When I was first asked by Higgidy Pies if I would like to grow my own salad to accompany some lovely pies I was a little bit dubious to say the least. You see, I am not very green fingered and I wasn't feeling at all hopeful that I would manage to grow enough salad for one person, let alone the family. I can grow potatoes, rhubarb and wild strawberries, but they pretty much grow themselves.
Just before Easter I received a package of seedlings from Sarah Raven, but as we were going away for the weekend, and I hadn't got anything to grow them in at that point, I left them in their paper and popped them in a container with water in and crossed my fingers.
Thankfully, when we returned from our Easter break the seedlings were still alive, and off we went to find a home for them. One large wicker planter and 6 bags of compost later the seedlings were planted, and just a week later looked like this...
It was all looking hopeful. We had plenty of sun and I religiously watered my salad every day, and they were growing nicely.
Then the sun all but disappeared and the rain came, and just a month later my salad planter was like a jungle.
The rocket did grow some pretty flowers though.
To accompany some Higgidy quiches - Spinach & Roasted Red Pepper, Balsamic Onion & Cheddar and Smoked Bacon & Cheddar - I made a salad of grilled fennel, tomato and balsamic. I would like to say that I grew the tomatoes myself, but sadly mine are still very much at the seedling stage!
Garden Salad with Grilled Fennel, Tomato & Balsamic
Fennel bulb, thinly sliced
cherry tomatoes on the vine
Extra virgin olive oilSelection of garden salad leaves
- Rub a little olive oil onto the fennel slices and tomatoes
- Cook on a griddle pan over a high heat until slightly charred and softened
- Make a dressing with equal parts of balsamic and extra virgin olive oil
- Arrange the salad leaves in a bowl with the fennel and tomatoes, and drizzle with the dressing just before serving
I was provided with salad seedlings and a selection of pies and quiches free of charge