Recently I've really been thinking about growing things, my little flat doesn't have any back garden space but recently the (very lovely) couple who live in the flat below said I'm welcome to claim the front garden to the property. There's just something sumptuous about the idea of eating a salad you've grown yourself. I'm lucky with my local greengrocers, they have buckets of fresh herbs you can buy by weight but most places charge over the earth for tiny bunches of the herbs you need most of yet the ones you need just a little of seem to come in their masses so they end up wilting and browning in the bottom of your veg drawer. I'm holding off manically re-landscaping the little patch to the front of our garden as I'm not the most green fingered of folk and it might just be because I'm craving fresh herbs at the moment. So, idly flicking through my copy of Yotam Ottelenghi's Plenty one Sunday whilst watching a program on foraging I was totally drawn to this recipe.
This teams perfectly with something fairly rich - as pointed out in the book, it acts as a perfect palette cleanser so works amazingly as either a starter or an end to the meal.
The salad (all herbs fresh)
- 90g watercress
- 20g basil leaves
- 20g coriander
- 10g picked dill
- 10g tarragon
- 40g shelled unsalted pistachias, lightly toasted and crushed
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 and a half - 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1tsp orange blossom water
- salt and black pepper
Place the watercress and herbs in a large mixing bowl and set aside until you are ready to serve. It's important that you don't dress until you are ready to serve as the acidity of the dressing will wilt these tender herbs on more than a few minutes contact.
In a small bowl or jug briskly stir together the dressing ingredients. When ready, pour the dressing and the pistachios over the salad, toss gently and serve.
Formally Emma Gutteridge