English spring garden salad


garden salad 2

You know that phrase used in American burger restaurants ‘take a walk through the garden’? Well, this is the elegant, English equivalent re-imagined onto your plate.

What is it with me and competitions? I never ever, ever win them. Even if only a few others have entered I still don’t win. I came across a Twitter competition last week to win a copy of Rachel Koo’s new cookbook and hamper of goodies – it’s oozing great design and I’d love to have it, but despite hardly any other entrants, I of course didn’t win. I’ll put it on my lengthy cookbook wishlist.

Anyway, in the attached article was a picture of her English Garden Salad, it looked so pretty and sent my imagination flying. I’m not even sure what exactly was in Rachel’s as I only caught sight of a small picture on my phone, so I just ran with the idea and created my version of an English spring garden salad.

Combining miniature new potatoes,  pink and crunchy radish, cucumber ribbons, herbs and leaves, all bathed in a chive vinaigrette, this is my interpretation of an English garden at this time of year.

English Spring Garden Salad (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)


Serves 2

  • 2 handfuls of miniature new potatoes, boiled or steamed until tender then left to cool
  • Small bunch of radish, cleaned, topped and tailed and quartered or halved
  • 1/3 rd cucumber, made into thin ribbons with a potato peeler
  • 4 mint leaves, finely chopped
  • Small handful of parsley, roughly chopped
  • A scattering of salad leaves

Chive vinaigrette (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, sesame-free, soya-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)

  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp slat
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped chives

– First make the dressing – whisk together all the ingredients, taste
– Toss the new potatoes and radish in a little of the vinaigrette, place in the centre of a platter
– Drape the cucumber ribbons over the potatoes and place the leaves around the plate
– Scatter over the herbs
– Drizzle over a little more vinaigrette
– Eat straight away

english garden salad






Green bean and radish salad

This rather lovely-looking salad was inspired by a delicious take-away lunch I had from ‘The Potato Merchant‘ in Exmouth Market, handily just around the corner from work.  I love that white/pink with deep green, and the crunch gives such a great addition to any plate. Eat on the day it’s made to be sure of getting maximum crunch, and  don’t cook the beans for too long for the same reason.

Radish and Green Bean Salad (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)


  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp wine vinegar, preferably white
  • 250g green beans, trimmed
  • 200g radish, sliced
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Small handful parsley, finely chopped

– Blanch the beans for 3 minutes and then drain and plunge into very cold water to preserve the colour
– Marinade the shallots in the vinegar for about 10 minutes to soften slightly and remove some of the raw onion flavour
– Whisk in the salt and oil
– Toss in the drained and dried beans and radish
– Sprinkle on the parsley
– Lightly toss
– Taste and adjust the seasoning.
– Serve


Radish Slaw

I bought the most lovely bunch of radishes the other day

…and as they don’t keep very well I had to think up a way of using them as quickly as possible. I made one potato, radish and tomato salad that I found online, but truth be told it really wasn’t the best recipe, so I will spare you that one.

I also made a radish ‘slaw which worked out very nicely – fresh and interesting. But be warned, since radishes are fairly wet it doesn’t keep well. Far better to eat it straight after preapring for optimum freshness and crunch.

Radish Slaw (dairy-free, can be egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

makes ‘a bowlful’

All the amounts are fairly approximate.

  • 1/2 small white cabbage, finely shredded
  • 4-6 radishes, grated
  • 1-2 finely sliced spring onions
  • a dollop or two of mayonnaise (egg-free or usual depending on whether you eat egg)
  • plenty of salt and pepper
  • 1 heaped tsp poppy seeds

– Mix together all the ingredients, carefully checking the seasoning.

– Eat as soon as possible