V is for Vegan

This is a tall layered salad, popular in the 18th century. Hannah Glasse mentions it in her 1747 book, The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy. I served it at a Soil Association pop-up in Toynbee Hall in London’s Tower Hamlets, in a wood-panelled banqueting room. This is not a strict recipe as such; more a compilation of things you can put in it. It’s spectacular when done right. If you have a garden, add stalks of herb flowers and edible flowers to turn it into an extravagant display. Who says vegan food is dowdy? Not done like this it isn’t. Serve it with dips from the Snacks chapter.

You want height on this dish; you could do individual portions in tea cups, then invert them, or use a bowl or a ring mould for cake. Or just construct it gradually, like a piece of architecture, shaping the vegetables to fit, inserting sprigs as you go, alternating colours and textures. Or you can pop the dips in little cutglass bowls on a large silver tray, stuffing the surroundings with a burgeoning garden-like salad. This is an eye-popping, wow-inducing centrepiece like a fresh savoury croquembouche.


Quantity Ingredient
romaine lettuce leaves
red and white endive
fennel, thinly sliced, keeping the fronds on
sorrel leaves
cucumber slices
tomatoes, carved like flowers or roses if you have the time
carrot batons
red pepper batons
cauliflower florets
broccoli florets
wild asparagus stems
sage leaves, both plain and variegated
lavender sprigs
pea shoots
chive lengths, if possible with purple flowers if in season
parsley stalks, curly
red radishes, decoratively cut
shallots, finely diced
green olives stuffed with red pepper or lemon
borage flowers
dill fronds
pumpkin seeds

For the classic Dijon mustard dressing:

Quantity Ingredient
50ml extra virgin olive oil
1 heaped tablespoon dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, very finely chopped
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon sea salt, sea salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper


  1. Prep all your vegetables and construct your salad. Whisk the salad dressing ingredients together until they are emulsified. Serve together.
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