Raw power: Mark Hix reveals how to enjoy spring vegetables in their natural form

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Don't cook all the goodness out of spring vegetables, says our chef.

Why cook it? Eat it raw – springtime is a great time to experiment with healthy food which hasn't had any of the minerals and nutrients cooked out of it. You can knock up some great and interesting dishes without even turning the cooker on.

Why not try creating a dinner party with your friends where you don't actually cook a single thing? I remember once cooking 10 courses of raw vegetarian food in a friend's house in LA for New Year's Eve and no one even noticed that there wasn't a meat course. As long as you make it visually exciting and tasty, your dinner guests will be happy.

Pea salad

Serves 4

Although you can buy peas, sugar snaps and mangetout all the year round, this is a great spring salad that utilises the whole of the pea family, shoots and all. If you grow peas in your garden you can just snip the shoots and flowers off.

A couple of handfuls of pea shoots
60-70g small peas
60-70g sugar snaps, halved lengthways
60-70g mangetout, shredded

For the dressing

1tbsp Chardonnay or a good-quality white-wine vinegar
2tbsp vegetable or corn oil
2tbsp rapeseed or olive oil
1tsp Dijon or Tewkesbury mustard
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
A few sprigs of mint, chopped

Mix all the ingredients for the dressing together, leave to infuse for an hour and strain through a fine-meshed sieve. To serve, toss all the ingredients together and garnish with extra torn mint leaves.

Marinaded sea trout, grapefruit and fennel ferns

Serves 4

I have some wild fennel in my garden and the first little bushy ferns that start appearing are in lovely shades of red and green. When I first put this dish together I had a single pink grapefruit in my fruit bowl and experimentally squeezed the juice over the sea trout instead of lemon – it worked a treat with the aniseedy flavour of the fennel.

300-350g sea-trout fillet, skinned and boned
A little sea salt and ground black pepper
The juice of a small grapefruit
A small handful of young fennel ferns

Thinly slice the sea trout vertically on a slight angle and arrange the slices on serving plates. Season, spoon the grapefruit juice over the sea trout and leave for a couple of minutes, then scatter over the fennel ferns.

Asparagus, radish and fennel salad

Serves 4

I love using raw asparagus, thinly shaved, in salads like this, as it has a completely different flavour raw from cooked. You can also use other vegetables in this dish, such as carrots, courgettes or cucumber, to add a nice variety of colours.

You can serve this as a starter, or as an accompaniment to simply grilled or barbecued fish.

6-8 thick asparagus spears with the woody ends trimmed off
1 medium head of fennel, halved and thinly sliced
12-15 large radishes, washed, thinly sliced, leaves reserved for the salad

For the dressing

The juice of a lemon
1tbsp good-quality white-wine vinegar
3tbsp peanut or walnut oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cut the asparagus on the angle as thinly as possible. Mix all the ingredients together for the dressing; toss the asparagus, fennel, radishes and leaves in it; season. Serve in a sharing bowl.

Raspberries with yogurt and honeycomb

Serves 4

English raspberries are starting to appear on the market now – I like to serve them in as simple a way as possible. Buy the best Greek-style yogurt you can find.

250g raspberries
300-350g natural yogurt (mixed with crème fraîche if you wish)
100-150g piece of natural honeycomb
2-3tbsp of the honey from the honeycomb (or use clear honey)

Blend 50-60g of the raspberries or push them through a sieve with the back of a spoon. Cut four nice slices of honeycomb to serve on top and chop the rest. In a bowl, carefully fold the raspberry purée, half of the raspberries, the honey and chopped honeycomb through the yoghurt for a rippled effect, and transfer to serving glasses. Garnish with the rest of the raspberries and sliced honeycomb.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Guru Careers: Events Coordinator / Junior Events Planner

    £24K + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Events Coordinator ...

    Royal Yachting Association Cymru Wales: Chief Executive Officer

    Salary 42,000: Royal Yachting Association Cymru Wales: The CEO is responsible ...

    Guru Careers: Marketing Manager / Marketing Communications Manager

    £35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...

    Ashdown Group: Technical IT Manager - North London - Growing business

    £40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A growing business that has been ope...

    Day In a Page

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
    Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

    Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

    Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
    Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

    Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

    Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
    Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

    Join the tequila gold rush

    The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
    12 best statement wallpapers

    12 best statement wallpapers

    Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
    Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

    Paul Scholes column

    Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?