English salad

English salad

Nathan Outlaw's Home Kitchen
David Loftus

I call this ‘English salad’ because as a kid this is the only salad I knew. It was always on the table at home and all the ingredients were either grown in the allotment or greenhouse, or bought from the local greengrocer. The dressing was salad cream – never vinaigrette or mayonnaise. This is my version.


Quantity Ingredient
4 raw beetroot
100ml malt vinegar
4 large free-range eggs, at room temperature
1 cucumber
6 full-flavoured salad tomatoes
a bunch pring onions, trimmed and sliced
a bunch radishes (or 2 bunches if they are small), halved
6 button mushrooms, finely sliced
a punnet mustard and cress, freshly cut
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

For the salad cream

Quantity Ingredient
2 free-range egg yolks
2 teaspoons english mustard
2 teaspoons caster sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
100ml light olive oil
150ml double cream


  1. To make the salad cream, put the egg yolks, mustard, sugar and lemon juice into a bowl and whisk for 1 minute. Gradually add the olive oil, drop by drop to begin with and then in a steady stream until it is all incorporated. Slowly whisk in the cream and season with salt to taste. Cover and refrigerate until required.
  2. To cook the beetroot, put them into a pan with the malt vinegar, cover with water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 25–30 minutes until tender.
  3. In the meantime, bring a pan of water to the boil. Gently lower in the eggs and cook for 6 minutes. Remove the eggs from the pan and refresh in ice-cold water. Leave until cold, then peel away the shells.
  4. Once the beetroot are cooked, remove them from the pan and leave until cool enough to handle, then peel away the skin.
  5. Peel and slice the cucumber and place in a large bowl. Cut out the stalk end from the tomatoes and slice each one into 8 wedges. Add to the bowl with the spring onions, radishes and mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper and toss gently to mix.
  6. Scatter the tossed salad veg over a large serving platter. Cut the boiled eggs in half lengthways and arrange across the salad. Slice the beetroot and lay the slices on the salad. Add drizzles of salad cream and scatter over the mustard and cress. Serve the rest of the dressing separately for everyone to help themselves.
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