The ultimate summer salad – this really is packed with everything summery! A light but filling salad with quinoa, roasted squash, tropical fruits, summer berries, creamy avocado and sticky coconut clusters. This is my new favourite salad and I hope it will become yours, too, plus it only takes 30 minutes to make.
This Coconut Summer Salad was inspired by a salad I recently enjoyed at a vegan healthy restaurant in London. I was blown away by the coconut clusters, the sweet and savoury mix of roasted vegetables and sweet berries all brought together with a tangy dressing. It was full of texture, colour and flavour and I think I’ve done myself proud with this re-creation.
The base is cooked quinoa grains although I can imagine buckwheat, couscous or another similar smaller grain would work really well here to carry the flavour and bulk out the salad. I like quinoa as it’s high in fibre and protein as well as lending a lovely nutty flavour. The robust vegetables are roasted butternut squash cubes which turn sweet and tender after a quick roast to compliment the sticky sweet coconut clusters – which I am addicted to. Toss together coconut flakes with a little syrup and soy sauce and roast for 10 minutes to turn wonderfully crisp and rich in umami flavour. As the crisps cool, they form clusters which crisp up adding great texture to the salad. I can definitely advise making up a large batch of these clusters for snacking on throughout the week, for dressing up plain salad leaves and for adding a crisp topping to pastas and grains.
The rest of the recipe for this Coconut Summer Salad needs no preparation at all apart from chopping up and tossing in a mixing bowl – green leaves, vibrant kiwi slices and avocado cubes, orange apricots slices, red juicy strawberries and tomatoes with a simple lime-vinegar-olive oil dressing. If you are still a little wary of adding fruits to your savoury salads, then I highly recommend giving it a go – these flavours work so well and it really makes dinner or lunchtime feel more tropical and brighter.
The final component I like to add is kimchi or sauerkraut for the tangy-ness as well as the all-important gut health! It you’re not a fan, you can leave this out and the salad will be just as delicious.
A wonderfully vibrant, rich and flavoursome colourful explosion of a salad that’s ready in 30 minutes or less, this Coconut Summer Salad really is summer in a bowl for me. It celebrates the best of fresh produce while being hearty enough for a dinner or lunch. Serve this gluten-free, vegan and nut-free salad to guests as part of a BBQ spread or a picnic. It’s also a great one to make and keep for lunch the next day, just watch that the components are fully cooled down before mixing so as not to wilt the salad leaves.
Coconut Summer Salad
A light but filling salad with quinoa, roasted squash, tropical fruits, summer berries, creamy avocado and sticky coconut clusters – prefect for the warmer months.
- ½ large butternut squash, cubed
- 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- Salt and black pepper
- Sticky Coconut Clusters:
- 40g coconut flakes
- 2 tbsp coconut syrup
- 1 ½ tbsp coconut savoury sauce (or tamari soy sauce)
- 80g quinoa
- 4 strawberries, quartered
- 1 kiwi, chopped small
- 2 small apricots, sliced
- 8 cherry tomatoes, chopped
- 1 avocado, cubed
- 2 large handfuls green leaves
- 2 tbsp kimchi or sauerkraut
- 1 tbsp coconut vinegar
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Salt and black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 180Fan/200*C and toss the butternut squash cubes with the melted coconut oil and season with salt and black pepper. Roast for 30 minutes or until tender. Add the coconut syrup, savoury sauce and flakes together and roast on a lined baking tray for the first 10 minutes, tossing halfway through and taking out to leave to cool.
2. Meanwhile cook the quinoa according to packet instructions, drain and leave to cool, fluffing up with a fork after 10 minutes.
3. Add the roasted squash, cooked quinoa, coconut clusters and all the other salad ingredients together and toss well to coat. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Serve straight away or allow to cool.
I look forward to hearing your comments on my Coconut Summer Salad – please do leave your thoughts below and tag me in your salad creations. I’m @nourishing.amy on Instagram and use the hashtag #nourishingamy. I’m also on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest – please say hello!
With coconut salad love x