Gourmet salad at its best | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 05, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, December 05, 2017


Gourmet salad at its best

Anyone who is going to exclaim in repulsion when they hear 'salad' has clearly been brought up wrong! On its own or as a side for your meal, salads are always a great to look forward to; be it a fancy salad you serve on the weekends, which will clearly be instagram-able or just a packed lunch for the office. Whether you are a fan of traditional salads like the Caesar, Waldorf, the classic cobb or just a simple garden salad with lettuce, tomato and dressing, it's safe to assume we can all agree that the ingredients make the salad. They are the star of the show, do choose the freshest of them all!



1 cup fresh malta juice

½ cup honey, 3 tbsp, dried rosemary

1 tsp each, salt and freshly ground black pepper (add more salt to your taste)

900g skin on chicken, thighs and legs

1½ cups cilantro leaves and stems (the tender ones)

3 tbsp roughly chopped pistachios

16 seed removed dates, halved lengthwise (optional)

3 malta, peeled and sliced ¼ of an inch, thick crosswise

½ pomelo, peeled and sliced ¼ of an inch, thick crosswise

1 lemon, peeled and sliced ¼ of an inch, thick crosswise



Mix the juice, honey, rosemary, salt, and pepper in a bowl; add chicken and toss to combine. Marinate for 30 minutes, or until ready to use. Heat your oven to medium (alternatively, heat a pan or grill pan over medium-high heat). Remove chicken from marinade, and transfer to grill; cook skin-side down, flipping once and pouring a spoonful of the marinade to baste occasionally. Until charred and cooked through, 12-15 minutes. Transfer chicken to a cutting board, and let rest for 15 minutes before serving. Meanwhile, toss cilantro, pistachios, dates, and citrus pieces. Serve.



4 sweet potatoes, diced

2 small onions, diced, 1 bulb garlic

1 tsp dried rosemary, 2 tbsp olive oil

1 cup dry couscous (you can also use quinoa)

1 tbsp almond milk

Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 200 degrees. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (or just oiled), combine sweet potatoes, red onion, chickpeas, 1 tbsp olive oil, pepper and rosemary. Cut the top off the bulb of garlic. Wrap the garlic with aluminium foil, leaving the cut top exposed. Drizzle on some olive oil. Seal the top and place on baking sheet with vegetables. Cook for 35 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove vegetable from oven and season with salt. Leave the garlic in oven for an additional 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook couscous according to package directions. When cool enough to handle, remove the roasted garlic from the skin and mash together in a small bowl. Add the almond milk and combine well. At this point, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and mix until there is a smooth and even consistency.

In a large bowl, combine vegetables, couscous, and roasted garlic sauce. Mix well and serve.




1 beet, cut into circles

¼ an inch thick

3 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp white vinegar (or balsamic, apple cider or rice)

A pinch of salt

5 cloves of garlic roughly chopped

Freshly cracked pepper to taste


Cut the beet into rings and arrange on a nice plate. You want it all spread around so no tossing is needed when the dressing is poured over. Arrange the mint leaves on top of the beets. In a small bowl mix all the ingredients together. With a fork vigorously beat the vinaigrette. Taste, does it need more salt and pepper? If so, add in small pinches and check as you go. Pour over the beet and mint. Serve.



Dressing —

Zest of 2 limes, Juice of 2 limes

2 garlic cloves, crushed and minced

1 tbsp rice vinegar (simple white vinegar would do)

1 tbsp chopped chives (found in Gulshan 1 market)

2 tsp sugar


100g fresh strawberries, sliced

2 oranges

½ cup sliced radish

3 onions, sliced

1 tsp sugar, Salt and pepper, to taste

1 head of leaf lettuce, roughly chopped (you may use Iceberg lettuce)


For the dressing —

Zest the limes; soak the zest in hot water for 2-3 minutes. Mix together the lime juice, garlic, vinegar, chives, and sugar. Drain the zest and mix that in too. Mix together the strawberries, oranges, radish, and onion. Add sugar, salt and pepper, and let it sit for 5 minutes. Add half of the lettuce and all the dressing. Mix well. Then add the rest of the lettuce and mix again. (My mum also likes to put some mustard oil with it, if you want you could add it, it does taste good). Serve with fresh toasted whole wheat bread.


It is a life skill to know how some salad dressing in your cooking repertoire. Here are three that I really like and are very hard to mess up. The ingredients in them sing on their own anyway, put them together and you have the best salad dressing!  I have also listed the calories for the health conscious. 



¼ cup apple cider vinegar

½ cup olive oil

2 tsp Dijon mustard

1 tbsp garlic, minced

1 tsp sea salt (add more if needed; you can get sea salt from K-Mart)

½ tsp freshly ground black pepper (add more if needed)


Add all ingredients into a blender and blend until combined or add to a mason jar and shake to combine.

Nutrition per serving

163 calories, 18g fat, 1g carbs, 0g sugar, 0g fibre, 0g protein




1 lemon, juiced, 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp honey (or maple syrup for a vegan version)

2 tbsp Dijon mustard, ½ tsp mince garlic

¼ tsp sea salt

Ground pepper, to taste, ¼ cup olive oil


Add all ingredients into a blender and blend until combined or add to a mason jar and shake to combine.

Nutrition per serving

106 calories, 9g fat, 7g carbs, 6g sugar, 0g fibre, 0g protein



¼ cup peanut butter

1 clove garlic, chopped

2 tsp fresh ginger, chopped

2 tbsp rice vinegar

2 tbsp low sodium tamari or soy sauce

2 tbsp maple syrup

A pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)

Water, to thin


Add all ingredients into a blender and blend until combined. Add water to thin.

Nutrition per serving

107 calories, 7g fat, 13g carbs, 7g sugar, 0g fibre, 3g protein



4 cups arugula

½ cup pear, thinly sliced

½ cup papaya, cut into chunks

¼ cup sunflower seeds, lightly toasted (if not already)

Lime-mustard vinaigrette

2 tsp lime juice

2 tsp whole grain mustard

2 tbsp olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste


Whisk the vinaigrette ingredients together. Toss the arugula, pear, papaya and sunflower seeds and toss with dressing.

Photo: Collected


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