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Little Gem, Mustard and Cress Salad with Vinaigerette

It feels almost cheeky calling this a recipe since it is so simple. But in the age of those ready washed and bagged, baby leaves we seem to serve so unthinkingly now, it is worth remembering that some old fashioned salads (nursery salads I like to call them) were just as understated and elegant. This one has British summertime writ large across it. Serve it as a starter before some grilled fish, or roast chicken.


2 medium eggs
4 little gem lettuces
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
4 tbsp olive oil
2 punnets mustard and cress


1. Bring a small pan of water to the boil and add the eggs. Cook them for exactly 6 minutes from the moment they go in then plunge them into cold water. As soon as they are cold enough to handle remove the shells. Set the eggs aside.

2. Remove the outer leaves from the little gems and trim the base of any discolored or woody looking bits, but don’t cut off the base itself. Quarter each lettuce lengthways and place on a serving plate.

3. Mix the vinegar, mustard and oil with a fork in a small bowl.

4. Quarter the eggs and place on top of the lettuce with the mustard and cress. Finally drizzle over the vinaigrette.