Recipe: Ribbon Salad with Spinach, Carrot, Spring Onions & Foraged Greens

This salad is loosely built around ingredients that can be scavenged in the garden or fridge. 

Words & recipes: Lucy Corry  Styling & photo: Carolyn Robertson

We used to live in a house blessed — or cursed — with a large garden. Since my gardening style was “chuck in some plants and see what happens”, stuff would usually go to seed, and the whole plot would be overrun with weeds. However, I learned that building a salad from a few foraged leaves and various other vegetables scavenged from the fridge was entirely possible. In New Zealand’s lockdown in 2020, this skill stood us in good stead and possibly kept us from getting scurvy.

Serves: 4 to 6


Take 4 to 5 handfuls of large spinach or silverbeet leaves. Wash and dry them, then strip off the stalks (save them for vegetable stock). Stack the leaves on top of each other and roll up into a loose cigar shape. Slice through the roll to create ribbons of leaves and put them in a bowl. Add handfuls of any other well-washed foraged leaves: finely sliced baby nasturtium leaves, trefoil-shaped oxalis, parsley or coriander, dandelion leaves and chickweed. Peel a carrot, shave it into ribbons using a potato peeler and add to the bowl.

Throw in some finely sliced spring onions or a little red onion. If your fridge has them, add a tablespoon of capers. Whisk together a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar with a pinch of salt and three tablespoons of olive oil. Drizzle half this mixture over the greens and toss gently. Scatter over any edible blooms you come across — nasturtiums, wild mustard, calendula, dandelion petals — and serve.

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Lucy Corry is an award-winning New Zealand writer and has been NZ Life & Leisure’s Taste editor since 2018. Her latest book, Homecooked: Seasonal Recipes for Every Day, published by Penguin, is out now, RRP$55.

NZ Life and Leisure This article first appeared in NZ Life & Leisure Magazine.
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