Spring Garden Salad with Watercress & Hazelnut Pesto

Spring Garden Salad 

This is a super way to celebrate spring and the fresh green bounty of salad vegetables that the season brings. This sort of dish lends itself beautifully to sharing, don’t you agree? Friends can help themselves and dip into the peppery watercress pesto as they choose. It’s a dish I make throughout spring and summer; as the harvest changes, so does the platter. My suggestion below is merely a guide – do obviously throw in what you have available locally and seasonally.

You’ll Need Serves 6-8

  •  350-400g new potatoes
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 3 small cucumbers, or half a larger one, cut into batons
  • 1 bunch of radishes
  • 2 little gems or half a larger lettuce cut into wedges
  • 1 bag of sugar snap peas – about 200g
  • ½ bunch of watercress

For Watercress & Hazelnut Pesto

  • 60g toasted hazelnuts
  • ½ bunch of watercress
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 6-8 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • pinch of salt flakes


  1. To make the dressing, finely chop or whizz in a processor. I like it with a little texture, so don’t over blend it.
  2. Boil the potatoes until just cooked, leave to cool then half or quarter lengthways. Blanch or steam the asparagus and sugar snap peas for 1-2 minutes and refresh in cold water. Drain and leave to try on a kitchen towel.
  3. Assemble the vegetables on a large platter around a little bowl containing the pesto.


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