Salads used to be delegated to bland diet food or small, unsatisfying starters. But that’s not the case anymore, and we’re way beyond iceberg lettuce and sliced cucumber. The trick: adding protein and fiber-rich ingredients like beans, nuts and cheeses to the crunchy and delicious vegetables, plus creating dressings made with good-quality oils loaded with healthy fats and fresh herbs that deliver a big punch of flavor.

If that sounds delicious, try one of these spring salads from the new cookbook Salad Meals, which are filling enough to be your meal’s centerpiece and packed with enough flavor that you’ll want to make them again and again. And if you’re not careful, your crew will be begging for salad!

Spring Leafy Salad

(Serves 2)

10 1⁄2 oz. stale bread, blitzed to crumbs
31⁄2 tbsp. olive oil
1 garlic clove, grated
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp. fennel seeds
Large pinch hot pepper flakes
1 head chicory
1 head little gem lettuce
2 carrots
2 asparagus spears
1 baby cucumber
10 Brussels sprouts, finely sliced
1 handful chervil or dill, chopped
1 bunch tarragon, chopped


1. In a skillet over medium, fry crumbs in oil 5 minutes. Add garlic, zest; fry until golden. Add next 2 ingredients, fry 1 minute. Cool.
2. Place chicory and lettuce on 2 plates.
3. Peel carrots, asparagus and cucumber into ribbons; add to plates with Brussels sprouts.
Top with dressing*, herbs and crumbs.

*For dressing: Mix a grated piece of ginger, 2 grated garlic cloves, 2 chopped shallots, 4 tbsp. toasted sesame oil, 2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar, 2 tsp. brown miso paste, 1 diced red chili, and the zest and juice of 2 limes.

PER SERVING: 1,002 calories, 20 grams protein,105 grams carbs, 16 grams fiber, 16 grams sugar, 59 grams fat.

Light and Tasty Spring Salads 991
Emily Esskist/Hardie Grant Publishing

Spiced Carrot Salad

(Serves 2)

10 rainbow carrots, with tops
4 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. fennel seeds
1 tsp. coriander seeds
Zest and juice of 1 clementine
1 tbsp. honey
1 handful smoked almonds
3⁄4 cup grated Parmesan
1 handful basil leaves
1 red chili
1 handful arugula


1. Heat oven to 350°F. Cut tops off carrots and save. On a baking sheet, toss carrots with 1 tbsp. oil and next 4 ingredients. Roast 20 minutes, tossing halfway.
2. Add a large handful of carrot tops to a blender with next 4 ingredients, remaining oil and 3 tbsp. water. Season with salt; blitz until smooth. Set aside.
3. Toss carrots with half of pesto, arugula and crispy chickpeas*. Put on 2 plates. Serve drizzled with pesto.

*For chickpeas: Heat oven to 425°F. Pat 14 oz. of chickpeas dry. Toss with 1 tsp. kosher salt and 3 tbsp. olive oil. Roast 15 min. Add zest of 1 lemon and 1 tsp. hot pepper flakes; roast until crisp.

PER SERVING: 1,027 calories, 30 grams protein, 79 grams carbs,19 grams fiber, 28 grams sugar, 72 grams fat.

Light and Tasty Spring Salads 989
Emily Esskist/Hardie Grant Publishing

Fava Bean and Pea Salad

(Serves 2)

1 3⁄4 cups podded fava beans
2 ⁄3 cup fresh peas
Zest and juice of 1⁄2 lemon
1 small handful mint leaves
1 handful pea shoots
2 handfuls mixed greens
1 handful croutons
2 burratina balls or 1 burrata


1. Bring a medium saucepan of slightly salted water to a boil. Add fava beans; simmer 4 minutes. Add peas; cook 1 minute. Drain in a colander and briefly rinse under cold water.
2. Add beans and peas to a large bowl. Then add lemon zest and juice and dressing*, and toss until coated. Add next 4 ingredients and toss to combine.
3. Divide salad between two bowls and place a burratina or half the burrata in the middle of each.

*For dressing: Chop 1⁄2 bunch each cilantro, parsley and dill and add to a bowl. Coarsely chop 2 tbsp. capers and add to bowl with 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar, 1 garlic clove, 8 tbsp. olive oil, 1 diced red chili and salt and pepper. Mix together.

PER SERVING: 1,211 calories, 50 grams protein, 121 grams carbs, 46 grams fiber, 14 grams sugar, 65 grams fat.