• Warm pickled vegetable salad with buckwheat, preserved lemon and dill. (Sharyn Cairns)Source: Sharyn Cairns
Hearty grains, roasted vegetables, grilled meat and zesty dressings - warm salads are the perfect way to nourish yourself in cooler months.
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28 May 2018 - 9:49 AM  UPDATED 25 May 2018 - 4:20 PM

1. Smoked paprika potato and chickpea salad

Chunky and comforting, the smoky paprika in this salad works a treat with the creamy and nutty flavours of egg, chickpeas and potato.

2. Warm couscous and pumpkin salad with dukkah kangaroo fillet

This salad is deliciously earthy and textured, with natural sweetness from the pumpkin and lean kangaroo, balanced with salty crumbled feta. The recipe calls for pearl couscous (also called Israeli couscous), but any of your favourite grains will do.

3. Broccolini, cauliflower and freekeh salad

Roasted hazelnuts and thin slices of lemon are the little touches that really make this dish sing. 

4. Warm shawarma and rocket salad with pomegranate vinaigrette

Sirloin steak is marinated in a hefty dose of Middle Eastern spices, then drizzled with a pomegranate molasses vinaigrette, and sprinkled with pine nuts and pistachios for a salad that bursts with the flavours of Arabia.

5. Green garlic and farro salad with marinated zucchini

There's a couple of tricks that give this salad extra flavour dimensions: the farro is cooked with a bay leaf, the raw zucchini is thinly sliced and marinated in salt and lemon juice, and green (young) garlic is blended into the lemon vinaigrette. If you can't get your hands on green garlic, it can be substituted with a mixture of regular garlic and spring onions.

6. Charred radicchio and freekeh salad

Grilling is not just for meat—it adds a smoky, intense edge to endives and other salad greens. 

7. Warm lentil salad (mercimek salatasi)  

A dazzling appetiser or side dish, this lively little salad combines sweet roasted beetroot and pumpkin, tangy pomegranate molasses and fresh mint leaves, all grounded by the earthiness of the lentils. 

8. Roast vegetable and buckwheat salad with preserved lemon chimichurri

Chimichurri is one of those goes-with-just-about-everything sauces. Adding preserved lemon to it gives it that little extra punch. 

9. Grilled chicken with Mexican street salad (pollo adobado con ensalada de fruta)

Bring some of summer's sunshine to cooler months with this fruit-laden chicken salad. The chicken gets the Mexican treatment with an adobo rub before being grilled. 

10. Curried red quinoa, pea and paneer salad

One of the great things about this salad is that it's endlessly variable—you can roast whatever vegetables you have in the fridge that need using and mix them through. Indian spices like cumin seeds, garam masala and turmeric provide a flexible flavour base, as well as changing things up from more common Meditteranean salad dressings. 

11. Moroccan spiced cauliflower salad with buckwheat, mint and pistachios

A generous serving of spiced cauliflower turns this grain-based salad into a more hearty meal. 

12. Warm pickled vegetable salad with buckwheat, preserved lemon and dill

Pickled vegetables make a nice change from the more conventional roast vegetable salads. The pickling method is a short-cut version, which just takes half an hour. They're bright and tangy, and retain a bit of crunch. 

Winter warmers
Mushroom hotpot with seasonal vegetables

This warming hotpot of mushrooms and winter vegetables is a perfect comforting dinner to come home to on a cold winter's night. 

Roasted onions in truffle lard with polenta

Whole onions are roasted slowly in their skins until their sugars caramelise. It's one of the easiest things to make and the most comforting thing to eat.

Slow-cooked beef and tomato with gnocchi

Homemade gnocchi is a revelation. They’re little pillows that soak up sauce readily, like this simple but excellent braised beef.

Beef shin with smoked dulse

Dulse seaweed adds waves of intensity to this slowly cooked shin of beef, creating a simple yet stunning dish.

Heston Blumenthal's chilli con carne with cornbread muffins

The spiced butter used in this recipe is great for perking up any stew or mince dish. It’s really easy to make and can be kept in the freezer for up to a month. If you find it difficult to find cornmeal for the muffins, replace with it polenta for a slightly heavier but equally delicious result. I always serve chilli con carne with fresh lime zest and juice, soured cream and grated cheese.