Green & shoots more

THE British salad is the last part of our home-grown cuisine to reach the level of the rest. We&rsquo;ve got pies, roasts, pork bellies and mash down pat. Our heritage puddings have come back new and improved (sticky toffee pudding and creme brulee are the best they&rsquo;ve been in London&rsquo;s top restaurants now) and our regional British cheese plates should make the French blush. We&rsquo;ve even got Champagne-beating bubbly growing in Kent and a range of other wines catching on.<br /><br />But until recently our salads have been underwhelming. Think lettuce leaves, cucumber, tomatoes and salad cream. But things are changing, and increasingly seasonal veggies and unusual extras like spices or pecans are sneaking their way into cold dishes. <br /><br />So, to give you some ideas for your summer salads, we got some of the city&rsquo;s top chefs to offer their favourite recipes. They might not be as quick as the ones your granny used to make, but they&rsquo;re worth the effort. <br /><br /><strong>THE RECIPES: FIVE OF THE BEST FOR SUMMER (ALL SERVE FOUR)</strong><br /><br />CHORIZO AND TOMATO SALAD<br />Sam and Eddie Hart (Fino, Barrafina and Quo Vadis)<br /><strong><br />INGREDIENTS:</strong><br />250g cooking chorizo picante<br />500g small ripe plum tomatoes<br />50ml extra virgin olive oil<br />2 spring onions, finely chopped<br />3 tsp sherry vinegar<br /><br /><strong>METHOD:</strong><br />Slice top and bottoms off the tomatoes and discard them. Place the trimmed tomatoes in a bowl and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pour on the olive oil, vinegar and spring onions and mix well. Set aside for half an hour. Slice the Chorizo in 1.5cm rounds. In a little oil gently fry the chorizo in a heavy bottomed frying pan for two minutes on each side and reserve. Add a couple of tsps of the chorizo&rsquo;s cooking oil to the tomatoes and stir. On a plate arrange the tomatoes so they sit upright on a flat base. Place a piece of fried chorizo on top of each tomato. Spoon over the sauce from the bowl containing the tomatoes.&nbsp;Serve with some crusty bread. <br /><br />SALAD OF PEAS, BROAD BEANS, MINT AND FETA<br />Tom Aikens (Tom Aikens, Tom&rsquo;s Kitchen)<br /><br /><strong>INGREDIENTS:</strong><strong> </strong><br />400g fresh peas<br />400g fresh broad beans<br />250g sliced parma ham, cut into thin strips<br />200g feta cheese<br />6g fresh mint<br />Juice of 1 lemon <br />50ml olive oil<br />2g sea salt<br />0.5g milled pepper<br /><br /><strong>METHOD:</strong><br />Cook the peas and broad beans in boiling salted water until tender (2-3 minutes) then refresh in iced water and drain well. Pod the broad beans and mix with the peas. Dice the cheese into 0.5 cm cubes then add the peas and broad beans, mint, ham, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.<br /><br />JAPANESE BEAN SALAD<strong><br /></strong>Silla Bjerrum (Feng Sushi)<br /><br /><strong>INGREDIENTS:</strong><br />For the salad:<br />100g mixed baby leaves<br />500g frozen edamame beans in the pods<br />800g fresh broad beans in the pods <br />300g cherry tomatoes on the vine<br />300g organic tofu (or feta cheese)<br />For the dressing: <br />1/2 shallot<br />1 small clove garlic<br />2 tbsp white miso<br />Juice of 1/2 lemon<br />1tsp whole grain mustard<br />1tsp red wine <br />vinegar <br />2tsp honey<br />20ml sesame oil<br />20 ml olive oil<br />30 ml <br />sunflower oil<br /><br /><strong>METHOD:</strong><br />For the salad:<br />Pod the edamame and broad beans, bring a large saucepan of salty water to boil and cook beans for five minutes. Drain in a colander, rinse with cold water and leave on the side. Wash the salad leaves and dry. Wash cherry tomatoes and cut in half. Finally cut feta cheese in large chunks of 1cm by 1cm. <br /><br />For the dressing: blend the shallot, garlic, miso, lemon juice, mustard, sesame oil, red wine vinegar and honey in a food pricessor. Mix the three oils together in a jug then add to the mixture blending until you have a smooth vinaigrette. Add all ingredients together and dress.<br /><br />AVOCADO SALAD WITH SESAME DRESSING<br />Thomasina Miers (Wahaca)<br /><br /><strong>INGREDIENTS:</strong><br />For the salad:<br />100g hazelnuts<br />2 avocados<br />2 bunches watercress, large stalks removed<br />2 baby gem lettuces<br />250g green beans<br />1 pink grapefruit, segmented<br /><br />For the dressing:<br />2 tbsp white sesame seeds<br />1 tbsp sake<br />1 tbsp sugar <br />1 tsp soy sauce<br />2 tbsp of sunflower oil<br /><br /><strong>METHOD:</strong><br />Cook the beans in boiling, salted water for a few minutes so that they still have some crunch and then rinse in cold water. Toast the hazelnuts and sesame seeds and allow to cool. Grind the sesame seeds and add the sake, sugar, soy sauce and oil.<br /><br />Rub the hazelnuts to get rid of their skins and arrange the salad ingredients in a salad bowl. Toss in the dressing and serve with fresh bread.<br /><br />TWO DRESSING SALAD<br />Claude Bosi (Hibiscus) <br /><br /><strong>INGREDIENTS:</strong><strong> </strong><br />(quantities as desired)<br />For the salad:<br />Little gem lettuce, quartered<br />Runner beans, blanched<br />Fresh almonds, peeled and halved<br />Fresh peach, diced<br /><br />For the dressing:<br />Olive oil and finely diced shallots<br />For the sweet and sour sauce:<br />Acacia honey<br />Sherry vinegar<br />Mix to consistency as desired<br /><strong><br />METHOD:</strong><br />Mix together with some fresh black pepper.