Cucumber has such a watery and summery taste, and the smaller ones tend to pack a real flavor punch. I also use small fennel bulbs here, and slice them as thinly as possible—the larger varieties tend to get a bit tough if they’ve been in the ground for too long.


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Serves 4 as a main, 6 as a starter

You will need:



Salad:

10 oz small, Lebanese-style cucumbers, chopped

3 bulbs baby fennel

10 oz baby spinach leaves

1⁄2 cup hazelnuts, toasted


1⁄2 cup dried cranberries, raisins, or apricots

1⁄2 cup goat cheese



Dressing:

13cup olive oil

21⁄2 teaspoons wholegrain mustard

1 teaspoon sugar

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 lemon, just the juice


  1. Mix together ingredients for the dressing in a jar.
  2. Season well with salt and pepper and set aside.
  3. Peel the cucumber into ribbons using a potato peeler.
  4. Slice the fennel very thinly. Now is the time to use a mandolin if you have one.
  5. Toss together in a large bowl with the spinach, hazelnuts, and cranberries.
  6. Add the dressing and mix well.
  7. Serve with a few dollops of goat cheese, salt and pepper.

TIP:

.
Cucumber has such a lush and fresh taste, and the smaller ones tend to pack a real flavor punch. I also use small fennel bulbs here, and slice them as thinly as possible—the larger varieties tend to get a bit tough if they’ve been in the ground for too long.
Photography by Toby Murphy

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