Seven vegan salads for healthy summer feasting

Massaged kale chopped salad (left).
Massaged kale chopped salad (left). Photo: Jessica Prescott

Take your pick of these plant-based salads from Jessica Prescott's Vegan Goodness Feasts.

Follow the same method for all the salads: Place the ingredients in a large bowl in the order listed. Toss or stir to combine, then add dressing directly before serving. They can also be eaten as mains, if wished.

All salads serve 4-8.

Massaged kale chopped salad

INGREDIENTS

225g (1½ cups) cooked chickpeas (or a 400g tin, drained and rinsed)

5 large kale leaves, torn into smaller pieces, sprinkled with ½ tsp fine sea salt and massaged until limp

Vegan Goodness Feasts.
Vegan Goodness Feasts. Photo: Hardie Grant Books

2-3 stalks celery, finely chopped

3 large tomatoes, finely chopped

1 red onion, finely chopped

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1 red capsicum, finely chopped

1 avocado, finely chopped

handful of olives, finely chopped

large handful flaked or slivered almonds, toasted

Dressing:

lemon juice or balsamic reduction (recipe below)

olive oil (optional)

Tip: To get the pits out of the olives, press down on them with the flat part of a large knife. The flesh will easily come away from the pit. Discard the pits and then do with the flesh as you wish.

Chopped Greek salad.

A plant-based spin on a classic. Photo: Jessica Prescott

Chopped Greek salad

INGREDIENTS

5 large tomatoes, cut into 2cm chunks

1 cucumber, cut into 2cm chunks

1 red onion, finely sliced

large handful of olives

200g tofu feta (store-bought or make your own, recipe below)

Dressing

60ml (¼ cup) olive oil

1 tbsp red wine vinegar

¼ tsp dried oregano

¼ tsp sea salt

Left to right: Gnocchi salad and satay noodle salad.

Gnocchi salad (left) and satay noodle salad (right). Photo: Jessica Prescott

Gnocchi salad

INGREDIENTS

400g gnocchi, cooked according to packet instructions

200g cherry tomatoes, halved

200g kalamata olives, halved

basil leaves, as many as possible (I usually use a small plant's worth)

sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

Dressing:

drizzle of olive oil

balsamic reduction (recipe below)

Satay noodle salad

INGREDIENTS

2 heads cos lettuce, thinly sliced

200g rice or udon noodles, cooked according to packet instructions, then tossed in 125ml (½ cup) almond butter satay sauce (recipe below)

2 large carrots, peeled and julienned

1 large cucumber, thinly sliced

½ red onion, finely diced

large handful of roasted peanuts

large handful of coriander leaves, finely chopped

juice of 1 lime

tofu skewers or baked tofu (recipe below)

Dressing:

125ml (½ cup) almond butter satay sauce (recipe below) drizzled over once served

Grain salad

INGREDIENTS

3 cups cooked cracked freekeh

250g (1½ cups) cooked lentils (or a 400g tin, drained and rinsed)

1 red onion, finely chopped

large handful of parsley leaves, finely chopped

large handful of coriander leaves, finely chopped

handful of capers, finely chopped

handful of currants

1 large handful each pine nuts, sunflower seeds and slivered almonds, lightly toasted

1 tbsp cumin seeds, lightly toasted (can be toasted with the nuts and seeds)

a generous sprinkling of pomegranate seeds

Dressing:

60ml (¼ cup) olive oil

60ml (¼ cup) apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp maple syrup

Simple green salad

INGREDIENTS

a few handfuls of any light leafy green, such as rocket, spinach or lettuce

1 bulb fennel, finely sliced

3 tomatoes, cut into chunks, or 10-15 cherry tomatoes, halved

1 cucumber, finely sliced or cut into chunks

1 avocado, cut into chunks

large handful of olives

large handful of toasted walnuts

Dressing:

balsamic reduction (recipe below)

Roast veg salad

INGREDIENTS

100g (2 cups) baby spinach

300g (2 cups) cooked quinoa

300g (2 cups) roasted chopped vegies, such as pumpkin, sweet potato, zucchini etc.

large handful of chopped semi-dried tomatoes

large handful of roasted almonds

200g tofu feta (store-bought or make your own, see recipe below)

1 red onion, finely sliced

zest of 1 lemon

Dressing

lemon juice

olive oil

Tofu skewers and satay noodle salad recipes from Vegan Goodness Feasts by Jessica Prescott published by Hardie Grant Books RRP $29.99 Photography by Jessica Prescott 2018. Recipe extract for Good Food summer 2019

Marinated tofu skewers and satay noodle salad. Photo: Jessica Prescott

Marinated tofu skewers

INGREDIENTS

400g firm tofu, drained and pressed for at least 30 minutes, then cut into 1½ cm cubes

Marinade

2 tbsp rice vinegar

2 tbsp tamari

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 tsp Sriracha sauce

1 tsp grated fresh ginger

1 tsp grated garlic

METHOD

1. Put all the marinade ingredients in a shallow dish and whisk to combine. Place the tofu in the marinade and set aside for as long as possible – 30 minutes is fine, but overnight in the fridge is even better.

2. If making skewers, thread the tofu cubes onto skewers (if using wooden skewers, soak them in water first), about 6-8 pieces per skewer.

3. Preheat a barbecue for 20 minutes. Cook the tofu on a hot barbecue for 2-3 minutes each side, or until slightly blackened on some parts. Serve with the noodle salad, or alongside grilled vegies or in a flatbread with cucumber and salad.

4. Alternatively, bake the marinated tofu on a baking tray in a 190C oven for 20 minutes.

Serves 4-8

Almond butter satay sauce

INGREDIENTS

125ml (½ cup) almond butter

60ml (¼ cup) soy sauce

60ml (¼ cup) maple syrup

½ tsp tamarind paste, or juice of ½ lime

warm water to thin

METHOD

1. Place the almond butter, soy sauce, maple syrup and tamarind paste or lime juice into a small bowl and stir until well combined.

2. Add the warm water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the desired consistency is reached. The amount of water you need will depend on how thick or runny your almond butter is to begin with.

Makes about 250ml (1 cup)

Tofu feta

I love eating this straight out of the jar, as much as I like popping it on salads and in wraps.

INGREDIENTS

zest and juice of 2 lemons

180ml apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp olive oil

handful of dill, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp dried oregano

400g tofu, drained and pressed

METHOD

1. Combine all the ingredients except the tofu in a large jar and stir.

2. Cut the tofu into small cubes (whatever size you like) and place in the marinade.

3. Cover and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours, ideally overnight, or store in an airtight jar until ready to use. Correctly stored, it will keep for up to one month.

Makes 400g

Balsamic reduction

INGREDIENTS

500ml (2 cups) balsamic vinegar

100g (½ cup) brown sugar

METHOD

1. Combine the vinegar and sugar in a saucepan, bring to the boil, stirring so that the sugar dissolves, then lower to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes, until the mixture has thickened significantly and coats the back of a spoon. You want to reduce it to about half for a concentrated, but still liquid, concoction and to about a quarter for a thick, glaze-like sauce.

2. Allow to cool, then transfer to an airtight jar until ready to use. It will keep for a few weeks in the fridge.

Makes 125-250ml (½–1 cup)

This is an edited extract from Vegan Goodness Feasts by Jessica Prescott published by Hardie Grant Books, RRP $29.99, available in stores nationally. ©Photography by Jessica Prescott 2018.