Tastes: Lunch Salads with Matt Wilkinson

A Recipe Sampler from Mr. Wilkinson's Well-Dressed Salads


By Matt Wilkinson

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Yum! A snack-pack of recipes from Mr. Wilkinson’s Well-Dressed Salads now available from TASTES.

Our editors have curated some of the best lunch salad recipes from chef Matt Wilkinson’s inspired combinations of flavors and textures for you to test out and enjoy.

Featuring 13 recipes from the original book, this sampler is sure to help you pack a delicious lunch for school, work, or a picnic in the park!

So go ahead, Get a TASTE!


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I think of most food groups as a salad. Really I do. Why? Well, the salad is one of the most diverse food groups ever. A burger is a burger, and a curry is a curry… but salads are wonderfully variable and can be hot or cold. Any ingredient can be made into a salad—any vegetable, fruit, grain, pulse, seafood, or meat—not just salad leaves. A salad to me is simply a marriage of flavors and textures that you bring together, tossed with the right vinaigrette or dressing, and there you have it. For me, a salad is primarily designed to share, but can be brilliant on its own for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or any of the meals in between.

—Matt Wilkinson, chef and co-owner of Pope Joan in Melbourne and the Spudbar franchise throughout Australia


Serves 2, or 4 sharing

The black bean vinaigrette is a version from my old mate Jake Nicolson, and has become a regular at home and in dishes for work. This dish goes brilliantly with some simple Chinese-style roasted beef, duck, or chicken.


14 oz (400 g) Chinese yard-long (snake) beans

10½ oz (300 g) organic silken tofu, cut into 8 pieces

1 small handful cilantro (coriander), leaves picked and washed

1 tablespoon crispy fried Asian shallots (from a jar)


7 tablespoons (100 g, 3½ oz) fermented black beans (see glossary), soaked overnight in the fridge in several changes of water (or you can use 3 tablespoons black bean paste, from a jar)

1 small long red chili, seeded and finely chopped

3 shallots, finely diced

1¾ oz (50 g) knob of fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated

1¼ cups (340 ml, 11 fl oz) canola oil (non-GMO)

⅔ cup (150 ml, 5 fl oz) light soy sauce

3 tablespoons (40 ml, 1½ fl oz) black rice vinegar, or rice vinegar


To make the vinaigrette, rinse the soaked black beans if you're using fermented ones. Place in a bowl and use a fork to smash them up a little, to a paste-like consistency. Add the chili, shallots, and ginger, then carefully fold in the canola oil, soy sauce, and vinegar. Taste for a nice salt and acid balance and adjust to your liking.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cut the snake beans into thirds, then add to the pot and boil for 3 minutes, or until they're still a little crisp but cooked.

Drain the hot beans and place in a mixing bowl. Add half the tofu and cilantro, and enough dressing to coat (roughly 3 tablespoons). Gently toss, not breaking up the tofu too much, then place in a serving dish.

Add the remaining tofu. Dress with a little more vinaigrette and the rest of the cilantro. Serve sprinkled with the fried shallots.

NOTE: Any leftover vinaigrette will keep in an airtight jar in the fridge for weeks.


On Sale
Oct 4, 2016
Page Count
15 pages

Matt Wilkinson

About the Author

Matt Wilkinson is passionate about food in season, farmers’ markets, and local producers. As the former head chef at the award-winning Circa the Prince, Wilkinson helped usher in an era of organics and gardento- kitchen rustic fine dining. He now co-owns and runs Pope Joan and the neighboring market Hams and Bacon in Melbourne, both of which have cult followings for their fresh, seasonal food. He is also the coowner and chef of a franchise of 11 Spudbar slow-food, fast-food shops in Australia, which feature healthy and delicious topped baked potatoes and salads. His first cookbook, Mr. Wilkinson’s Vegetables, won the IACP cookbook award for design and has sold more than 100,000 copies worldwide in nine languages. He lives in Melbourne, Australia. For current news, visit mrwilkinsons.com.au.

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