Eight Fantastic Salad Recipe Ideas | Mount Zero Olives

From fresh and fast weekday salads to entertaining staples, we've gathered our favourite salads for your to try.

While Melbourne's weather can't promise sunny skies every day, it can guarantee one thing – plenty of stunning veggies, fruits and herbs!

And as the entertaining season kicks off again, it's the perfect time to put this produce to great use. Enter: the salad. It's fresh, it's vibrant, it's satisfying but still light. 

We've gathered our favourites for you to try your hand at, from speedy work lunch staples to options for the first balmy dinner party. Plus, each is packed with extra protein and fibre, thanks to added grains and legumes.

Take a look at our must-try salads below.


Mixed Grain, Poached Chicken and Broad Bean Salad

Cook Julia Busuttil Nishimura shares her recipe for a satisfying salad – great for make ahead lunches!
Cook Julia Busuttil Nishimura shares her recipe for a satisfying salad – great for work lunches!


This fresh and filling salad is perfect to make ahead for lunches, says cook and author Julia Busuttil Nishimura. A zesty lemon verjus dressing coats a combination of pearl barley, cracked freekeh and quinoa, plus fresh herbs, broad beans and chicken. There's plenty of flexibility, too: "You can vary the grains, depending on your preference or what you have in your cupboard – just be sure to adjust cooking times accordingly," says Julia.

View the full recipe here.


Farro and Roasted Carrot Salad with Raisins, Harissa and Chickpeas

A comforting dish from Mr McCracken's Adam Baughan that works well as a side or makes a filling main!
A comforting dish from Mr McCracken's Adam Baughan that works well as a side or makes a filling main!


Combining warming cumin, harissa-infused oil and sweet carrots with Australian organic chickpeas and farroAdam Baughan of Mr McCracken delivers what might just be the salad of the season. It's a great accompaniment to a Sunday roast chicken, or if you're after a light weeknight dinner, this will serve four people.

View the full recipe here.


Cauliflower Quinoa Salad

Seasonal cauliflower gets the Nicky Riemer treatment in this perfectly balanced salad.
Seasonal cauliflower gets the Nicky Riemer treatment in this perfectly balanced salad.


Cauliflower, chickpeas and quinoa – three unbeatable ingredients for maximum satisfaction! Nicky uses saba, a rich syrup made from freshly squeezed grape juice, in the dressing for this dish, but also suggests vincotto or aged balsamic vinegar as substitutes. We love this alongside grilled lamb, or as a meal in itself!

View the full recipe here.


Grain and Seasonal Veg Salad

Joel Alderdice's flexible, delicious grain salad is served atop whipped ricotta and with a zesty sherry vinegar dressing.
Joel Alderdice's flexible, delicious grain salad is served atop whipped ricotta and with a zesty sherry vinegar dressing.


"I've shared this dish because it's great for the home cook," says Mount Zero Hero and TarraWarra Estate chef Joel Alderdice. "It's flexible, adaptable, and you can use whatever veg and herbs you have. The freekeh and farro give it great texture." Joel likes to serve this as part of a shared meal, encouraging a long, leisurely lunch with friends and family.

View the full recipe here.


Cracked Freekeh Tabouli

A nutritious salad with a dynamite dressing, from Babajan's Kirsty Chiaplias.
A nutritious salad with a dynamite dressing, from Babajan's Kirsty Chiaplias.


Middle Eastern specialty chef and Mount Zero Hero Kirsty Chiaplias heads up Carlton North favourite, Babajan, and brings you a traditional recipe packed with vegetables, refreshing herbs and cracked freekeh! A pomegranate molasses dressing adds a balancing sweetness and plenty of tang.

View the full recipe here.


Confit Duck Salad

Nicky Riemer's Confit Duck Salad is a sure-fire entertaining hit!
Nicky Riemer's Confit Duck Salad is a sure-fire entertaining hit!


Nicky Riemer is a self-confessed Mount Zero devotee (thanks Nicky!) and has used our Frantoio Extra Virgin Olive Oil as a base for a zingy vinaigrette dressing in this dish. Add crispy confit duck, braised green lentils and spring greens, and this impressive salad is sure to be a hit at your first spring dinner party!

View the full recipe here.


Roast Quinoa Salad with Nashi Pear, Hazelnut, Sultanas and Rocket

Pink Lake Salt with native pepper berries add herbaceous spice to this salad.
Pink Lake Salt with native pepper berries adds herbaceous spice to this salad.


Pear and rocket are salad staples, but add toasty roasted quinoa, hazelnuts and goat’s curd? An absolute winner, thanks to Almay Jordaan of Neighbourhood Food and Wine.

View the full recipe here.


Mixed Grain, Pickled Fennel, Pomegranate, Sumac & Labne Salad

Chef Paul Baker says this recipe is "fresh, easy to put together and bloody tasty"!
Chef Paul Baker says this recipe is "fresh, easy to put together and bloody tasty"!


It doesn't get easier than this salad! Simply cook the grains and leave to cool, before topping with fennel, labne and dressing. If you're feeling adventurous, chef Paul Baker has shared his tips for DIY pickled fennel and homemade labne – but you can easily substitute these for your favourite shop-bought alternatives.

View the full recipe here.


Plus dress up any simple salad with Karen Martini's classic Salmoriglio, an aromatic Southern Italian dressing with plenty of punch.

Click the image for Karen Martini's Salmoriglio dressing recipe.
Click the image for Karen Martini's Salmoriglio dressing recipe.


For more recipes and tips, sign up to our mailing list here.

more related stories

Mount Zero Heroes - Porch and Parlour

Our Mount Zero Heroes can be found in every corner of Australia but this month they reside in one of it's prettiest. Follow the link for a feature and recipes from the oh-so-hip Porch and Parlour in Sydney's Bondi Beach READ ON 

5 Cool Martini Recipes To Try | Mount Zero Olives

Looking for a classic martini recipe or fresh fruity ideas for cocktail hour? Here are our 5 favourite takes on a martini and tips to mix the best dirty martini. READ ON 

Mount Zero Hero - Nicky Riemer and Union Dining

Head Chef Nicky Riemer opened Union Dining with co-owner Adam Cash in 2011 and it has been hit ever since. Within the first year of opening they were listed in the The Age Good Food Guide and Nicky was nominated as Chef of the Year. READ ON 

Top