FOOD FOR THE SOUL: DEER PARK COUNTRY HOUSE



NICKY SUMMER, APRIL 2020: Over the past six years, I’ve visited Deer Park Country House special event venue in Devon, England, three times – during Spring, Summer and Autumn/Fall, and each occasion has been equally uplifting¬†¬†– you really do have to experience the level of hospitality for yourself to appreciate what I’m writing about in my updated review (online tomorrow). Below is the recipe for a typical Deer Park salad made from 100% organic produce – and tasting all the better because almost all ingredients were chosen and picked by hand from the walled vegetable garden only minutes before serving; if you were to ask me to choose my last meal before dying then this would be the starter. Mark Godfrey and team – you are exceptional…



DEER PARK COUNTRY HOUSE JEWEL SALAD

This takes around 15 minutes to make and is the most energising and delicious salad. After eating this, your immunity will rocket and you’ll feel like a brand new person. If you can’t pick your own ingredients, or have a chef who’ll do it for you, check out your local farmer’s market for organic produce. The ingredients can be interchanged with similar, but the delicious combination in the recipe here was absolute perfection for me! 

Serves 2, starter size

INGREDIENTS: 

2 x Avocados, very ripe, cut into small squares

1 x Chicory head, chopped into rings

2 x Celery sticks, cut finely

1/2 x Cucumber, organic with or without rind, chopped into small squares

4 x Tomatoes, chopped into small squares

1 x Watercress, small bunch

2 x Spring onions, cut on the diagonal

3 x Mint sprigs, leaves chopped roughly

4 x Dill stems, fronds finely chopped

2 x Bread slices (medium thickness, white), cut into small cubes and lightly toasted in olive oil (croutons)

6cm sq x block of organic Greek feta, cut into small squares

Dressing: Half cup extra virgin olive oil, juice of one organic lemon, minced smoked garlic clove, freshly ground black pepper, freshly ground Celtic sea salt.

Cornflowers to decorate, or some other tiny edible flower

METHOD:

*Use organic vegetables, herbs and oils wherever possible

Toast the croutons and set to the side on absorbent kitchen paper to cool

Chop the feta and set to the side

Prepare the other main salad ingredients, as directed above

Blend the ingredients for the salad dressing

Put all the salad ingredients including the feta and the herbs into a bowl and mix very gently

Just before serving, dress the salad very lightly with the oil/lemon/garlic 

Divide into two bowls

Add the croutons to each bowl and mix gently (at the very last moment, otherwise they go soft)

Decorate over the top of each salad with edible blue cornflowers

That’s it!



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