‘Serve with a simple green salad’ is probably one of the most throwaway lines in cookery writing. A green salad like this one isn’t just a sidebar of a dish, it’s a proper superstar in its own right. You can create your own favourite green ingredient combo but I love this one of lettuce, fennel, cucumber, celery and lemon-marinated red onion. I’ve even been growing my own salad leaves in an old stone planter this year – totally worth it to have fresh, flavoursome salad whenever you need it! The trick to making a great salad is to make sure that the lettuce leaves are dry and to do as the French do – gently toss the all the ingredients in just the right amount of the dressing immediately before serving. It is a pet hate of mine to be served a pile of undressed leaves on a plate with a bottle of dressing on the side – it’s called a dressing for a reason!
- A head of fresh lettuce or salad leaves, washed and thoroughly dried in a salad spinner or a tea towel
- 1/3rd of a large cucumber, halved, de-seeded and sliced into thin half moons
- Half a head of fennel, very finely sliced
- 1 stick of celery, finely sliced
- 1/2 a red onion, finely sliced and soaked in lemon juice with a pinch of salt for about 30 minutes
- Dressing: 4 tablespoons of groundnut or light olive oil, 1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar or a flavoured vinegar like tarragon works well, a teaspoon of Dijon or brown French mustard, a pinch of salt and black pepper. This will make more than you need but it stores well in the jar for several days.
- Put the dressing ingredients into a small glass jar. Screw the lid on and shake thoroughly until all the ingredients emulsify together. Bingo!
- Put the lettuce, celery, fennel, cucumber and marinated onion into a deep salad bowl.
- Add a tablespoon of the dressing and gently toss everything using salad servers or a pair of spoons. Every element should be coated thoroughly with a thin film of dressing – you don’t need to drown it.
Share, follow, like, enjoy!
- To get the latest #TheFridayRecipe from the Pigeon Cottage Kitchen blog, just add your email address to the subscribe box at the top right-hand column of the website.
- Follow me on twitter @pigeoncottage, on Instagram at Pigeon Cottage Kitchen and the Pigeon Cottage Kitchen page on Facebook.
- Click on the link to get your very own copy of my family recipe book, Whats4teaMum?