No Croutons Required - Leafless Salads

It is that time of the month again. Time for another round-up of No Croutons Required. This month I asked you to make me a salad, but to go leafless.

This month's round-up is coming to you from Cyprus, where I am sitting, overheated and trying not to cry as I just lost an hours work on this post and I am having to start again. I have had some virtual hugs on twitter, so I am ready to start again. I bet I was really witty and erudite the first time around. Oh well.

We will start of with my entry. I got mine in really early this month. So here is my winning leafless salad (it won Apertina's Salad of the Week).

1. Hearty Potato, Egg & Apetina Salad
Jacqueline (Tinned Tomatoes)

We had some glorious weather running up to the time I made this salad and then it reverted to form. True Scottish weather, cold wet and dreich. I still wanted salad though, but I decided it needed to be something a bit more substantial and comforting.

I teamed Apetina salad cheese (a bit like feta) with the smallest baby potatoes, spring onions, mushrooms, sundried tomatoes and eggs. Then I dressed my salad with a lovely mustard vinaigrette.

I enjoyed this salad warm the first day and took it to work cold the next. I do prefer it warm, but it was still an excellent salad cold.

Dundee, Scotland, UK

Valerie (City | Life | Eats)
First of all, apologies to Valerie, an old hand at NCR. She selected a photo for this round-up and I completely ignored it and chose this one instead.  I just love it, Wouldn't you like to be sitting at that table enjoying that salad and a glass of what looks like Pimms?
Valerie is getting over her dislike of beet and has decided she quite likes them if they are raw or in juice (pickled?). She has teamed the candy striped beets with quinoa salad and her own Scallion, Cashew Vegan Cheese. Yum!
"This salad is a quinoa-based vegan version of beet and goat cheese salad.  The flavors are all there – the tartness of the cheese, the black pepper complementing the sweetness of the beets, and the tang of a slightly mustard-accented vinaigrette."
Washington DC, US

Jane has been suffering enjoying 93 degree temperatures (33.8c), roughly the same as here in Cyprus, although our temperatures did hit the 40s a few days ago, which was too hot. So she is in the mood for salads. She has enjoyed this salad warm and cold and says it is good either way.
Cauliflower, onion, garlic, rosemary, oregano, edamame, tomatoes and walnuts.
A very healthy salad with lots of different textures to make it interesting.
Colorado, US

First of all, I Debbie's dresser. It's gorgeous and all that storage too. *sigh*
Debbie was going to a picnic and had to take a vegan dish along, she was stuck for a while to think of anything that didn't involve cheese or eggs, but after a root around she came up with this noodles salad. She was so impressed with it, she is going to try and have one vegan day a week and asks us if we would like to join her.
Sweet pepper, mushrooms, spring onions, garlic, ginger, lemon, chillis, cherry tomatoes & courgette.
London, England, UK
Ren grew up in Britain with Polish parents and is intoducing us to a traditional Polish Salad.
Surówka literally means raw and this is a bit like our coleslaw, but not creamy.
Carrots, apples, raisins, lemon, sugar, salt, caraway seeds and you can add some crumbled feta.
It sounds lovely and fresh.
We have to ignore the pea shoots on the side as they are a garnish and not a leaf anyway.
England, UK

This simple salad sounds super tasty.

Grilled pepper and courgette, dressed with a fresh basil dressing and finished with a scattering of pinenuts.

Lisa suggests you could also add this salad to pasta or use it as a panini filling. Mmmmm, all three sound good.

Lisa would also like to point out that this dish is suitable for vegans.



7. Broad Bean, Feta and Beetroot Salad 
Jane (Onions and Paper)

I would like to introduce a brand new blogger, Jane. She only started her blog in April, but I would say she is already getting hooked as she has 10 posts up already this month.

Jane describes herself as a comper, crafter, cook and granny. I do hope you will take the time top pop over there and say hello.

Jane's simple salad is of fresh young broad beans (young enough to not need podded), diced feta and diced beetroot coated in a lemon and mint dressing. Simple, but very, very tasty!


My mouth started watering as I was reading Fiona's post. I do love a potato salad and it's a creamy one too. Nom nom!

Fiona wanted to use some of her chive flowers and mustard flowers that were in full flower, so she decided to add them to a potato salad. A bit of a twist on the normal potato salad.

Salad potatoes, hard boiled eggs, chive flowers, mustard flowers, Maille honey mustard, creme fraiche and mayonaise. I will say it again nom nom!

Great entry Fiona.

