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Fergus Salad

One of the best salads of all time.

A box grater and raw beets might make for red cuticles, but it also makes one of my favorite salads of all time. This is the work of Fergus Henderson, patron saint of nose-to-tail animal eating, who is also a vegetable whisperer of the highest order. There is never a time I don’t want to eat this, winter, spring, summer, or fall. When I find good-looking chervil around, this is always for dinner, and when I can’t, I substitute curly parsley!

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Makes 6 servings
  • 1 T extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1 T capers
  • + sea salt and black pepper
  • 2 beets, peeled and finely grated (1 1/2 C)
  • 1⁄4 head red cabbage, cored and very finely sliced (3–4 C)
  • 1 small red onion, peeled, cut in half from top to bottom and finely sliced
  • 1 C crème fraîche
  • 1 C chervil, picked, or curly parsley (because it is hard to find chervil sometimes!)


  1. Combine the olive oil, vinegar, and capers in a bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. It should be aggressive but not an assault. Toss all your red vegetables in the dressing.

  2. Make the plates: a blop of Crème fraîche, a pile of red vegetables, a pile of the herb you’ve ended up with in a quantity that seems generous and looks good. Encourage your friends to make a mess of this good-looking plate at the table to get the most out of it.