After spending a couple of hours sorting out my photos from the Chelsea Flower Show (post coming very soon!), I wandered down to the veg patch on this beautiful sunny day. I've been a bit busy recently so I'm pleased to see that the garden is doing it's own thing and looking very lush without me (apart from a bit of watering and transplanting).
As I uprooted a couple of tiny orache seedlings, the word 'lunch' popped into my head. I gathered a few more seedlings, added some white viola flowers and a few blue borage flowers, a pinch of herbs* - feathery fennel, lime mint, celery leaf, lemon balm (a mistake), sweet cicely (yum) and golden oregano (because the colour is stunning).
Back upstairs, with the herbs and leaves being refreshed in a bowl of icy water, I picked a few outer leaves** from Lollo Rosso, Saladin and beetroot growing on my windowsills.
On my tiny balcony, baby leaves of frilly red mustard, bijou lettuce, black peppermint, nasturtium (Blue Pepe, Empress of India and variegated Alaska, but sadly no flowers yet), coriander (yum), flat-leaved parsley and chives were collected and added to a wash bowl.
As I cleaned and finely chopped, little pebbles of Jersey Royal potatoes boiled in a pan, after which they were glazed with Spanish olive oil, Cornish sea salt and garden mint. Many of these didn't make it to the plate - I adore warm new potatoes!
The leaves were drained, dumped into a clean tea-towel and dried by swinging said cloth back and forth. All was plonked on a plate, the flowers and a few herbs added over the top, more olive oil drizzled over the top, a squeeze of lemon and ....
... no, needs a bit more colour. Into the fridge where I unearthed some cherry tomatoes and baby orange peppers. Nice.
Until I found the ice-cream.
* I wouldn't normally put this many herbs into one salad but was in the mood to experiment having just read Jono's post on Lemon Balm. With hindsight, adding lemon balm to this salad was every kind of wrong. I only put a tiny bit in and yet it still dominated. It's probably best to use it sparingly by itself where it can take the floor and shine. Parsley, cicely and chives on the other hand were delicious.
** I'm not yet brave enough to 'cut and come again', leaving the plant to reshoot. For now, I'm happy to just pick the large outer leaves with the comfort of being able to see what's still to come.
Michelle over at Veg Plotting, who started the Salad Challenge, has written a great post on different ways of harvesting your home-grown salad.