A word in your ear regarding tossing. As I lay on the hot grass at Leon founder Henry Dimbleby’s barbeque at this year’s Big Chill, I was reminded of the importance of tossing a good salad. Whoever Henry’s accomplice was knew a thing about it too. I lay there, rather indolently waiting for my food and eyeing down the coils of black pudding charring on the grill, while Mr A quartered plum tomatoes and avocadoes into a stack-a-box of lamb’s lettuce. Impressed by the rustic proficiency of his task, I was mesmerized by his squeezing of lemons and grinding of flaked salt into the box. And then he started tossing! He performed a kind of half crouch over the plastic box on the grass, ritually moving round it at intervals and plunging half way up his forearm into it to churn, lift, delve, turn and cover the salad, hands and wrists directly groping the quarters of tomato and pulverized avocado. More salt, more lemons. Another good plunge and delve. The difference was palpable – the salt and lemon juice pulled out all the flavours and made a simple salad an exquisite one, doused in its own juices. Watching this guy encouraging the flavours in his hands made for a surprising, gratifying and memorable festival moment and reminded me of Salad Club’s beginning days at Rosie’s kitchen table after a blindingly tiring session at soca aerobics and the ability only to toss a good salad. Thank you to Leon for reminding me of the need to toss like there’s no tomorrow (and for being hands down the best fast food joint in the country).
In case we haven’t mentioned it before, and unless otherwise stated, the recipes printed on our blog all deserve a hearty, effortful toss. Not necessarily up to the elbows, though it depends how many you’re feeding.
It turns out the black pudding wasn’t pure evil either. Watch this space for some recipes involving clotted pigs’ blood.