Tag Archives: salad

Slutty lunch/Simple lunch

Some time ago I wrote about the fridge slut, a dish concocted from the odds and ends in the fridge. It’s a dish that, I reckon, has a 50/50 chance of going well. There is always the very real possibility that your speculative marriage of maple syrup and spring onions is going to end in tears. But then it’s just as possible that your fridge sluttery will end in triumph.

Yesterday, buried under an avalanche of deadlines, I couldn’t face going to the shops. I boiled a potato. I fried some bacon and onion with a little thyme. I made an eye-watering dressing with English mustard and cider vinegar, then put my face in the fridge. Chives! Radishes! Salad leaves! All the above made a happy union on my plate.

But something was missing. I fried an egg. I bunged it on top then ate the whole slutty mess in one go. While watching Made In Chelsea. Ha!


Today’s lunch was more civilised. Fat English asparagus boiled for a couple of minutes, tossed in melted butter and served on garlicky toast with hot smoked trout and horseradish. Somehow the slut was better.

If you were to make a fridge slut now, what would it consist of?


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Ravinder Bhogal’s green bean, cashew, and coconut salad

© Rahil Ahmad

We were incredibly fortunate last week to have the wonderful Ravinder Bhogal come and cook at the Secret Larder. Ravinder, if you don’t know her, was the winner of Gordon Ramsay’s ‘Find Me A Fanny’ competition on the F-Word, and has since written a beautiful book, co-presented Channel 4’s ‘Food’, and started writing a blog for Conde Nast Traveler. She served this salad with a phenomenally delicious fish curry, lemon rice, and various other goodies. Continue reading

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Recipe | Chicory, bean, and lovage salad with buttermilk dressing

Imagine celery with a swagger and you’re pretty close to lovage. With darker leaves than its watery cousin, lovage has the most fantastic flavour that, while not immediately appealing, grows on you. Continue reading


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Recipe | Halloumi, chilli and lemon salad

I’ve got a new game. Next time you don’t know what to have for supper, ask a friend to name a random ingredient, and you have to incorporate it into what you cook. I was feeling totally uninspired last night, and asked the good people of Twitter to help out. Aside from the one suggestion of Angel Delight, it was amazing how helpful it was. I ended up with this, and very good it was too. Continue reading


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This week’s food news | 23rd July 2010

London has the worst food in Europe
A Europe-wide survey has found London to have the worst food. As well as being the most exciting and most expensive, it was concluded its food left much to be desired. Quite where the judges were eating I don’t know. London’s food is something to be proud of, in my opinion. Rome came out on top in the food stakes. Continue reading


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Recipe | Chicken liver, broad bean and parsley salad

As asparagus season ends, broad bean season begins. It’s rather neat, isn’t it? The little pale green nuggets work well enough quickly blanched and served with some shaved Parmesan, tarted up in a salad like this one, or pureed with mint, pine nuts and yet more Parmesan for a sort of late spring pesto. Stevie Parle does them with morcilla (Spanish black pudding) and smoked paprika; as good a broad bean dish as I’ve found. If feeling industrious it’s worth double-podding them – particularly later in the season when the leathery pods within can be quite tough.

Serves 2 as a main, 4 as a starter
500g broad beans
400g chicken livers
A handful of flat leaf parsley
Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp honey
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
Half a clove of garlic, crushed
Salt and pepper

– Pod (or double pod if you can be arsed – I couldn’t) the beans and set aside. Cut the livers into chunks and trim the chicken livers of any bile and connective tissue and wash. Dry thoroughly.

– Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and add the beans. Simmer for 2 minutes, drain and run under a cold tap for a minute or so. Heat a little oil in a frying pan. Cut the livers into chunks and fry for a couple of minutes on each side, seasoning with salt and pepper as you go.

– Remove from pan to rest. Whisk together the mustard, honey and vinegar, then slowly add the oil. Finally whisk in the garlic, and season with salt and pepper.

– Serve the livers with the broad beans and parsley leaves, spoon over some dressing and grate over a little Parmesan.

PS. It could be argued that this would be better with a sharper vinegar like sherry. You could deglaze the pan with the vinegar, scraping up all the lovely little caramelized bits of liver, before pouring into a small mixing bowl and continuing with dressing as before. Your call. My sister is a slut for balsamic vinegar – in fact she licked her plate clean. Seriously.


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Recipe | Thai beef patties with cucumber and pea salad

Mince is always a bit of headache. Burgers, spag bol, or chilli tend to be the options weighed up when faced with a pack of the stuff. We usually go for spag bol because, well, it’s spag bol isn’t it? Few things are as comforting or homely. But next time you are wondering what to do with the near-out-of-date mince in the fridge, have a go at this. Is nice.

Serves 4-6
1kg minced beef
3 chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
1 stalk lemongrass, finely chopped
6 spring onions, sliced
A bunch of coriander, finely chopped
A squeeze of lemon juice
An egg
For the salad
Some peas in their pods (they’re in the supermarket at the moment)
A few gem lettuces, pulled apart
Half a cucumber, sliced
A handful of peanuts
Spring onions, sliced
Juice of a lime
A few shakes of sesame oil
1 tbsp fish sauce
Groundnut oil
Salt and pepper

– Mix the mince with the chilli, lemongrass, spring onions and coriander. Add a squeeze of lemon juice, egg and salt and pepper, and bind with your hands. Form into patties.

– Make the dressing for the salad by mixing the lime juice, sesame oil, fish sauce and groundnut oil. Taste for seasoning and add a pinch of sugar if necessary.

– Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and add the peas. Simmer for 2 minutes, drain, and run under cold water for a minute to prevent them cooking further.

– Heat a little oil in a frying pan and fry the patties for 3 minutes on each side. Rest for a couple of minutes while you toss together the salad leaves, cucumber, peanuts, spring onions and coriander with the dressing. Serve together.


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