Members' Recipes Archive

July 2000
Simonetta's Smashed Salad
Rosemary Stark

Simonetta's Smashed Salad

By: Rosemary Stark

Simonetta was a couturier at the cutting edge of mid-20th century Italian fashion, and she liked her salads ‘tired’. I found this recipe in Verdura, a book of Italian vegetable recipes by Viana La Place (Macmillan, pb 1996) and adapted it only slightly for the June issue of Food & Travel, suggesting it as a starter with a few slices of milky mozzarella or mild goats’ cheese, or topped with salty seared fillets of red mullet as a main course. Odd how what goes around comes around. Just the night before I’d watched the Naked Chef slamming his nuts and chocolate bars against the table. And here we are this summer with two more high-profile volumes on Italian vegetables – Carluccio and The River Café’s latest.


1 smallish cucumber
1 head fennel
50g rocket leaves
2tbsp chopped tarragon leaves
5tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2tbsp red wine vinegar


  1. Peel, halve lengthways and seed the cucumber, then slice thinly. Trim the fennel and cut into small dice. Shred the rocket leaves. Wrap all these loosely in a tea towel and, holding the corners to contain them, smash repeatedly down on the table.
  2. Shake out into a shallow bowl and mix in the chopped tarragon, olive oil and red wine vinegar. Season and leave to stand at room temperature for an hour before serving.
© recipe copyright 2000 Rosemary Stark


Author: Rosemary Stark Email:

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