice or sweet pickles, green onions, boiling eggs and even cherry tomatoes to their mac salad.

Macaroni Salad Directions:

  1. Start cooking your pasta according to the package directions, or until pasta reaches al dente. Drain pasta and then rinse under cold water. This will cool the pasta and halt the cooking process.
  2. In a large bowl combine all of the ingredients except for the parsley, celery and bell pepper. This will become your dressing.
  3. Combine dressing with cooked pasta.
  4. Use the parsley, celery and bell pepper to top and mix into the salad.
  5. Place macaroni salad into the fridge and let chill for 1 hour before serving. Bon Appetito!

Going further afield, Niçoise salade originated in the French coastal town of Nice. Being near the sea played a big part in the salad construction. Tuna was introduced and with cherry tomatoes, potatoes, eggs and olive oil, it soon became a salad copied worldwide.

New-age Niçoise salad

Use any smoked fish you like.


  • ¼ cup (60ml) olive oil
  • 4 tsp (20ml) white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp (5ml) Dijon mustard
  • Salt and milled pepper
  • 12 new potatoes
  • 1 packet (200g) fine green beans, blanched
  • 1 packet (200g) olives, drained
  • 3 baby gem lettuce head, halved
  • 4 salad tomatoes, sliced
  • Handful vine tomatoes
  • 300g smoked mackerel
  • 4 boiled eggs, halved
  • Dressing of your choice, for serving
  • Radishes


  1. Combine oil, vinegar, mustard and seasoning.
  2. Halve and roast potatoes.
  3. Place potatoes, green beans, olives, gem lettuce, salad tomatoes and vine tomatoes on a platter. Season.
  4. Add mackerel and eggs.
  5. Serve with dressing and radishes.

Chargrilled feta and green bean salad

Summer on a plate!


  • Dressing:
  • 1 tub (180g) tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 sachet (200g) pitted calamata olives, halved
  • 2 Tbsp (30ml) baby capers
  • ¼ red onion, sliced
  • Handful basil, chopped
  • Handful Italian parsley, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp (45ml) red wine vinegar
  • Ingredients:
  • 1½ packets (350g each) fine green beans
  • 2 Tbsp (30ml) olive oil
  • 4 discs (400g) feta
  • Salt and milled pepper
  • 2 punnets (20g each) watercress or rocket


  1. Combine dressing ingredients and set aside.
  2. Toss green beans in 1 Tbsp (15ml) olive oil and stir-fry in a pan until tender.
  3. Pour dressing over green beans.
  4. Brush feta with remaining oil, season and chargrill in a griddle pan until golden.
  5. Arrange watercress or rocket on a platter and top with green beans and feta. Serve.

The Salad sandwich also goes back aways, originating before fast foods came on the scene. When people didn’t want to waste food they took leftover items like tuna and meat, stuck it on a slice of bread, added lettuce and tomato, smothered it with mayonnaise and voilà, the first salad sammie.

The ultimate salad sandwich

Low in fat but high in flavour.


  • Beetroot tzatziki:
  • ½ cup (125ml) double-cream yoghurt
  • 1 Tbsp (15ml) fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp (15ml) fresh mint, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp (30ml) grated fresh horseradish
  • 1 small beetroot, grated
  • Salt and milled pepper
  • 1 buttermilk rye bread, sliced
  • 1 tub (200g) hummus
  • Filling:
  • 1 can (400g) chickpeas, drained
  • 2 carrots, peeled and grated
  • 2 large baby marrows, grated
  • 1 small red cabbage, shredded
  • Handful radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado, sliced


  1. Mix yoghurt, dill, mint, horseradish and beetroot together and season.
  2. Place four slices of bread on a board and spread with tzatziki.
  3. Divide filling equally among bread slices.
  4. Spread leftover bread slices with hummus, sandwich, slice and serve.

Asian bean and beef salad

Bulk it up by serving with a side of noodles.


  • 1 packet (500g) green beans
  • Glug of olive oil
  • Juice (30ml) of ½ lemon
  • Salt and milled pepper
  • 500g lean beef mince
  • 4cm knob grated ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp (5ml) chilli flakes
  • 2 Tbsp (30ml) fish sauce
  • 2 Tbsp (30ml) lime juice
  • 1 bunch salad onions, chopped
  • 1 fresh coconut
  • 1 tsp (5ml) sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp (30ml) sweet chilli sauce
  • Juice of 1 (15ml) lime
  • 2 Tbsp (30ml) light soy sauce
  • 2 tsp (10ml) ginger


  1. Heat a griddle pan to smoking point.
  2. Toss green beans in a glug of oil.
  3. Grill in batches until tender.
  4. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and salt and pepper.
  5. Brown mince in a glug of oil.
  6. Add ginger, garlic and chilli flakes and fry until fragrant. Remove from heat.
  7. Toss with fish sauce and lime juice and salad onions.
  8. Using a vegetable peeler, shave the flesh of coconut into thin strips.
  9. Spread coconut on a baking tray and bake at 180°C for 10-15 minutes, shaking tray once during baking.
  10. When crisp, cool and store in an airtight container.
  11. Meanwhile, whisk sesame oil, sweet chilli sauce, lime juice and soy sauce.
  12. Using a fine grater, grate in ginger and mix in.
  13. Assemble grilled green beans, spicy beef and toasted coconut in a bowl and drizzle with dressing. Serve.

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