Grilled vegetable & chestnut salad

Some chestnut growers were spruiking and cooking up their produce at the East Geelong fruit shop the other day, the chestnuts were so delicious I decided to buy some to add to the grilled vegetable salad I planned on making for Sunday lunch (feeding my vegetarian son). It feels a bit strange to be buying fruit and vegetables again after living on our own produce for months, that being said I just love shopping for fruit and vegetables, they are so inspiring – much more than meat. I also purchased some lovely looking asparagus and fennel (my latest favourite vegetable) and the idea for this recipe started to take shape…


Grilled vegetable & chestnut salad
Recipe type: salad
Cuisine: Australian
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
You could use this as a side dish or a complete meal on its own. Don't forget to put a cut into each side of the chestnut before cooking or they will explode
  • 2 bunches of asparagus (trimmed)
  • 1 bulb of fennel (cut into 0.5cm thick slices)
  • 2 prepared artichokes (in oil) with stalks attached and cut into quarters lengthways
  • 15 prepared chestnuts (roasted and peeled)
  • verjuice
  • olive oil
  • pomegranate molasses or balsamic vinegar
  • pepper and salt for seasoning
  • spice mix of your choice
  • salad greens (I used spinach, rocket and herbs)
  • goat cheese
  • beetroot chutney (recipe on my blog)
  1. Lightly oil the fennel and asparagus and grill on a grill plate or on a barbecue until just cooked
  2. At the same time fry or grill the chestnuts in a little oil until starting to change colour (add some spice mix to the chestnuts for additional flavour)
  3. Place all ingredients together and add a splash of verjuice and pomegranate molasses, cook for another minute or two
  4. Place the prepared greens on a plate and arrange vegetables and chestnuts on top
  5. Break up some goat cheese into small pieces and distribute over the salad
  6. Add some beetroot chutney and season with salt, pepper, olive oil and a splash of balsamic vinegar
  7. Eat immediately with warm crusty bread


What’s happening in the garden?

It’s not a very good day in the garden today, too much wind and boy do we cop it here, at least we have nice views to make up for the wind. There’s barely a spare bit of earth in the garden, there’s vegetables, fruits, herbs and a green manure crop along with all the ornamentals. We’ve had trouble getting the bush beans to grow this year, hopefully the latest planting will work. The seven year and purple king beans are getting going at last – we didn’t even eat the seven year beans the first year as they looked tough but boy was I wrong, they are lovely fleshy beans and very tender, you just have to plant them along a support (ours is on the fence) and apart from water, weed  and feed do absolutely nothing to them but eat them every summer. I really need to use up the kale and purple cabbages as their season is nearly over and we need to plant a green manure crop in the bed to help it along before planting the next crop. Oh I found the first baby chillies today, it’s exciting in a weird kind of way when you find and pick the first fruit of a crop, well it only happens once a year for most plants so it is special. Some years the corn is the stand out crop and the following years the crop may struggle or get attacked by pests, another part of the wonder of growing things. I made a garden coleslaw to go with some nice local bream and ham and vegetable soup for a hearty lunch. I’ll add the soup recipe on another blog because this program only allows one recipe per blog, bummer I was hoping to put both recipes up but never mind….

Garden Coleslaw
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: Australian
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
A colourful salad made from whatever is at hand
  • ¼ purple cabbage
  • 2 medium sized carrots
  • 2 sticks celery
  • ½ small red capsicum
  • bunch italian parsley
  • handful dried cranberries
  • 10 brazil nuts (macadamia nice too)
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 2 spring onions or bunch chives
  • 1 lime
  • pinch sumac
  • salt / pepper
  1. I use my Magimix food processor to finely slice the cabbage and finely grate the carrot.
  2. The nuts, cranberries and parsley leaves are then chopped up roughly using the pulser button (reserve some for dressing the salad).
  3. Chop the celery finely and slice the capsicum to your own taste.
  4. Combine all these ingredients and gently toss with your hands.
  5. Mix the mayonnaise with the mustard (horseradish relish would be good too) and lime juice.
  6. Pour over salad & dress with the parsley, cranberry & nut mix and sprinkle with sumac (optional but nice).
Of course you could make the salad with any variety of vegetables and fruits- finely sliced fennel, coriander, asian salad dressing, apples, pears, noodles, grains and more. If you don't dress the salad it will keep fresh in the fridge for a day (apple may go brown though). I used to add grated cheese to my coleslaw which was nice if you wanted a richer tasting salad.