Summer herb salad
I've been growing my own salads and herbs at home now for years and it's so satisfying to harvest those unusual leaves that you can't buy in the shops. I even harvest weeds like bittercress and chickweed that would normally go in the compost. Some ornamental plants like sedum and nasturtiums are great tossed into a salad, so at any one time I can have at least eight or so different herb and salad leaves in my salad bowl. To buy a really interesting selection of salads, check out Steve's Leaves (stevesleaves.co.uk).
My larder always has a selection of vinegars and oils from around the world so I can create dressings for every occasion. Some vinegars are too sharp, especially in a delicate salad like this, so I often use a moscatel or chardonnay vinegar and a blend of rapeseed or olive and peanut oil. Another of my favourites is sherry vinegar mixed with walnut or hazelnut oil and caster sugar.
2-3 handfuls of interesting salad leaves and herbs, washed and dried
For the dressing
1tbsp chardonnay or moscatel vinegar
tbsp Dijon or Tewksbury mustard
2tbsp olive oil
2tbsp peanut oil
A sprig of tarragon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
The day before, make the dressing by whisking all of the ingredients together or shaking them together in a jar, then leave overnight to infuse.
To serve, toss the leaves in half of the dressing and serve the rest of the dressing separately.
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