London, England, UK

This is one tasty pasta salad, but simple too.

Spiral pasta, avocado, cherry tomatoes, carrots, red onion, mayonnaise, cilantro/coriander, garlic and lime juice.

Such an appealing photo too. I could happily just dive in and start scoffing it.

Ruth (Makey-Cakey)

Ruth had some left-over bulgar in the fridge, so that was the starting point for this salad. She was also starving, as her wee one had eaten most of her breakfast, so when the salad was complete, she topped it with a fried egg.

Bulgar wheat, freshly podded peas, sugar drop tomatoes. garlic, lemon, tahini and a fried egg.

This round-up is making me very hungry!

Rachel (The Crispy Cook)

Rachel often forgets to try quinoa, but when she does she loves it.

Westside Market sent her this recipe to try and she thought it would be perfect for this month's No Croutons Required. How right she is.

Quinoa, chives, spanish onion, spinach, parsley, fennel and dill. 

It does sound great. I often forget about quinoa too and mostly use couscous. Must make more effort!

This dish serves 10-12, so would be great for a picnic or potluck.

Schuylerville, NY, US

Janice made a Tabbouleh or Bulgar Wheat Salad this month. It is a dish she regularly makes to take to work during the week. It stores well in the fridge for a few days, so it is ideal. Usually she just throws the salad together as she pleases, but this time she decided to try another recipe and has given it the thumbs up.

Bulgar wheat, parsley, mint, red pepper, spring onion, walnuts, lemon, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Do you know I have never made tabbouleh and I don't know why. I guess I just never got around to it, but you have inspired me Janice, so I am going to give it a go once I am back in the UK.

Scottish Borders, UK

Now isn't that a pretty salad. It looks so appealing.

Simply celeriac with a mustardy dressing. The mustardy dressing is actually a souped up mayonnaise. Phil reckons it is worth making your own as it is so quick and I agree.

For a lower fat version, either buy a low fat mayonnaise or mix the lemon and mustard with yoghurt, which gives a crisper, fresher flavour.

I am really keen to give this one a go.

Cobham, Surrey, England, UK

14. Sweet Potato and Chickpea Salad 
Johanna (Green Gourmet Giraffe)

Johanna grows limes in her garden, so that was the starting point for this salad. She did enjoy it, but doesn't think it is one of her best. She thinks it might be improved by tweaking the seasoning, but it looks and sounds great to me.

Sweet Potatoes, chickpeas, cranberries, celery, apple, almond feta all sharpened up with a dressing of maple syrup and lime.

See, I told you it sounded good!

Melbourne, Australia


co-host, not in vote

Lisa, my good friend and co-host came up with a fabulous dish and she is quite right, you do have to keep the flavours alongside asparagus quite simple. Butter, lemon or in this case soft-boiled eggs, so they would ooze. Fabulous!!

Asparagus, eggs, olive oil, white wine vinegar, salt, pepper and parsley.


London, Ontario, Canada

Jacqueline (How to be a Gourmand)

Another amazing salad and more drooling from me.

I love halloumi, I love lentils. I never thought of having them together. Inspired!

Green lentil, plum tomatoes, Halloumi, red onion and coriander. Can that be beaten? Why yes, Jacqueline has a plan and it is even more exciting.

I think if I were to try the recipe again I would replace the raw red onion with caramelised red onion and add a balsamic reduction to replace the lemon juice in the salad dressing. Mmmmmmm!

Hong Kong, China

 A death-defying journey survived and quinoa discovered. Yes, you must visit and read the whole story. It is rather hair raising. She was lucky to get out alive. Jings!

Quinoa, black turtle beans, red onion, red and yellow peppers, sweet potatoes. spring onions, avocado & cherry tomatoes. Spiced up with paprika, calmed down with yoghurt and dressed with a lime and coriander dressing. 

"I cook with quinoa regularly now and since my time in South America it has become commonplace in most supermarkets.  I use it instead of rice, cous cous, pasta and bulgar wheat for dishes like taboulleh.  It has a great texture and the fact that it is full of protein, (great for a vegetarian diet), iron and calcium too only makes it more appealing."

Leicestershire, England, UK

And a last minute lost entry.

18. Thai Kelp Noodle Salad with Mango and Lima Beans  
Janet (The Taste Space)

I did wonder where Janet's entry was as she is a really regular contributer to No Croutons Required. She hadn't noticed we were using a linky now. Oh well. I hope you all get a chance to have a good look at it.

