Our resident chef Mark Hix finds the perfect recipe for wilting salad leaves while foraging in his mate's garden

Mark Hix

I’m waiting to move into my new house in Charmouth, Dorset, so I’ve been living with my friend Paddy until it’s finished. Only, I’ve been living in my old house, not his. Confused? Well, the old one is a Scandi wooden lodge that moves quite easily, so it’s very convenient for the interim period.

Read more: Mark Hix bids a sad farewell to Anthony Bourdain

My temporary accommodation is also delicious, as it turns out, as Paddy is a keen gardener and grows everything you can imagine. I get the pick of the crop, whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner, and he keeps chicken, ducks and turkeys, too. It’s like The Good Life on sea.

This weekend, I spotted some salad that was going to seed, so I whipped the bolted tops off and cooked them up for a starter. Here’s the result.

Bolting salad tops with pickled walnuts and shaved Berkswell


You could also use a mix of salad or herb tops for this. It comes out like sprouting broccoli with a punchier flavour.


  • Two handfuls of bolted salad or herb tops
  • 4 pickled walnuts, cut into 6-8 pieces
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin rapeseed oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 40-50g shaved Berkswell or Parmesan

Cook the bolted tops in boiling, salted water then drain in a colander. Transfer to warmed serving plates, spoon over the oil and pickled walnuts, season and scatter over the Berkswell shavings.

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