ELLE Eats: The perfect simple starter

Introducing the Concept Salad


ELLE food bloggers Laura Jackson & Alice Levine discover the easy (and aesthetically pleasing) appetiser.


We're a bit dubious about overuse of the word "concept". A 'concept' haircut = short fringe, probably a dip dye. 'Concept' outfit = brogues and a waistcoat. 'Concept' drink = a sparkler and a cocktail umbrella. It doesn't really mean anything. But like every rule there is an exception.


Our love of the 'concept store' started across the channel in Paris at Merci and followed us home to Dover Street Market. Not just shops, but collections of brands, curated in such a way that everything appears so much greater than the sum of its parts. Perfect harmony between lifestyle, design and food. 

This is just the approach Skye Gyngell adopts in her beautiful restaurant Spring, which we visited this week.

Both halves of Jackson&Levine have just moved into new homes, and as a result both food and interiors are vying for our attention. Everything is an inspiration - for our table settings, for our own homes or just our recipes. On the one hand interiors won out at Spring, look at these incredible herringbone, pink tiles from their bathrooms. We all take photos in the loo, right? After a snoop around we found out they're Swedish and stocked at Made A Mano at £450 per square metre...ahem...back to the drawing board.

Our heartbreak was quickly cured by the radiccio and candied walnut salad we sat down to. Inspired by this we've decided to create our own 'concept' salad (the concept being it's just so bloody easy...excuse the pun).

Blood Orange Concept Salad

Serves 4 as a side

Get it

½ radicchio

½ fennel (saving the tops for garnish)

1 blood orange

small handful of hazlenuts

Maldon salt


good quality extra virgin olive oil 

Do it

Peel and thinly slice the blood orange.

If using a small radicchio simply remove the leaves and use whole, cut the leaves in half if they are bigger

Remove the coarse outer leaves of the fennel and then slice on the thinnest setting of the mandolin.

Toast hazelnuts in a dry pan for , and whilst still hot rub them in a tea towel to remove the brown skin

Mix these items in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and season. Serve on a platter and garnish with fennel tops 

Try adding some blue cheese or avocado for a more substantial dish for vegetarians. Or perfect served with grilled mackerel or a roast chicken.

Keep up with Jackson & Levine on Twitter and find more recipes @ELLEUK #ELLEeats

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