If this recipe looks like there’s nothing much to it, that’s because it’s true. You’re cutting up a lemon, chopping up some mint, and tossing them together with a little oil and some baby spinach leaves which, if you’re like me, you’re just tumbling out of a package. Simplicity itself, but an end result that has satisfying complexity. I love the balance between the gently ferrous tang of the baby spinach, the sour juiciness of the lemon, and mint, that often underrated herb which gives both peppery warmth and a cool, cool hit at the same time.
Yield: Serves 8
1 largeish lemon
1/3 cup fresh mint leaves, plus extra for the top
½ tablespoon sea salt
8oz/10 cups baby spinach leaves
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Cut off the top and bottom of a lemon, stand it on a wooden board and, cutting down with a small sharp knife, slice off the skin and pith, rotating the fruit until you come full circle. Cut the lemon flesh into ¼ in circles and then each circle into eighths, putting them – and all juice – into a bowl as you go. In other words, you want the lemon in small chunks.
Cut the mint leaves, with scissors for ease, into thin strips over the lemon pieces, and sprinkle over the salt and some pepper. Add the spinach leaves and oil and toss everything together with your hands. Now decant on to a large round or oval plate – or whatever you want to serve this on – and drop a few whole mint leaves over the dressed salad.