I often get my inspiration for dinner side dishes from what needs to be harvested or has to be used from the fridge. In this case I also took inspiration from the Great British Chefs Cookbook Club book of the month: “Ottolenghi Simple” – which gave me the perfect starting point for this salad.
So, armed with an abundance of food that needed harvesting, an amazing cookbook and a cucumber, I arrived at my Cucumber, spinach & herb salad with a lemon ginger dressing. With a sprinkle of nigella seeds and a few edible flowers I think it makes a very inviting bowl of greens.
- 1 cucumber
- 2 cups baby spinach, washed
- 1/4 cup mint leaves
- 1/4 cup coriander leaves
- nigella seeds
- edible flowers – optional
Lemon ginger dressing
- 2 tablespoons cashew yoghurt
- zest of lemon
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 2 teaspoons finely grated ginger
- flakey sea salt
As with making any dressing, I combine the main liquid ingredients, in this case the lemon juice and the cashew yoghurt. Add small amounts of the flavouring ingredients at a time, tasting as you go until you are happy with the flavour.
This dressing can be made 3 – 5 days ahead and kept in the fridge. The flavours may alter with time, taste and adjust, add more of any ingredient you think it needs just prior to serving.
Cut the cucumber lengthwise into quarters, de-seed if you wish. Cut slices about 5mm thick.
In a mixing bowl, add the lemon ginger dressing and the cucumber slices. Gently mix to coat the cucumber.
Choose your serving dish or platter. Mix the spinach and herbs, top with dressed cucumber. Lightly toss to combine. Sprinkle with nigella seeds and a scattering of edible flowers.
For this salad I used mizuna flowers, they add no flavour, but the plants had bolted over a hot weekend and I don’t need that many seeds. You could also use wild flowers like wood sorrell for a hint of lemon, wild mustard or radish or snowbell garlic for an extra onion hit.