in between seasons in a vegetable garden

crunchy slaw salad with mustard greens

1st March 2015


I can feel spring deep in my being.  I am starting to crave the crunch and freshness of salads that curiously draw me into the vegetable garden.  At first glance, it seems there are few things growing at this time of year, everything is in that in-between stage, but if I soften my gaze, there is so much more than at first glance.

I also love that I need to get down on my hands and knees to find the little delights that are popping up in these slightly warmer days.  I use the tiny small leaves of the mustard, found at the heart of the bigger plants and the smaller leaves of the seedlings which have self-seeded everywhere. They are flourishing in all sorts of unexpected and unusual places.  I use the bright yellow, dainty flowers from the older plants in salads.

Greens such as purple leaf mustard, rocket and arugula provide a peppery freshness, as well as a boost of vigour.  Salads with these greens combine antioxidants with detoxification and anti-inflammatory properties.

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crunchy slaw salad with mustard greens

Serves 4

Inspired by a vegetable garden & Jerusalem by Ottolenghi.

Raw mustard greens alone can be very intense in a salad, but their pungent, peppery bite is quite appealing in combination with the other greens and balances the sweetness of the fennel, apple and carrot. This salad was served with red rice and this soup using 1 cup fresh sweet peas instead of the half cup of dried peas.  It was a lovely refreshing dinner and noted to be repeated.  Also really good with a cooked red lentil hummus.


for the salad 

2 large bulbs fennel

2 medium carrots

1 large apple/firm pear

cup chopped dried cranberries

zest of one lemon

an abundant bowl of freshly picked mustard greens, arugula, rocket, parsley, fresh coriander, mint, tatsoi leaves, dandelion leaves – whatever green leaf you find in the garden at this time of year

a sprinkling of mustard and borage flowers to smile up at you


1.  To prepare the salad, peel the carrot and slice thinly, about 2 mm thick.  Stack a few slices at a time on top of each other and cut them into matchstick-like strips.

2.  Repeat with the apple and squeeze generously with lemon to stop the apple from browning.

3.  Slice the base off the fennel and remove the first fibrous outer leaf, then cut the bulb in half lengthways.  Place each half, cut side down and cut lengthways into fine shards – the slices should be almost paper-thin.  Place all the strips in a bowl.

4.  Wash the salad greens and spin dry.

5.  When ready to serve, add the salad greens, cranberries and lemon zest to the bowl of chopped vegetables. Pour over the dressing, toss well. Eat immediately once the salad is dressed.


honey mustard dressing

Update – Lately I have been adding 2 tablespoons soaked cashews soaked with ¼ cup water and place in a blender with the rest of the dressing ingredients, blending until rich and creamy.


2 – 3 Tbsp honey diluted with a dash of warm water

2 Tbsp olive oil/ flaxseed oil

1 level Tbsp yellow mustard seeds

juice of one lemon



1.  Dry-fry the mustard seeds until they start to pop, transfer to a mortar and pestle and roughly grind.

2.  Add the diluted honey, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and whisk until well combined.  Set aside until you are ready to serve the salad.

4V7A2540Goodness shared by Stacey

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