It seems a bit counter-intuitive to want to fry salad leaves. But the fact is that from little gem to chicory, many salad leaves are delicious when cooked.

Sonia tells me that you’ll all get a ‘stir-fry pack’ in your organic veg boxes this week, which will include mizuna, red hot mustard, green mustard salad leaves and kale shoots (above).

But watercress, turnip tops, any small tender brassica leaves or thinly sliced radishes will work well, too. I have also suggested adding some spring onions. This dish is lovely on a piece of sour-dough toast or simply with plain boiled rice. It also goes really well with fish, so try it with pan-roast salmon, cod or hake or grilled tuna steaks.*

A close up of organic turnips and radish

Stir-fried peppery salad leaves with a ginger and tamari dressing

Ingredients

  • 1 x stir fry pack (in your Coleshill veg boxes)
  • 2 spring onions, cut into short lengths and then sliced in half lengthways
  • 2 cloves garlic, very finely sliced
  • Equivalent volume of fresh ginger to above garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbs rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbs tamari or soy sauce
  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • Sunflower or light sesame oil

Method

(Make sure you have all ingredients prepared and to hand. Over-cooking the ingredients while you rush to chop things will ruin the dish!)

Put the chopped ginger, rice wine vinegar, tamari sauce, a pinch of sugar and 1 tbs sunflower oil in a bowl, mix well and put to one side.

In a wok or frying pan, heat a little more oil and fry the sliced garlic until it just begins to brown.

Add the spring onions and kale shoots and fry for a minute longer.

Turn the heat right up and after a few seconds add the peppery leaves. Fry for 10 seconds and transfer immediately to a serving bowl or plate.

Drizzle the ginger and tamari dressing over the top and then scatter with sesame seeds.

Serve.

Seaspiracy

* You may have watched Seaspiracy, the recent documentary about the fishing industry, which tells us we shouldn’t be eating fish anymore because the industry is destroying the oceans and soon there will be no life–never mind any fish–left in them. It’s a supremely depressing film. The makers of it made another one called Cowspiracy – same message only about cattle instead of fish.

Seaspiracy doesn’t mention the 40,000-year-old practice of hook and line fishing, perhaps because it didn’t fit with the narrative of the film. I would argue that hook and line fishing is as different from the monstrous world of industrial fishing as grass-fed, organic herds of beef or dairy cattle are from intensive animal farming. Nevertheless, it appears that that the greenwash tales spun by big brands of say, tuna, are very fishy indeed, so as ever, knowing where your food comes from really does matter.

Cover image for netflix seaspiracy show

Barny Haughton is a chef, restaurateur, cookery school teacher and Eco Food pioneer. He has run three award-winning restaurants in Bristol over the last 25 years (Rocinantes, Quartier Vert and Bordeaux Quay).

Barny is best known for his work at Square Food Foundation, Bristol’s Cookery School & Community Kitchen, where he is Director and Head Teacher, teaching people from all walks of life to cook good food.

Barny Haughton