Enjoy salads that don’t leave you feeling hungry

Try my 4 favourite summer salads perfect for warm evenings.

What are you meant to drum up for a meal when it’s hot and muggy and you just can’t be bothered…


But salads can be boring.

I used to avoid eating salads because they were loud to munch on, hard work (it always felt like I was eating grass).

I never felt a great deal of excitement in terms of ingredients and I always come out feeling hungry.

Times have changed and we now have cookbooks galore on amazing salads we can create.

So, here are 4 of my favourite summer dishes.

4 favourite summer salads

1. Prosciutto, fig, blue cheese, artichoke salad

Ottolenghi is one of the great chefs who have changed and transformed how we think about salads.

This is a perfect example.

COOKING TIME:  10 mins
IDEAL FOR: summer salad, side, midweek summer meal, lunch
BUDGET: £ -££


  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 4 fresh figs (quartered) If you can’t find fresh, I’ve used dried figs before
  • mixed salad leaves – you’re choice of varieties
  • 125 g crumbled Roquefort cheese
  • 1 jar cooked marinated artichokes You can easily find in your usual supermarket
  • 165 g prosciutto slices or approx 3 pieces per person
  • small bunch of basil for serving (optional)

The Dressing

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • squeeze of lemon
  • sea salt and pepper to season


  • For the figs – put on a tray and smear a little butter on each quarter then grill until they soften
  • Mix the dressing ingredients together and in a larger bowl mix through the salad leaves
  • Build your salad… either one large flat dish for people to help themselves or create 4 separate plates. Place the ingredients around evenly so everyone gets a taste (and to make look attractive)
Prosciutto, fig, blue cheese, salad

2. Watermelon, tomato and feta salad

This is a sweet and super refreshing summer salad.

And I honestly thought it sounded a bit ‘wrong’ mixing watermelon with tomatoes.

But it really does work and the dressing makes it a big winner.

PREP TIME:  10 mins
IDEAL FOR: summer salad, side, midweek, lunch


  • 1 baby watermelon (about 1 – 1.5kg)
  • 1/2 cups fresh mint
  • 1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced 
  • 250 – 350 g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice or lemon
  • 1 tsp pure honey
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • Crumbled feta


  1. Remove the rind from watermelon and cut the flesh into 1 1/2-inch-thick triangles and arrange on a large platter.
  2. Scatter with fresh mint, red onion and halved cherry tomatoes.
  3. For the dressing: Mix the olive oil, fresh lime juice, pure honey, and sea salt and black pepper in a bowl.
  4. Drizzle over the platter (just before serving) and crumble over with crumbled feta.
Watermelon and feta salad

3. Green beans with crispy chickpeas

Yes, more of a side but I love this one so had to include it.

This brings a bit of green to your table and has a lovely crunch to it.

SERVES: 4 – 6
COOKING TIME:  25 mins
IDEAL FOR: summer salad, side, midweek, lunch


  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1 tsp. whole coriander
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 450 g green beans, trimmed
  • Grilled lemons, for serving


  1. Mix your chickpeas, coriander, cumin and add 1 tbsp oil to a frying pan or cast-iron skillet and cook them on a medium heat (BBQ or stove top)
  2. Toss occasionally, until golden brown and coriander begins to pop, 5 to 6 mins.
  3. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a bowl.
  4. Now, add green beans and remaining tablespoon olive oil to the frying pan/skillet and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Cook, turning once, until charred and barely tender, approx 3 to 4 mins.
  6. Toss green beans with chickpea mixture and serve with grilled lemons alongside.
Green beans and chickpeas

Reference: Country Living

4. Steak tagliata with green beans & fried gnocchi

A twist on an Italian classic that’s super fast to put together.

COOKING TIME:  20 mins
IDEAL FOR: family meal, easy meal, midweek, lunch
BUDGET: £ – ££

Cooking element

  • 2 x 200g rump or sirloin steak (quality steak)
  • 7 tbsp olive oil
  • knob of butter
  • 200 g green beans, top and tail
  • 300 g fresh gnocchi


  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 juice of lemon
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon and parsley

For the platter – no cooking

  • 1 packet or watercress (or use rocket)
  • 250 g vine cherry tomatoes (cut in half if they are too big)
  • Fresh basil, parmesan shavings and black pepper, to serve


  1. Heat a griddle or frying pan until smoking hot.
  2. Brush the steaks with olive oil, then season.Griddle/fry for 3-4 mins on each side for medium.Set aside to rest.
  3. In a frying pan, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil and a knob of butter, then fry your beans. After a couple of mins add you fresh gnocchi and cook until golden and heated through (approx 5 mins).Season with salt and black pepper.
  4. Now in a bowl, mix 5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice and fresh tarragon and parsley. Lightly season.
  5. On a large platter, scatter the watercress, the beans, crispy fried gnocchi and lastly the cherry tomatoes before adding the sliced steak.
  6. Drizzle over the dressing and serve with a garnish of fresh basil, parmesan shavings and black pepper.
Steak tagliata

Have any good sides or salads to share? Leave a comment…