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Recipe Collection

Spicy Steak Salad

Chloe Hardwick — Salads Are More Than Leaves, 2022

Harissa is the kitchen secret that’ll serve you well every time. For a vegetarian option, swap the steaks for 4 charred aubergine halves. To get ahead, make the crispy chickpeas and dressing in advance.

Serves: 4

Season: Summer

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes

Photography: Chloe Hardwick


400g tomatoes
1 small red onion
juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
2–3 sirloin steaks (about 500g in total)
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves
1½ teaspoons hot paprika
1 small bunch (about 30g) flat leaf parsley or coriander
salt and pepper

For the crispy chickpeas
400g can of chickpeas
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
option: add 2 teaspoons of any ground spices such as curry powder, ground coriander, ground cumin or smoked paprika

For the tahini dressing
3 tbsp tahini

juice of 1/2 lemon (about 1 tbsp)
salt and pepper
1 tbsp harissa

To serve
A few crispy chickpeas
A few herb leaves


  1. Roughly chop the tomatoes into 3cm (1¼-inch) chunks. Put in a bowl, season generously with salt and set aside. This removes the water from the tomatoes and makes them taste 10 times better! Peel and finely slice the red onion, add to another bowl. Cover with the lemon juice, add a big pinch of salt and a splash of boiling water and set aside to pickle.

  2. Make the crispy chickpeas. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/Gas Mark 4. Line a baking tray with nonstick baking paper. Drain and rinse the chickpeas, then drain well and pat them dry with kitchen paper. Spread out onto the lined tray and add the oil. Sprinkle with the spices, if using, season generously with salt and toss well. Roast for 20-30 minutes, shaking the pan every 10 minutes, until golden and crispy. Be careful and stand back when shaking the pan, as sometimes they can pop open in the oven. Set aside to cool.

  3. Meanwhile, make the dressing. Put the tahini and lemon juice in a large serving or mixing bowl, season generously with salt and pepper and whisk until combined — it’ll seize up and look clumpy, but don’t worry! Add splashes of water and keep whisking until it becomes a light creamy colour. Add in the harissa, this will thicken the dressing, but keep whisking and slowly trickling in extra water until it reaches a drizzling consistency — it can take up to 5 tablespoons of water, so have no fears about it continuing to look clump for a while!

  4. Heat a large nonstick frying pan over a high heat. Rub the steaks with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and season well, then add to the hot pan and fry for 1½ minutes on each side (for medium). Set aside. Turn the heat off under the pan.

  5. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the pan. Peel and finely slice the garlic, then add to the pan with the smoked paprika – the pan will still be hot enough to lightly colour them both, but scrape it a bit to pick up some of the meaty goodness! Transfer the garlic, paprika and any oil in the pan to a large mixing bowl.

  6. Add most of the crispy chickpeas to the bowl, then drain the tomatoes and add those along with the pickled onions and most of the herb leaves. Season well and toss. Transfer to a platter or plates.

Read more: Salads Are More Than Leaves

When it’s hot outside and all you want to eat are cold, fresh, flavourful salads, Ellie has got you covered. Her book is one that you’ll keep referring to whether it’s for quick, easy and simple mid-week meals or big salad parties and BBQ spreads. Salads Are More Than Leaves by Elena Silcock is published by Hamlyn, priced £20.00. Photography by Chloe Hardwick.

— about the author

Food writer, stylist and recipe developer Elena began her career at BBC Good Food, before later moving to Copenhagen to spend time working at Lille Bakery. After coming back to London, she launched her newsletter You Bring The Wine alongside photographer Chloe Hardwick, filled with bright, seasonal, deliciously creative recipes.



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