Alfresco dining and stress-free salads are the perfect way to say, 'Hello, Summer!' Celebrate the start of the season by lifting your big salad bowl out of the cupboard and creating your own delicious recipes.

To get you in the mood for salad days, we've selected the following two recipes from the summer section of a new book, Much Depends on Dinner, A Year in the Telegraph Kitchen.


(Serves 4)

Both traditionally-grown celery and crayfish have a dependence on clean water, and the two go well together in this variation of Jane Grigson's salad of celery, mussels and potato. Most UK-sold crayfish are produced in Norway, but British are sometimes available.

  • 600g new potatoes
  • 300g celery sticks
  • 200g freshwater crayfish, cooked and shelled
  • 4tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Leaves from 2 sprigs flatleaf parsley
  • black pepper
  • Maldon salt flakes
  • 2 boiled eggs.

Put the potatoes in a pan of water and bring to the boil. Cook until the point of a knife will slip in with just a little resistance. Remove from the heat, drain and immediately flush with cold water to prevent further cooking. Allow to cool and then cut into slices half a centimetre thick.

Put in a large bowl.

Pull any touch strings from the celery stalks, and wash off any dirt.

Slice them thinly, across the grain, then rinse and pat dry. Add the celery and crayfish to the bowl and toss together with the olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, some freshly ground black pepper and a pinch of Maldon salt flakes. Serve topped with half a boiled egg, and decorate with a few celery leaves.


(Serves two)

Jose Manuel Pizarro, chef at Tapas Brindisa in London, makes a wonderful goat's cheese and young beetroot salad with Monte Enebro, a new Spanish cheese made by Rafael Baez from Madrid. Baez signed on to an artisan cheesemaking course at the age of 63 and surprisingly, in the conservative world of Spanish cheese, Monte Enebro has won much acclaim and was voted best goat's cheese in Spain in 2003.

  • 1 large whole raw beetroot, or 2 small ones
  • 1tsp olive oil for roasting the beetroot
  • 1 slice of goat's cheese (about 80g)
  • 1 small red onion, very thinly sliced
  • 1 handful of mint, chervil and basil sprigs
  • 2tbsp walnut halves, dry-roasted in a pan
  • 3tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2tbsp red wine vinegar, preferably cabernet sauvignon
  • freshly ground black pepper and sea salt.

Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas Mark 6. Wash the beetroot, but do not trim off the point or stalk or it will 'bleed' as it cooks. Rub with a little olive oil and cover with foil. Place in the oven for 30 minutes then remove the foil. Roast for a further 10 to 15 minutes until tender when pierced with a knife (reduce the cooking time by 10 minutes if using small beetroot). Set aside to cool.

Cut the cheese into 2 x 1cm sticks. Slice the beetroot and divide between two plates. Put the cheese, onion, herbs, walnuts, extra-virgin olive oil and vinegar in a bowl and mix gently, but well. Put equal amounts on to the plate with the beetroot, season with sea salt, grind over some black pepper and serve.