SUMMER MENU: Grilled Salad with Strawberry Balsamic Dressing + BBQ Salmon & Cucumber Salsa

3rd January 2019


Wow, and like that it’s 2019! Before we get to the summer menu recipes I wanted to quickly share the top nine images (on Instagram) for 2018 because it is always fun to see the highlights from the year. It seems feijoas, beetroot, crumpets, my cookbook, and a discussion on going grey were all candidates for a double-tap.

Thank you for being here with me on this online recipe journal and sharing what you are cooking with me – or just quietly following along. Also much thanks to everyone who supported my Cooking Workshops, Homegrown Kitchen cookbook and 2019 Recipe Calendar (that sold out!) this year. I look forward to another year of sharing recipes inspired my garden, and teaching the magic of sourdough and fermentation around the country.

Happiest 2019 to you all!

Now to the recipes… I shared these pre-Christmas for my recipe column on, in case, like me, you had left the Christmas food planning on the back burner. They are also worth tucking away for a summer alfresco lunch or dinner. A simple affair, leaving more time for relaxing and soaking up this gorgeous summer weather.

At the very least I encourage you to make the Strawberry Balsamic Dressing. I was stopped at the supermarket by a friend who had been served the dressing for Christmas lunch and said it was a total hit – and a great topic of conversation at the table. Give it a go! And remember to share the recipes you love from my website or publications with me on Instagram or Facebook, or even good old-fashioned email 😉 Happy summer!

Grilled Summer Vegetable Salad with Strawberry Balsamic Dressing

This is a delightful salad bowl of new-season summer produce. The vegetables are caramelised on the barbecue and served with a sweet and tart strawberry dressing.
Servings 6 as a side
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes


  • 4-5 zucchini cut into 1cm slices
  • 2 red capsicums stalk and seeds removed and cut into 1cm wedges
  • 1 red onion cut into 1cm wedges
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
  • Handful of fresh basil leaves
  • 100 g soft goat's cheese or feta

Strawberry balsamic dressing:

  • ½ cup strawberries greens removed
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 4 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and cracked pepper


  • Combine the prepared zucchini, capsicum and red onion in a large bowl, drizzle with olive oil and season well. Toss to combine. Spread on a hot barbecue grill in a single layer (cook in batches if needed). Grill until golden on all sides.
  • Spread the vegetables on a serving platter. Leave to cool a little before scattering with the cherry tomatoes and basil, and dot with goat's cheese.
  • Make the dressing. Use a blender to whizz the strawberries, mustard, vinegar, lemon juice and honey until smooth. Add the olive oil and blend to combine. Check flavour and season to taste. Pour into a jug to serve alongside the salad.


This is a great dish to have up your sleeve for alfresco summer dinners. Delicate salmon cooks beautifully on the barbecue and is accompanied by a vibrant cucumber and avocado salsa.
Servings 8 people
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes


  • 1.5 kg whole side of salmon – skin on pin bones removed
  • Salt and cracked pepper
  • Olive oil for drizzling
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • Cucumber & Avocado Salsa
  • 1 small red onion
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ telegraph cucumber, peeled
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • Small bunch of mint, chopped
  • Small bunch of coriander, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lime or lemon


  • Spread a large piece of baking foil on the bench and lay a length of baking paper on top. Place the salmon in the middle of the paper and season generously. Drizzle with olive oil and arrange the lemon slices evenly over the salmon. Wrap the salmon snugly in the paper and foil, folding over the edges to secure.
  • Heat a barbecue plate on a moderate/high heat. Place the wrapped salmon on the hotplate and cook for 10-12 minutes on each side. Remove from the barbecue and set aside to steam for a further 10 minutes, wrapped in the foil. Alternatively, the salmon parcel can be baked in the oven for 20-25 minutes at 190 degrees Celsius.
  • Unwrap the salmon and discard the lemon slices. Slide the salmon on to a large serving platter.
  • Make the salsa. Dice the red onion finely and place in a bowl with the salt. Set aside for 10 minutes to soften and sweeten the onion.
  • Meanwhile, dice the cucumber and avocado into 5mm cubes, and place in a large bowl. Add the chopped herbs, olive oil, lime juice, and finally the softened onions. Carefully fold together to just combine. Spoon the salsa over the barbecued salmon and serve warm with minted new potatoes and the Summer Vegetable Salad.

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