Christmas salads

End of year arrived pretty quickly for me after our long break in August September with our Coast To Coast Walk in UK….we of course had no regrets as it was one of the best things we have done! Home to a Orange which had had very wet winter and Christmas was upon us. Our end of year luncheons are usually held around the studio gardens in warm weather, so salads are always the first choice! The Chicken was a winner and the Pumpkin came from NZ Tora walk Cookbook, the second walk of the year!

Pumpkin and Chickpea Salad


Serves 4

  • 1 medium Butternut Squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas or 400g can
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley, coriander (cilantro) or mint
  • Olive oil for roasting


  • 1 cup sun dried tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C). Toss pumpkin in a little olive oil and spread out evenly on paper lined baking tray. Roast for 30 minutes or until tender, turning halfway through. Allow to cool.
  2. To make dressing: Place tomatoes with vinegar, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper in food processor and pulse until ingredients are combined and dressing is still a little chunky. Check and adjust seasoning to taste.
  3. Toss pumpkin and chickpeas in dressing, place in serving bowl and garnish with plenty of parsley, coriander or mint.


Coconut Chicken Salad with mint and lime

Screen shot 2017-02-11 at 6.00.15 PM

( with thanks to Jill Dupleix)


400ml coconut milk

3 tbsp fish sauce

4 x 200g chicken breasts

250g green beans, topped, not tailed

2 small Lebanese cucumbers

2 tsp sugar

½ tsp salt

2 tbsp lime or lemon juice

good handful coriander sprigs

good handful Asian basil leaves

good handful mint leaves

½ green chilli, julienned

2 tbsp salted peanuts…Optional.

chopped lime or lemon wedges, for serving

salt to taste



1. Combine coconut milk with one tablespoon of fish sauce and salt in a pan. Add the chicken breasts and 400 millilitres of cold water, or enough to just cover, and bring to the boil. Simmer gently for 10 minutes, turning the chicken once or twice, then turn off the heat, cover and leave to steep for 30 minutes until cooked through.

2. Cook the green beans in simmering salted water for 4 minutes then drain. Shave the cucumbers lengthwise with a vegetable peeler.

3. To make the dressing, whisk four tablespoons of the chicken breasts’ coconut broth with the remaining fish sauce, sugar, salt and lime juice. 4. To serve, drain the chicken and slice. Toss the green beans, cucumber and herbs in half the dressing and arrange on four plates. Add the chicken, spoon over remaining dressing, scatter with peanuts and serve with lime or lemon wedges.

Posted in Recipes.