Herbs and almonds salad

Herbs and almonds salad
Herbs and almonds salad

Based in one of Ottolenghi’s book recipes, and the final entry in my own Salad week ?


  • 35 g coriander leaves
  • 40 g parsley leaves
  • 20 g dill leaves
  • 35 g tarragon leaves
  • 30 g basil leaves
  • 40 g rocket
  • 50 g unsalted butter
  • 150 g unskinned almonds
  • 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  1. Wash the herbs and salad leaves, then dry them well (perhaps with a salad spinner)
  2. Heat the butter in a pan, add almonds, salt and pepper, and cook at low heat until the almonds golden (about 5 minutes or more).
  3. Remove the almonds from the pan, and keep the butter somewhere warm (to avoid it getting solid)
  4. When the almonds are colder, chop them with a knife
  5. Mix the herbs with the almonds, butter, lemon and olive oil, and serve.

This salad was a bit “hit and miss”. The premise —almonds, butter and herbs— is great, but some aspects weren’t that great:

  1. I felt like there were way too many almonds. TOO MANY. It felt really laborious to eat. Crunch! Munch! Crunch! Munch!
  2. It is paramount to make sure the herbs do not have any hard bit. So that might mean plucking the leaves and running your fingers through them to avoid ‘twigs’ (and it is a lot of herb leaves that you need for this salad). Otherwise, it’s really unpleasant to eat (specially when bits get stuck in your teeth gaps). But it is very laborious, again.
  3. This salad is also not very suitable for a next-day lunch box, since the dressing is mostly composed of butter, which gets solid when cold. You’ll need to keep it in a separate container from the salad, to warm it up separately to liquify it again.

I also felt this salad wasn’t enough on its own as a main, so I added a boiled egg. Otherwise it’s a tiring munch-feast of almonds drowning in a sea of herbs, with the nice flavour of the butter, which also confuses the palate a bit.

What I really liked was that method of preparing almonds and turning them into an irresistible proposition. Maybe I can reuse that for some other salad!

Don’t forget to check out the rest of salads we ate during Salad Week! ?

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