Cookbook 103: Sensational Salad Recipes

This was Scott’s book.  Yes, there is that tricky past tense.  I cannot recommend this book to anyone.  I mean, salads are nice, but these salads are boring for the most part, and I’ve found much better salads in other recipe books.  Anyway, at some point Family Circle released Sensational Salad Recipes, and with a title like that, you’d think that they’d be amazing.  Let me give you an example of the lack of amazing I found in this book. One recipe was a baby octopus salad.  Now, I’m never going to eat octopus, but I’m a curious person and wondered what you’d put in a salad with baby octopus… it turns out nothing.  That’s right, this “salad” was just baby octopus (dead, not climbing all over the salad bowl).  Also many of these salads were with meat in them, which made it difficult to cater to vegetarians.

The instructions in the recipe book, if you’re still interested after I’ve just panned it, are clear, the ingredients not too hard to find, and the end result of the two interesting (as far as I am concerned) salads was tasty.  I’ll give this 2 out of 5 for the instructions, and nothing else.

Middle Eastern Salad


  • 1 cup instant couscous
  • 1 cup water
  • 20g butter, softened
  • 80g dried apricots, chopped
  • 60g dates, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped mint
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice


  1. Combine couscous and water in a medium pan.  Cover and bring to the boil.  Remove from heat, cover and stand for 10 minutes.  (Or follow instructions on packet).  Transfer to a serving bowl, lightly stir in butter with a fork.  Leave to cool, fluffing occasionally.
  2. Add all remaining ingredients to couscous and toss lightly to combine.  Serve at room temperature.

Notes on this recipe:

  • I don’t generally like dates, but this was quite nice.  That’s it, it really had little going for it, and what it had it did well.

Wild and Brown Rice Salad


  • 1/2 cup wild rice
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 3 tablespoons light vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar


  1. Cook wild rice and brown rice separately in large pans of boiling water until just tender (about 20 – 30 mins).  Drain, rinse under cold water and drain again thoroughly.  Rice should be quite dry before assembling salad.
  2. Preheat oven to moderate 180C.  Spread the almonds on a foil- covered oven tray; cook 3 minutes or until golden. (Or you know, just fry them in a frying pan over a moderate heat until they start to change colour)
  3. Combine wide and brown rice, herbs, oil and vinegar in a serving bowl; top with almonds just before serving.

Notes on this recipe:

  • This salad contains more of things I like – nuts and grains for starters
  • The comments in the parentheses are mine – depending on the type of frying pan you use, you can fry the almonds dry, or with a touch of oil.  It’ll probably be quicker than waiting for the oven to preheat.