Spring has sprung, and it’s time to say goodbye to winter soups and stews and hello to lighter fare. The humble salad - once a chef’s after-thought – now takes centre stage on Yarra Valley menus, with ingredients from pickled cabbage, to smashed avo, eggs and five-spice pork.
Cauliflower season at Innocent Bystander
Cauliflower is being used for everything from pizza bases to rice, so it’s not surprising to see it turning up in salads. It’s the star of Innocent Bystander’s cauliflower salad, teamed with sweetcorn, shredded kale, ancient grains, sage and horseradish. The zing of the horseradish complements the sweetness of the corn and cauliflower, and pairs with a glass of Yarra Valley Arneis for the perfect spring spread. The popular eatery also has a baked sweet potato salad with Yarra Valley feta, rocket, fresh chilli, sun-dried tomatoes and pumpkin seeds.
Phone: (03) 5999 9222
Fruit fusion at Rochford
Move over veggies because fruits are now salad stars, and Rochford Wines teams roasted pear with wild rocket, feta and hazelnuts for a fresh spring sensation. Enjoy it with a glass of premium wine while relaxing in the estate’s courtyard or café, or out on the patio.
Phone: (03) 5957 3333
An egg-cellent option
Eggs aren’t just for scrambling, boiling or frying up for breakfast. For a protein hit with a difference, visit Coonara Springs for its salad featuring a poached egg atop new-season asparagus and broad beans, with asparagus sauce. And while you’re there, take in the incredible views of the Yarra Valley and see the spring blooms in the property’s Edna Walling-themed gardens.
Phone: (03) 9751 1686
Bowled over at Round Bird Can't Fly
The nutrition bowls at vegan-friendly Round Bird Can’t Fly aren’t called salads, but with combos like raw carrot, beetroot, kale, cabbage, bean shoots, and cashew dressing; and falafel, quinoa, smashed avo spinach, pickled cabbage and sweet potato hummus, they come very close. And with Round Bird’s food store stocking Yarra Valley produce, you can also pick up ingredients to make your own dishes at home.
Phone: (03) 9735 9724
The main event at Yarra Valley Grand Hotel
Gone are the days when a salad was just a few pieces of limp lettuce on the side of the plate. If you want a main meal that’s not just meat and chips, try the Yarra Valley Grand Hotel’s Asian-inspired salad of five-spice pork belly, wombok, bean shoots, roasted pineapple, coriander, mint, crushed peanuts with a sticky dressing. The gastropub also has a chicken and a veg salad to keep all taste buds happy.
Phone: (03) 9730 1230
Back to basics at Zonzo Estate
If you’re more accustomed to traditional tastes, check out Zonzo Estate for some Italian inspiration. Try the Insalata Mista Di Pomodori with Spanish onion, cucumber, mini roma tomatoes, bocconcini and parsley; or the Insalata Di Ceci with chickpeas, Spanish onion, diced roma tomatoes, cucumber and parsley, and match with a glass of wine as you take in the property’s 45 acres of vines.
Phone: (03) 9730 2500