These lively salads make perfect midweek dinners, but are also an easy and relaxed way to entertain. Just pile them high on a platter and pour your friends some crisp white wine.
LAMB, HARISSA AND COUSCOUS SALAD
What I love about this salad is that it's equally delicious warm or cold.
1 lemon, zest and juice
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tbsp olive oil
1½ tbsp harissa paste
400g lamb loin fillets
200g giant couscous (also known as Israeli or moghrabieh couscous)
1 fennel bulb, cut into wedges
150g cherry tomatoes, lightly crushed
handful flat leaf parsley, leaves only
Greek yoghurt, to serve
flatbread, to serve
In a bowl, combine lemon juice and zest, garlic, half the olive oil and half the harissa, and set aside. Rub lamb with remaining olive oil and harissa, then season with salt. Heat barbecue to high and cook lamb for 6-8 minutes, turning often to get a good colour on all sides. Set aside to rest for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook couscous according to packet instructions, adding fennel 1 minute before end of cooking time. Drain and stir in harissa dressing, crushed cherry tomatoes and parsley. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and place on a serving dish.
Slice meat and arrange it over couscous salad, then spoon cooking juices over top. Serve with Greek yoghurt and flatbread on the side.
Blanching the fennel, even if just for a minute, makes it soak up the flavours of the dressing beautifully.
ZUCCHINI, PEA AND BROAD BEAN SALAD WITH RICOTTA BRUSCHETTA
When having a vegetarian meal, I like to include protein for balance. Ricotta bruschetta ticks that box, while also making it a more substantial meal.
3 zucchinis, halved lengthways
1 lemon, juice and zest
2 garlic cloves (1 crushed, 1 halved)
3 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
200g frozen broad beans
200g frozen peas
1 bunch mint, leaves picked
8 slices crusty bread
Heat a barbecue to hot. Cook zucchini lengths for 1-2 minutes on each side, or until charred. Cut them into chunks, then toss them into a bowl with lemon juice, crushed garlic, 3 tbsp olive oil and some seasoning. Leave to cool.
Cook broad beans in a pan of boiling water for 2 minutes, add peas and cook for a further minute, then drain and refresh under cold water. Toss beans and peas into bowl of zucchini and fold through mint.
Barbecue bread on both sides until nicely charred. Rub one side with the halved garlic and top with ricotta, lemon zest and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve with the salad.
Food photography by Kristin Perers. Food styling by Rosie Reynolds. Props styling by Rachel Jukes.