Friday, 20 July 2012

Warm-ish Summer Garden Salad for the end of term

So here we are, the end of term. Did you survive? Remember how I was saying recently that I sometimes feel like I need to arm myself for the battle of daily life? Well, I feel like I won out, triumphed over the vaguaries and whims of the school calendar, and actually remembered to pick the kids up at 1.30 today.

Much as I’d like to be slumping in a chair this evening with a huge G&T and a “Thank f**k for that”, we are going away tomorrow. I hope to get the opportunity to tell you a little more about this if I get time, but know for the purposes of this post that today has been a long round of lists, piles and clearing up, slotted around work and a particularly unpleasant visit to the doctors to have a coil changed. I won’t elaborate too much suffice to say that a quick out and in (as it were) ended up as 40 minutes of me lying there with a light shining up my ‘hinky’ (as Pink calls it) while my doctor first couldn’t get the old one out and then couldn’t get the new one in. Apparently I have a tricky cervix, brought on by having 2 emergency caesareans. It was not a pleasant experience. Mind you, neither were the ECSs...

My parents – my mum, the Allotment Junkie in particular – had an annual cry that they would go away for 2 weeks in the summer and all the veg would come at once. Well, on current performance, that’s unlikely to happen to us because (a) the weather has been so rubbish that there’s not a massive glut on the way any time soon, and (b) we’re only going for a week, but there was still produce to be eaten up before we left. I have been carefully working my way through my meal plan, using up bits and pieces in the fridge and from the garden, as I went, until this evening. I am pleased to announce that apart from half a pot of mascarpone cheese, there is pretty much just enough left to make into sandwiches for tomorrow’s picnic, and I can leave the fridge with a clear conscience.

I did have 2/3 of a pack of cooking chorizo left. The original reason why I bought it has been lost to me, but I used 1/3 of it to make soup last week after the swimming gala. I do like chorizo. I guess it’s become the ‘new bacon’ for the Hugh F-W-watching-middle-classes (well, me anyway) in some respects, although I’d never have chorizo in a sarnie with tomato ketchup and a cup of coffee to soothe me a hangover... However, combined with some of the last eggs still left from the chickens, new potatoes, broad beans, a handful of peas and some spring onions from the garden, it made a really lovely salad for us to have this evening.

I love this kind of salad. There are no real quantities, although I have put a rough guide in here for form’s sake – if you want to cook more potatoes, you can do, and you don’t need to put them all in the salad - save to have them as potato salad or something the next day. Pink is particularly partial to fried cold potatoes or you can put them in a frittata. Another thing about this is that as you are hard boiling the eggs, it’s better if they are not too fresh as they are difficult to peel. The eggs I used this evening were 3 & 4 days old and they were still a bugger to get the shell off. Finally I’ve called this a Warm-ish Garden salad because if you were organised and got it all assembled and too the table super quick, it would be quite warm, But it’s not a problem if things go a little off the rails and you don’t...

A Warm-ish Summer Garden Salad

To serve 4

Ingredients: 500g washed new potatoes, 4 eggs, 300g podded broad beans (will come from approx 600g broad bean pods) 150g podded peas, 6 spring onions, finely sliced, 150g cooking chorizo, sherry vinegar

Method: Place the potatoes in a large pan and place the eggs on top (the eggs will finish cooking before the potatoes and you don’t want to be fishing around for them). Cover with cold water and bring to the boil. When the pan comes to the boil set the timer for 6-7 minutes depending on how big your eggs are and how hard you like them cooked. I’d say no more than 8 minutes for large eggs to be properly hard boiled all the way through, although I prefer to go for the slightly softer egg. When the eggs have had their time, leave the potatoes on the boil and carefully remove the eggs to a bowl of cold water. Stick the broad beans and peas to steam over the potatoes for 3-4 minutes and remove. Keep warm if possible. Slice the chorizo and heat a small frying pan over a reasonably high heat. Chuck in the chorizo and fry so that the fat and juices run out and the chorizo cooks up and starts to get a little bit of a crust on it. Splash in approx a tablespoon of sherry vinegar and cook off. Be careful not to set fire to any nearby tea towels like I nearly did. Let the vinegar and chorizo bubble up a bit then tip into a large bowl with the broad beans and peas.

Hopefully by now (or at some stage earlier) the potatoes will have cooked, so drain them into a colander and if they are on the large side, cut into chunks and add to the chorizo and broad bean mixture. Chuck in the finely sliced spring onions and mix everything carefully together. Peel the eggs, halve or quarter them, which ever you prefer, and sit them artfully round the side of the salad bowl.

We ate it with green salad, also from the garden.


  1. Looks perfect. Sorry to hear about your hinky experience, not good! Great new word though! (Gina in our house in case you were wondering I'm sure you weren't but isn't that a great name?!) I think I've had too much wine :)

    1. wine...gin.. - it was Friday night after all. I think Gina is a pretty good name too, although I suspect it will stay hinky in our house. Still feeling fairly grumbly, but nothing some ibuprofen and a cuppa won't fix (too early for gin, I feel)

  2. Happy holidays, hope you have recovered from your doctor visit! Salad looks yum xx

    1. Thaks Grace - yes, i consumed rather a lot of Bombay Sapphire last night which eased ting considerably. I hope you get a good break too!


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