Salad of the imagination recipe

Try these interesting variations on a standard salad to add some spring to your step.

The beauty of this salad is it can be whatever you want it to be. Start with a base of leafy greens and herbs, and throw in your own combination of the ingredient ideas below.



Serves: 6


4 cups mixed salad leaves, washed and dried

2 cups mixed small leaves and soft-leaved herbs, washed and dried

Garnishes and other ingredients such as:


Crispy bacon


Cured fish (anchovies, smoked salmon)

Finely sliced red onion or spring onion

Grated vegetables (beetroot, carrot, celeriac, radish)

Hard-boiled eggs (sliced or chopped)

Pickles or preserves (cornichons or gherkins, preserved lemons, olives)

Raw fruits (apples, citrus, pears)

Shaved or crumbled cheese (blue cheese, cheddar, feta, gruyère, parmesan, pressed ricotta salata)

Toasted nuts (almonds, pecans, pine nuts, walnuts)

Toasted seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, sesame)

Dressing ingredients such as:

Acids (lemon juice, vinegar)

Oils (olive oil)

Additions (mustards, honey, sugar, herbs, toasted spices)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Suggestions by season

Spring: Herbs (such as flowering thyme), pine nuts, rocket leaves (arugula)

Summer: Tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, spinach, rocket leaves (arugula)

Autumn: Celeriac, Gruyère, parsnip chips

Winter: Spinach, croutons, bacon, beetroot


There are so many possible combinations with this easy salad. Heavy extras tend to sink to the bottom of a bowl, so serve your salads on a wide shallow platter, which will display the tasty extra touches to good advantage. Toss the salad and dressing just before serving.

Recipe provided by the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation.

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