Spring salads

A Salade Nicoise makes a delicious mid-week meal.

Despite the welcome rain that fell on Sunday, spring has finally made a tentative entry as the glorious weather on Saturday indicated.

For me that always means salads which can also be transported to work for a healthy lunchbox option when you’re trying to shed some excess winter weight.

Some beautiful fresh salad veggies had just been delivered to my local supermarket when I was shopping last week and I put them to good use in the salads below along with some pantry staples. Loaded with fibre, protein and vitamins they are energy on a plate.

Make enough salad so that the leftovers can go in a lunchbox for work the following day:

Salade Niçoise

This classic French salad which originated in Nice in the south of France is great for a mid-week meal or part of a lazy Sunday lunch.

For four people:


2 tins tuna in water, drained

250g baby potatoes boiled, skins removed

200g green beans, topped and tailed and cooked

3 eggs, boiled

Handful baby tomatoes

Handful black olives


2 tsps drained capers

Three of four anchovies


Layer your salad in a glass bowl or a flat salad platter.

Start with the potatoes – cut them in half and put on your plate. Top with the green beans, then the tuna, then the tomatoes halved.

Cut the eggs into wedges and scatter on top along with the olives, capers and anchovies if using.

Make a vinaigrette using 2/3 olive oil to 1/3 lemon juice or cider vinegar; a tsp mustard and ½ tsp chopped garlic.

Pour over the dressing and serve the salad with a crusty bread and a glass of chilled white wine.

Bean salad with avocado and haloumi cheese

For four people


1 tin butter beans, drained

1 avocado, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks

2 Israeli cucumbers, sliced across thickly

1 large red pepper, cut into strips or 2 mini peppers

1 handful halved baby tomatoes

100 g haloumi, cubed


Layer your salad platter as follows:

Start with the beans; then the cucumber and peppers, then the tomatoes, avo and the cheese.

Dress with avocado oil or olive oil and wine vinegar and season with a liberal twist from the salt and pepper grinder.

If you want to take leftovers to work the following day, don’t refrigerate with the avocado and cut some fresh avo onto the salad on the day.

Great with seed bread or wholewheat rolls.