5 unlikely vegetables to try in your next salad

Stay true to the vibrant and versatile nature of salads by incorporating new and exciting vegetables into your cooking. Every ingredient brings different flavours, textures and colours to a salad, so change up your salad routine by trying something different. If you haven’t used any of these fantastic five in a salad, now is the time to start.

Chicory (witlof)

You can thank the Belgians for discovering the wonders of chicory. Lovers of strong flavours and creamy dressings should take note of this salad vegetable. This is because its crisp leaves and bitter flavour stands up well against stronger flavours. If you’re lucky enough to find chicory in a supermarket outside of Europe, don’t miss your chance to try it as they tend to come in short supply.

Pairs well with: red capsicum (bell pepper), pear, fennel and garlic. Top with: Blue cheese, walnuts and anchovies

Recipe inspiration: Chicory, pear, blue cheese and walnut salad

witlof, pear, blue cheese and walnut salad


With the crunch of a carrot stick and a distinct aniseed flavour, fennel never fades to the background. Create a simple salad with fennel so you really get to experience the taste of this wonderful vegetable.

Fennel pairs well with: citrus fruits, leafy greens like lettuce and rocket, shaved Parmesan and toasted nuts.

Recipe inspiration: A refreshing appetiser salad made with fennel, orange and cucumber

fennel, orange and cucumber salad


After a trip to Denmark where radishes are found aplenty, I was hooked on this vegetable. Radishes bring crunch and a subtle, peppery flavour to a salad. Plus, their pinkish red and white colour looks amazing on a plate.

Radish pairs well with: Think of spring vegetables like peas, asparagus, dill, lemon and black pepper

Recipe inspiration: Radish and cucumber salad with a creamy dill dressing

radish and cucumber salad


Broccoli takes on a life of its own in a salad as the florets tend to absorb the flavours of other ingredients and the dressing. Serve it raw, blanched or pan fried depending on what you prefer.

Broccoli pairs well with: Parmesan, pan-fried bacon, cauliflower, red capsicum (bell pepper) and chilli

Recipe inspiration: A tasty warm broccoli and cauliflower salad

warm cauliflower and broccoli salad


I never used zucchini in salads until I came across the ribbon method to preparing them, which uses a vegetable peeler to create long and delicate zucchini ribbons. Pan fry the ribbons with a little olive oil and garlic or serve them raw, mixed in with a bowl of leafy greens.

Zucchini pairs well with: Fresh herbs, Parmesan, lettuce, spinach and tomato

Recipe inspiration: Grilled zucchini ribbon salad with roast tomatoes, hazelnuts and mozzarella

Grilled zucchini salad

unlikely vegetables to try, salad, fennel, zucchini, chicory, radish

Salad story by

Callum Roberts

Callum Roberts

Food blogger / food writer

Life’s too short to eat average food, and vegetables and salads are anything but average. They’re packed with feel good chemicals, rainbow colours and flavours that dare you to explore the... Read more

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