James St Recipes: Vibrant summer salads – for a lighter lunch to relax and enjoy

Panzanella Salad
Panzanella Salad

ON hot summer days, I often crave something a bit lighter for lunch and dinner – like a vibrant summer salad.

This week I have shared two delicious and nutritious seasonal salads that are fresh, filling and bursting with flavour – proving that salads don’t have to be boring.

The first is a Panzanella salad and for those who like something a little sweeter, the raisin and walnut salad is a must try this summer.

I would highly recommend visiting your local greengrocer at this time of year when purchasing vegetables, as they will have the best range of local, seasonal vegetables in stock. We are very lucky to work with a very talented and committed organic farmer who supplies us with freshly picked salads and seasonal vegetables for our customers.

Would you like to take your cooking skills to the next level? Check out our cookery classes at Waterman House Cookery School. It's a fantastic opportunity to learn new culinary techniques or have a fun night out with friends. For more information or to book, please visit:


(Serves 4)

60ml olive oil

1 baguette or ciabatta, chopped into bite size pieces. It is OK if the bread is a day old

1 bunch of asparagus, trimmed and sliced

350g peas

1 handful of mange tout or edamame beans, chopped into bite size pieces

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

½ lemon, juiced

150g Parmesan, grated

30g basil leaves

25g mint leaves

4 sprigs of thyme, destalked

2 walnuts

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

Sea salt and pepper

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For the bread:

On a medium heat, add a little oil to the pan and fry off the bread until all sides are golden.

Once cooked, sprinkle with a little sea salt, remove the bread form the pan and leave to sit on a drying towel.

For the dressing:

In a blender, mix together the basil leaves, mint leaves, thyme, walnuts and garlic.

Blitz together until a pulp like texture is formed and slowly add in the 60ml of olive oil and grated Parmesan.

Give it a taste, and if more seasoning is required, add as much salt and pepper as required

For the salad:

In the same frying pan that you cooked the bread in, add the asparagus and toast lightly.

Following this, add in the edamame beans and mange tout. You want these to be warm and still have a bit of bite.

Remove from the pan and add to a salad bowl.

Toss with the bread before coating with the dressing.

Season with salt and pepper and serve.

If you want to make this salad more substantial, I’d recommend pairing it with a runny, poached egg.

Raisin and Walnut Coleslaw
Raisin and Walnut Coleslaw


½ white cabbage, shredded

2 carrots, grated

2 tbsp mayonnaise

1 tbsp wholegrain mustard

15g raisins

10g chopped walnuts

10g pumpkin seeds

1 lemon, juice only

Salt and pepper


Begin by picking off the outer layers of the cabbage and with a sharp knife, finely slice half of the cabbage into long, thin strips.

Wash the cabbage strips under a running tap. If you have a salad spinner, put the rinsed cabbage in to spin dry or, alternatively, leave to dry in a clean tea towel or kitchen roll.

Top and tail (cut the top and bottom off) two carrots and peel. Grate the peeled carrot using a cheese grater.

Mix the cabbage and carrots together and season with salt and pepper.

Add in the mayonnaise and mustard, mixing it well until evenly combined.

Top with raisins, walnuts (lightly crushed) and the pumpkin seeds.

Add the lemon juice and mix thoroughly. Ready to serve.