300g (or there abouts) assorted salad leaves, washed and dried
2 radiccio lettuces (red and/or white), leaves cut and peeled whole before washing
For the seasonal veg Here we’re using veg coming up in and around April
4 or so radish (any variety), washed
Large handful purple sprouting broccoli (PSB), woody/fibrus stalks trimmed, washed
Large handful of asparagus, woody/fibrus end trimmed, washed 50g or so organic local Crème Fraiche
Black pepper, freshly cracked
Standard rapeseed oil (vegetable oil)
For a batch of House Dressing
You won’t require all of this batch for the salad recipe but it keeps well for many other dishes
50ml cider vinegar 1tsp English mustard 100ml veg oil 50ml extra virgin rapeseed oil Warm water Sea salt, fine
We love a crispy fresh salad at The Pony and Trap using rich pickings from our garden, great local suppliers like the beauties at Strode Valley Organics and consciously foraged spots in and around Chew Valley. Use anything that’s in season and local- the seasons give great limitations and combinations of ingredients for variations on this dish. Organic veg is often the tastiest and of course best for the planet!
For PSB and asparagus, blanch the asparagus in heavily salted, boiling water for 1 minute and refresh in iced water. Drain and dry well with paper towel.
We then char PSB and asparagus on a charcoal grill but any BBQ, griddle, grill or even frying pan will do – the hotter the better.
Season the PSB and asparagus with sea salt, cracked black pepper and rapeseed oil. Then char-grill or grill the asparagus until just starting to blacken. Set aside to cool as they will wilt the salad leaves if warm.
For house dressing, make this in advance and store it in a bottle or jam jar, in or out of the fridge. It’s best kept in a bottle because it deserves a good shake every time you use it.
In a bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard and a pinch of salt. Mix the two oils together. Place the bowl on a folded tea towel to keep it from moving and while whisking all the time, drizzle the oil in slowly. If it looks as if it will split or to change the consistency, add a splash of warm water. Check the seasoning and pour into a bottle.
To assemble the salad, slice the radish as thin as possible and place in a mixing bowl with the washed and prepared salad leaves, cool PSB and asparagus and house dressing, to taste. Mix thoroughly but gently to ensure all salad is lightly coated in the dressing.
Now split the salad between your serving dishes and dress the edge of the plate with the crème fraiche and more house dressing if required.
We often serve this with a very thin slice of sourdough brushed with extra virgin rapeseed oil and baked until crisp but the salad also goes very well with chipped potatoes and fried eggs!
Pony & Trap