Apéritif salad with bitter leaves

This refreshing salad is a great one to help prep the digestive system before a large meal (I’ll be having this before Christmas dinner!). With bitter leaves to get the digestive juices flowing, gut-loving fennel, apple cider vinegar and lemon juice.

Ingredients (serves 4): 

For the salad:

  • Large handful of bitter leaves per person (endive, chicory, rocket, dandelion, watercress or a mix)
  • 1 fennel, thinly sliced 
  • 2 oranges 
  • 50g walnuts 

For the dressing:

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar (ideally with ‘the mother’)
  • ½ tsp honey 
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Pinch of sea salt and pepper 


Pre-heat the oven to 180 fan. Place the walnuts on a baking tray and toast in the oven for around 6-7 minutes, until browned and smelling delicious. Once they’re done, take out of the oven and leave to cool. Once cooled, roughly chop. 

While the walnuts are in the oven, peel the oranges using a knife. Cut into bitesize segments, making sure to remove all the pith. 

In a large bowl, mix together the bitter leaves, finely sliced fennel and orange segments. 

For the dressing, mix all the ingredients together in a jam jar or small bowl. Give it a good shake / mix and taste.  

Divide the salad into bowls, pour over a drizzle of dressing and top with the toasted walnuts. Enjoy!