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Recipe from episode 4

Hugh’s summer garden egg salad

If I only kept one animal for food, it’d be chickens for their eggs. When you get an egg with a yolk that’s almost orange, that’s not because the chickens have been feeding on corn, it’s because they’ve been eating grass and other vegetation. And when you have eggs this good, they need little else to make them sing. Here, I’ve paired them with some crunchy little gem salad leaves, garden herbs and a simple vinaigrette.

Serves 4

6 eggs
2 little gem lettuces
3-4 spring onions
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 tsp English mustard
1 ½ tsp apple cider vinegar
A small sprig of lovage leaves (if available) or use parsley
A handful of edible flowers (if you have some)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

First, boil the eggs. They should be what I call soft-hard-boiled – that is, the whites completely set but the yolks just a bit runny in the middle. I achieve this pretty reliably by putting them in a pan of hand-hot water, covering it and bringing it quickly to the boil, then boiling for exactly 6 minutes – 7 if they are extra large. Then I run the eggs under the cold tap and peel them as soon as they are cool enough to handle.

Quarter the lettuces and break open the leaves, arranging across a platter. Thinly slice the whites and greens of your spring onions and scatter over the lettuce. Halve the boiled eggs and dot over the top.

Whisk the oil, mustard and vinegar together to make a creamy dressing. Season to taste and drizzle over the top. Roughly chop the lovage and scatter over the top, along with some edible flowers. Finish with a final twist of pepper and sprinkling of salt and serve.

Looking for more salad ideas?

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As one of the courses making up the River Cottage Next Level Cooking Diploma 'Next Level Much More Veg' will teach you how you can make a feast from local, seasonal vegetables.