Spring Salad

Spring Salad

April Salad, from An English Vineyard Cookbook

Tenderstem Broccoli, Dandelion, Radish, Spring Onion & Toasted Hazelnuts with Asian Dressing

It’s not just about saving the planet: the best reason for eating locally grown vegetables in the prime of their season is that they simply taste so much better. No premature harvesting for the sake of appearance, no deep chilled storage, no gassing in airtight packaging to extend shelf life – just real food plucked from the soil by hard-working hands.

Tenderstem broccoli is a delicious vegetable to serve hot or cold. In this recipe it is blanched, then finished on a hot griddle and served warm. The young dandelion leaves give a subtle bite, the radishes and spring onions add freshness and the roasted hazelnuts complete the dish with a wholesome crunch. We have dressed this salad with a lovely Asian combination of soy, lime, chilli and syrup.

Serves 6

400g Tenderstem Broccoli
80g Hazelnuts
A good handful of Dandelion Leaves
6 Radishes, sliced
4 Spring Onions, sliced
For the dressing
2 tbsp Soy Sauce
1 tbsp Sesame Oil
1 Lime, zest and juice
1 tbsp Golden Syrup
1 fresh Red Chilli, finely sliced

Bring a large pan of lightly salted water to the boil. Add the broccoli and blanch for 4 minutes, drain, refresh under the cold tap, then put on to kitchen paper to dry.

Heat a ribbed griddle pan over a high heat. Toss the hazelnuts onto the griddle, and roll them to quickly toast. (This really brings out the flavour of the nuts.) Remove the nuts from the heat and set aside.

Now put the broccoli onto the griddle, allowing it to char a little on all sides. Remove the pan from the heat.

Arrange a bed of dandelion leaves on a serving platter, put the broccoli on top and scatter with hazelnuts, radishes and spring onions.

Add all the ingredients for the dressing to a small pan and warm the mixture over a moderate heat. Use a whisk or stick blender to bring the dressing together, then pour over the salad and serve.