"Thai-inspired, the star of this dish is the creamy coconut-based dressing infused with lemongrass, Keffir lime leaves, ginger and shallots, balanced with a touch of tamarind, fresh lime juice, toasted sesame oil and soy sauce. All of the flavours are enhanced through the reduction of the coconut milk. Here, the dressing is used to bathe a kelp noodle salad with chopped mango, cucumber, lima beans  along with mint, cilantro and cashews."

Mmmmmmmm, sounds good Janet!


19. Tagliatelle Coleslaw
Dom (Belleau Kitchen)

 Another missed entry and such a good one too! My deepest apologies to Dom. He did indeed email me when I was in Cyprus, but when I did the roundup I just looked at the linky and forgot poor Dom. So I hope if you are having a read through the roundup, you will pop over and have a look through at Dom's recipe.

Dom elevates the humble coleslaw, with a really garlicky with home-made olive-oil aioli. I can tell you that there is a secret ingredient, but you wll have to head over there to find out. The other secret to this recipe, is the finely peeled carrot, which gives this an appealing tagliatelle texture. Much more interesting than grated carrot. Sorry again Dom x

Another exceptional round-up! I never think they can get any better, but they always do. 

Please take the time to visit some of the bloggers who took the time to take part and remember to vote for your favourite.

The new challenge will be announced on the 1st of July over at Lisa's Kitchen.

If you haven't already, there is still time to enter my Moo Business Cards Giveaway. It is open to readers worldwide, so everyone can enter. You have until the 6th of July.

Good luck everyone!


  1. There are several of these that I want to try.

  2. Great round up Jacqueline. I am sure you were just as witty the second time around!!! Don't you just hate it when that happens.

    1. Haha, probably wasn't even witty the first time around. Took me nearly 5 hours in the end. Jeez!

  3. Oh no! My salad didn't make the round-up!

    1. Oh shoot, did you send it to the email instead of adding it to the linky? I will add it, but it won't be in the vote.

  4. Lots of yummy looking salads there:-)

  5. What a shame...that always happens when I'm in a hurry. Thanks for taking the time to do this while you are on holiday. And for all the lovely comments too.

    Great I've got lots of new salad recipes to try out now.

    Have an amazing holiday.

  6. All we need now is the sun! Lots of great ideas and I look forward to seeing your version of tabbouleh!

    1. Oh darn, did a online shop for Monday morning and forgot to add the bulgar wheat.

  7. What a splendid roundup! And no need to apologize on the picture - for once there were several choices (usually I am lucky if I like one of my photos enough for a post).

    As for beets in juice - I meant that I am warming up to beets raw (in salads) or when included in vegetable juice - ie fresh green juice with cucumber, celery, beets, kale etc. Nothing pickled - shudder - and most definitely not fermented pickle juice - double shudder - but if it is freshly pressed green juice and has beets, that gives the juice a nice flavor.

    1. Hehe, I can just imagine you sitting there shaking your head and looking slightly sick at the thought. Good for you for not giving up on them though.

  8. 18 please, Jac!

  9. On the odd days we've had warm weather, I've been sneaking a salad or two onto the menu. These are inspiring!

  10. Loving those salads! I've been transitioning my toddler from finger foods to those types of leafless salads and this gives me a lot of great ideas for him and us grown-ups too!!! Savoring those salads lunching on the patio, perhaps with a cool glass of rosé... ahhh, summer... Thanks so much :-)

    1. I don't have much luck with my toddler and salads, but I will keep trying. I can sometimes get him to eat couscous.

  11. great round up jac - how annoying that you lost you post because these round ups must be quite a bit of work - hope those warm rays of sunshine cheered you up - and probably got you in the mood for more salads :-)

    1. The sunshine was great and I thought I had brought it back to Scotland with me, alas, it is now bucketing down :(

  12. Aah, I had an idea for this one but just never got to it in time. :-( Great round up!

  13. Wow, what a choice. I scrolled through THREE times reading and looking at the pictures, all are deserving of a vote, I want the I sound!!

    I made my choice eventually, but it was sooooo difficult.

    I must say it has inspired me to ditch the leaves for a day, I daren't risk longer than that as the lettuces are going wild in the Veggie Patch.

    Sue xx

    1. I am so glad you have enjoyed and got inspiration from the roundup up. There are some really excellent salads, but yes, you better get using that lettuce :)

  14. I missed you putting this post up but you missed including my post too... i'm sure I emailed and tweeted it to you!... although I do forgive you that you were in Cyprus... here's the link anyway xxx


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