Check out six of the best on offer as the weather heats up

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

Innocent Bystander, Six spring salads that will leave you salivating

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.

Details: Innocent Bystander, 316-334 Maroondah Highway, Healesville

Phone: (03) 5999 9222

Website: https://www.innocentbystander.com.au/

Fruit fusion at Rochford

Rochford Wines, Six spring salads that will leave you salivating

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.

Details: Rochford Wines, 878-880 Maroondah Highway, Coldstream

Phone: (03) 5957 3333

Website: https://www.rochfordwines.com.au/

An egg-cellent option

Coonara Springs, Six spring salads that will leave you salivating

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. 

Details: Coonara Springs, 129 Olinda-Monbulk Rd, Olinda

Phone: (03) 9751 1686

Website: coonarasprings.com 

Bowled over at Round Bird Can't Fly

Round Bird, Six spring salads that will leave you salivating

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.

Details: Round Bird Can’t Fly, 170 Main St, Lilydale

Phone: (03) 9735 9724

Website: http://www.roundbird.com.au

The main event at Yarra Valley Grand Hotel

Yarra Valley Grand Hotel, Six spring salads that will leave you salivating

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. 

Details: Yarra Valley Grand Hotel, 19 Bell St, Yarra Glen

Phone: (03) 9730 1230

Website: https://www.yarravalleygrand.com.au/

Back to basics at Zonzo Estate

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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.

Details: Zonzo Estate, 957 Healesville-Yarra Glen Rd, Yarra Glen

Phone: (03) 9730 2500

Website: https://www.zonzo.com.au/

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