Denman Masthead

Five fab salads

Chrissy Dupé

We’re coming up to the warmer weather, and Spring fashion is starting to hit the stores. So I thought it rather timely to whip up some fabulous, fresh salads to get myself summer-ready.

I don’t know about you, but if I’m going to eat a salad that’s not a garnish for a succulent piece of meat, it had better be the best damn thing I’ve ever tasted.

Don’t give me any of that organic quinoa with kale and rainbow chard crap. I don’t care if it’s hand-picked at sunset by a hipster with a community garden who serves it in a mason jar. I want flavour. I want texture. And I want ingredients that I’d eat on their own.

I mean, let’s be real… no one eats lettuce outside of a salad unless it’s the vehicle that’s driving the San Choi Bao into your face.

So this week I decided that I would be (reasonably) healthy and team with the fashion theme by pimping some classics and making them totally celeb-worthy. I figure this way I get to feel both virtuous AND fabulous.

New Season Nicoise (wearing truffle oil vinaigrette) 

Nicoise salad with smoked trout, quail egg and truffle oil vinaigrette. Oooh la la!

Prep time: 10 mins  |  Cook time: 20 mins  | Servings: 2


what you need

for the salad

50g smoked trout

4 quail eggs, boiled

Handful of rocket leaves

4 vine ripened baby tomatoes, quartered

1 tbsp slivered almonds, toasted

for the vinaigrette

1/2 tsp white truffle oil

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp fresh finely chopped tarragon

Generous pinch freshly ground black pepper and sea salt

what to do

Prepare your salad ingredients, then toast your almonds by cooking in a frypan over medium heat, stirring often to avoid burning, until golden (about 4 minutes). Remove and let cool on paper towel.

Boil your quail eggs for 3 minutes, then run under cold water and leave for 5-10 mins before peeling.

Assemble salad, including quail eggs, halved. Mix all truffle oil vinaigrette ingredients together well and drizzle over salad, scattering with slivered almonds to serve.

High-end Haloumi with Dressing du jour

Haloumi, eggplant, capsicum and zucchini salad, with toasted pine nuts and pomegranate and lemon drizzle. Darling, you can’t afford me.

Prep time: 20 mins  |  Cook time: 15 mins  |  Servings: 3


what you need

for the salad

100g haloumi, cut to 1cm thickness and then sliced diagonally
1 eggplant, sliced thin
1/2 green capsicum, sliced in thin squares
1/2 red or orange capsicum, sliced in thin squares
1/2 zucchini, sliced into thin ribbons
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
1/4 cup of pine nuts, toasted

for the dressing

1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/4 tsp sea salt

what to do

Toast your pine nuts in a dry fry pan over medium heat, moving around regularly for about 5 mins or until golden.

Cook your eggplant, zucchini and capsicum on a griddle pan with a little olive oil til golden brown and a little charred (around 3 mins per side).

Pan fry your halmoumi in a little olive oil over medium heat until golden brown (about 3 mins each side).

Mix all your salad dressing ingredients together and shake to combine well.

Assemble your salad and drizzle some dressing over. Scatter with pomegranate seeds, pine nuts and parsley to serve.

Couscous Couture

Pearl (what else?!) couscous, with luxurious saffron, madjool dates, green olives and toasted pine nuts.

Prep time: 10 mins  |  Cook time: 20 mins  |  Servings: 2


what you need

1 cup pearl couscous
2 tbsp olive oil
4 medjool dates, pitted and finely diced
1/2 cup green olives, sliced
1 cup chicken stock
2 saffron strands
1/2 cup warm water (soak 2 saffron strands in the water for 30 mins before cooking)
2 tbsp chopped parsley
Lemon wedges to serve

what to do

Cook the couscous in olive oil over medium heat until golden, moving around the pan regularly to stop from burning (about 4 mins). Add the stock and saffron water and simmer on low for 10 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.

Meanwhile, toast your pine nuts in a frying pan over medium heat, moving around regularly for around 5 mins or until golden brown.

Spread couscous out on a baking sheet to cool (about 10 mins). Once cooled, toss with dates, green olives, pine nuts and parsley, reserving some parsley for the top. Serve with a lemon wedge.

Whimsical Waldorf (barely dressed)

She has her own unique style. Walnuts are just what you’d expect, so she wears candied macadamia.

Prep time: 15 mins  |  Cook time: 5 mins  | Servings: 2


what you need

the salad

Baby cos lettuce leaves
1 green apple, thinly sliced
2 celery sticks, diced
1/2 cup macadamia nuts
1 tbsp brown sugar

the dressing

1 tsp lemon
2 tbsp Greek yoghurt
1 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper

what to do

Heat a frying pan over medium heat and put your macadamia nuts in. Sprinkle some brown sugar over the top. Cook for around 5 minutes or until nuts are golden and sugar is dissolving. Set aside to cool.

Put salad ingredients together and mix all dressing ingredients. Scatter macadamia nuts over the salad and drizzle sparingly with dressing.

Greek Glitterati dressed to impress

She might be well put together but she’s hardly a traditionalist, donning whipped honey feta and roasted vine-ripened tomatoes.

Prep time: 15 mins  |  Cook time: 15 mins  |  Servings: 2


what you need

the salad

150g Danish feta
50ml light sour cream
1 tbsp honey
1 teaspoon olive oil
3 small, vine-ripened tomatoes
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tbsp semi dried tomatoes, thinly sliced
Baby cos lettuce leaves
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
Handful of Sicilian olives

the dressing

1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves
1/4 tsp garlic powder

what to do

Heat the oven to 170C and put your vine-ripened tomatoes in a baking dish with a dash of olive oil and sprinkling of brown sugar. Bake for 10-15 minutes until starting to become soft and caramelised but not mushy. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, put feta and sour cream in a food processor and blitz until well combined. Add honey and olive oil and blend until smooth. Remove and set aside.

Put your salad together, including roasted tomatoes. Mix all dressing ingredients together and drizzle over the salad, topping off with some delicious honey-whipped feta.


Chrissy Dupé

Chrissy is a lover of lists and a self-confessed control freak. Her mission is to help other women with a strong need to be in control learn how to harness the power of their inner control freak and use it for good. Having lived through the devastation that being control freak without focus brings, and going out the other side stronger, Chrissy developed a series of hands-on, zero 'fluff' programs to help women control their freak, instead of letting it run them into the ground. Her philosophy is based on the little-known fact that control freaks are actually born for greatness... and that without them, the world would fall into disorganised chaos. You can find out more at More about the Author

  • Karen Collins

    Just made the Greek salad. Awesome!

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