Make Ahead

Fergus Henderson's Red Salad

March 12, 2013
4 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

This is a salad with more color than you've probably seen all winter. It's earthy, tangy and sweet, like a livelier borscht -- one that makes you want to tear into your next course, rather than go curl up in a warm place. Adapted slightly from Beyond Nose to Tail (Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, 2007). —Genius Recipes

What You'll Need
  • For the salad
  • 2 raw beetroot, peeled and finely grated
  • 1/4 raw red cabbage with its core cut out, very finely sliced
  • 1 very small red onion, peeled, cut in half from top to bottom and finely sliced (to mellow its bite, soak in cold water while you make the rest of the salad, then drain)
  • 6 healthy dollops of crème fraîche
  • 2 healthy bunches of chervil, picked
  • For the dressing
  • Healthy splashes of extra virgin olive oil
  • A little gesture of balsamic vinegar
  • A small handful of extra-fine capers
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  1. Mix everything together for the dressing. Toss all your raw red vegetables in the dressing, taste and adjust seasoning, then on six plates place a bushel of this red mixture. Next to this, nustle your blob of crème fraîche as if the two ingredients were good friends, not on top of each other as if they were lovers. Finally a clump of the chervil rested next to the other ingredients in the friendly fashion. A very striking salad ready for the eater to mess up.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Schaef
  • epicharis
  • Brent A Jensen
    Brent A Jensen
  • Alaina Cillis
    Alaina Cillis
Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

16 Reviews

_vanp_ June 3, 2023
This is one my favourite winter salads but I use radicchio instead of cabbage. It keeps the beautiful red colour and is still fresh and earthy.
PhatHummus April 30, 2023
Simple and bright. I eat it with labneh rather than creme fresh. Reading the other reviews... "a gesture of olive oil" is pretty precious 😂
Schaef July 1, 2018
I think this salad works well for its simplicity and unexpectedness. I add some Red Boat fish sauce (2 dashes) with the dressing to give it a little more.... yeah. With really good creme fraiche, excellent.
epicharis February 8, 2018
This was a surprisingly good recipe and would indeed make a great appetizer; my husband remarked "it's delicious, but I wouldn't want to eat a lot of it." My biggest problem is the unbearably twee kitchen goddess-y language in the recipe above. It's hard to imagine something so florid and purple in a reputable cookbook.
Ghazzzit February 9, 2018
The first half of your comment is helpful.
Liv August 7, 2023
I, on the other hand, Joined the group because of the light-hearted fun language In addition to the recipe looking delicious
Brent A. April 25, 2017
I love this salad! Very colorful; it may stain if you spill. Good beet flavor, plus a zing from the onion, capers, pepper, and vinegar. Easy and fast to make.
Alaina C. February 6, 2017
I would vouch for this recipe's ingenuity. It's easy (I threw the ingredients in my food processor), it's not green (yay!), and it's an excuse to eat créme fraîche.
Tom B. July 3, 2016
Colorful, yes. Flavorful? No. Genius? That's a tall can of nope. On a 5 point rating scale, it's a 1 or 2.
Rodney L. May 11, 2015
OK question. I work at one of the best restaurants in the country. Is this the type of salad that I can present at a tasting hoping to get it paced on a tasting menu?
Schaef March 7, 2019
Well, if you do the slightest amount of research on the author of the recipe, owns and operates one of the better restaurants in England. You might consider the triteness of your comment.
jane March 27, 2021
I would suggest making it, eating it, and deciding for yourself.
FourCats January 26, 2015
What do you mean by "finely grated"? Can I use my standard box grater or do you mean something finer than that?
Ghazzzit January 28, 2015
I've made this salad many times-your box grater is the right tool.
Ghazzzit October 12, 2014
This is delicious! And beautiful! Great texture with a really nice zing from the mellow onions and the capers.
aguess December 17, 2013
I love this salad! Such great flavor and texture. I does look like I murdered someone in the kitchen when I make it.