Category Archive: Salads

  1. Roasted Pumpkin and St Agur Salad

     The end of summer is here. We are feeling the cold seep into London, which in unfortunate because my relationship with Gelato was just getting exciting, but with the cold comes changing leaves, crisp aired walks, that feeling of excitement like school is starting (yes I know I’m in my 30’s, but I still love stationary shopping). This salad makes me think of summer but uses delicious pumpkin ripe and ready for autumn. Add in a rich blue cheese, toasted nuts and cranberries and you have something really simple but special.

    The sweet roasted pumpkin is matched up against the savoury, salty tang of the blue cheese, the bitter toasted walnuts and the sour dried cranberries and pomegranate  molasses. The serving size is perfect  as dinner for two and to be enjoyed with a glass of lightly sweet Riesling or a rich Sauternes. For best results, use a soft shelled pumpkin, which can still be found at good green grocers. Alternatively peel a culinary pumpkin before roasting or use butternut squash.

    Roasted Pumpkin and St Agur Salad



  2. Smoked Mackerel Potato Salad

    I learned a version of this recipe from my mom’s Parisian cousin, so it’s gotta be good. Paris has such style. Even their casual is pulled together, which basically sums up this salad too.

    Great for a BBQ, mid-week dinner or picnic lunch, this is a go-to recipe and it’s so simple a small child could knock it together. Woohoo!


    Serves 4-6 as a side, 3-4 as a main


    250-300g smoked peppered mackerel

    500g new potatoes, boiled or steamed

    4TBS mayonnaise

    1 lemon

    20g chives, finely chopped


    Zest the lemon into a small bowl and keep it to the side. Juice the rest.

    Cut the potatoes into quarters and place in a large bowl. Skin the mackerel and break it into generous chunks.


  3. Roasted Pumpkin and St Agur Salad

     This salad is all about balancing bold flavours while also letting the ingredients speak for themselves. Nothing fancy, just a little bit of thought.

    The sweet roasted pumpkin is matched up against the savoury, salty tang of the blue cheese, the bitter toasted walnuts and the sour dried cranberries and pomegranate  molasses. All the flavours are covered. The serving size is perfect  as dinner for two, sat out on the patio as the nights turn long and warm, and to be enjoyed with a glass of soft Sauvignon Blanc, a crisp wine to cut through the rich flavours. For best results, use whichever pumpkin and greens are in season.

    Roasted Pumpkin and St Agur Salad



  4. Smoked Mackerel, Grapefruit and Avocado Salad

    I just had the blissful experience of having my mom and step dad come to stay with us in London. It had been a year since I last saw them and oh my days was that way too long. They stayed for a month and it was bliss.

    Having people to visit is such a wonderful opportunity to go out and enjoy London for her best attributes, especially in her bleakest months. I’ve got to hand it to you, London, when given a chance you really know how to show a girl a good time in January!

    We learned a heartbreaking and eye opening story of India’s past with Dara at the National Theatre, Emily Carr showed us the importance of the forest, the coast, legends and the totem pole to the NW Native American at the Dulwich Picture Gallery, we stood aghast yet again in front of the many historical pieces in the National Gallery and had a modern look at art through Taylor Wessing’s Photographic Portrait Prize. To say the least, I feel enriched! As does my waistline because the other thing everyone loves about a visitor is having the excuse to ride with them on their holiday, eating rich foods and drinking wine on weekdays (‘I don’t ever do this normally’…she lies) and having dessert after every meal.

    I also had foot surgery… so have been laid up, unable to stand long enough to cook and itching to get back into the kitchen. Though I have managed to meditate (staring aimlessly at the wall is a good pastime if you’ve really got nowhere to go!) and read quite a lot, so it’s not been all bad.

    Suffice to say I am well rested and looking to come out of this forced hibernation into the spring with gusto! … and perhaps eat a few dishes to help me feel remotely healthy after three weeks on the couch. Bring on the fresh stuff!

    I’ll not say that I am a ‘Super Food’ fanatic but there really is something to be said about packing in the vitamins, so here is a salad that’s pretty much ‘all that’ (the 90’s are back in right?).

    It’s got a balance of bitterness from the radicchio, sweetness from the roast parsnips that are still sticking with us for the rest of winter, sulfur from the broccoli, oily and salty umami from the fish and zing from the grapefruit. Serve it with rye crisp breads or sourdough toast and pomegranate vinaigrette and you’ll feel as zingy as the grapefruit yourself!


    Smoked Mackerel, Grapefruit and Avocado Salad


  5. Good Ol’ Fashioned Lemon and Mustard Dressing


    OK, we live in a modern world of many dressings. Many choices for many tastes. Some are full of goodness and some are full of stuff like hydrogenated oil and high fructose corn syrup. No jokes, you might want to look at the back of that bottle before you pour it on your lettuce, or anything else for that matter.

    So, I’m a bit old fashioned about my dressing and I like to keep it simple. I usually go for Cardini’s Caesar or this – Hugo’s Lemon and Mustard. Hugo is my other half. He has to get credit for something once in a while!

    It’s based on the classic French lemon dressing but without the vinegar, you get a little of that in the mustard anyway. Also, it’s not to be confused with American French dressing, which has ketchup in it… always thought that was weird. Anyhoo, you can put this dressing on practically anything. Salad, grilled veggies, brown rice, hummus, warm potatoes, string beans, chicken, fish, avocados, etc… This dressing is delicious.


  6. Quick Lentils – Merchant Gourmet

    Alright, I know we have already had a drought and it’s not even May, but this thunder and lighting and bucketing down rain is enough to make someone yearn for a hosepipe ban! The bad thing about the rain is that it stops me from exploring… I would rather not soak my new DSLR thank you very much! In case you were wondering, yes, I am soooo excited about this new and seriously long overdue edition to our home! I am going to get so snap happy as soon as this rain stops… 

    The one good thing about being cooped up inside is that it means I get to spend some guilt-free time in the kitchen! 

    I have been discovering the joy of lentils recently. They are amazing! I know I have made a habit of taking these for granted- one of my favourite cheats is Merchant Gourmet’s ready made lentil packs. There are so many ways to eat them! Try the Porcini Mushrooms and Thyme Puy Lentils, they are to die for.

    Toss them with spicy rocket salad or eat them warmed up with crackers and cheese… either way they make a gloriously easy and healthy sit-in meal.

    If you want to venture a bit further and make your own, they are nearly as easy and twice as satisfying. Think of them as like potatoes- you can add almost anything to your lentils, actually- you can also add potatoes!

    My favorite combo so far is sliced and grilled chorizo, diced onion, carrot, and celery with a little thyme and bay leaves. Fry the chorizo in a heavy bottomed pan, my teal Le Creuset does the trick perfectly.

    Rinse the lentils (I used the puy as they hold texture nicely), and add all to the pan with the chorizo your veg, herbs, a little ground black pepper, and a stock cube. Cover with water and bring to a boil, stirring as you go to dissolve the stock, then simmer for 30-45 minutes. Add some potato chunks at the beginning if you want some starch.

    The husband and I just had this dish for dinner with a glass of red.

    Now that I think of it, the rain isn’t really that bad…. 

    Made by Maggie
    After the Market (but today just out of the cupboard…)