Photography by Shantanu Starick
This salad just makes me feel all warm in my bones like sun on my skin. Spring come at me.
Spring is often an overwhelming and beautiful time all at once for us. Everything wakes up after Winter, it's cold, it's hot and sometimes Summer feels as though it's just so close that you can reach out and touch it. And then it's gone again, with another frost.
I am just waiting, to put those tomatoes in the ground. One more week until the risk of frost passes.
But then when you make a salad like this, from all the beautiful Spring things, it reminds me to wait. To hang out here, in Spring. To keep eating everything green, for a little longer.
This salad stands alone. It's literally inspired by walking through the garden at this time of year. It's super fresh, full of herby flavours and sweetness from the young shoots, asparagus and peas. And the edible flowers are just for fun, because they are one of our favourite things about Spring - they are so abundant in Spring, as everything wakes up and then shoots to flower.
The salad also goes super well with some freekeh or brown rice, and a fried egg if you want to make it a fuller meal. It goes without saying that this is a pretty nutrient rich salad, seeing as it contains so many green things!
Definitely feel free to adapt this salad, based on what's coming out of your Spring garden right now!
If you are in the Southern Hemisphere like us, keep enjoying Spring for a little while longer. Smell the air. Summer will be here soon and you will miss it.
on brassica shoots
Brassicas are a family of vegetables including broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, cabbage, wombok, radish, turnip, kohlrabi and more.
Everyone seems to have placed broccolini above all else when it comes to the flowering shoots of the brassica family of plants, but there is so much more to explore!
When you grow your own brassicas you realise that things don’t always go to plan and sometimes there are all of a sudden an explosion of flowering shoots where once stood the cabbage you just didn’t quite get around to harvesting. We think the shoots are all as good as each other. Cabbage shoots are so sweet. Radish shoots so pungent. They all have so much to offer. So next time your brassicas shoot for the sky just get picking and experience a side of them you never knew existed.
on broad bean tips
Broad bean tips are just that - the leafy tips of broad bean plants. It is unlikely you will be able to find these in markets but when you grow your own broad beans you will have an abundance of them! Don’t cut the tips of your plants until they have reached their full height (or at least 1-1.5 m) and set all their pods or you may be reducing your harvest. They taste just like broad beans, but leafier funnily enough.
Serves 4-6 people as a side salad // Time 15 minutes
Unrefined sea salt
200g brassica shoots (see field note above)
1 cup sugar snaps and/or snow peas and/or freshly shelled peas
150g broad bean tips, stripped from stalk (see field note above)
3 packed cups of fresh spring herb leaves and edible flowers (we used oregano, thyme, parsley, sweet marjoram, mint, pea shoots, borage flowers, violas, sage flowers and onion flowers - the onion flowers totally make the dish!)
1/3 cup rice wine or white wine vinegar
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
200g feta cheese (see note)
Leaves from 2 sprigs of sweet marjoram
Big pinch freshly ground black pepper
Fill a medium pot with liberally salted water to the boil. Blanch the asparagus, brassica shoots and various peas quickly, they should be bright green and still nice and crunchy. Strain and run under cold water (this will stop them from over cooking). Dry your pot.
Place the pot back on the stove, over a medium heat. Add a large splash of olive oil and sauté the broad bean tips until bright green and wilted. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl combine the herbs and flowers (reserving a little handful), vegetables you blanched earlier and broad bean tips to make the salad.
In a jar combine dressing ingredients and shake well to combine.
Dress the salad with 80% of the dressing mixture and mix well with your hands to combine. Divide into serving bowls and top the bowls with the remaining dressing and the reserved herbs and flowers.
- Omit Feta for a dairy free option
- Would be great served with freekeh or brown rice and/or a fried egg.
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