This ''condiment salad'' (part salad, part dressing) is fresh and bright, with a real punch of lemon and warmer tones from the nutty garlic and fennel seeds. It's great with fish, especially when char-grilled on the bone, acting both as a salad and a dressing.
3 small Lebanese cucumbers, sliced in half lengthways and deseeded
1/2 head celery, outer stalks removed, keeping the yellow heart and some of the paler stalks
1 tsp salt flakes, plus extra
1 tsp sugar
80ml extra-virgin olive oil
5 large cloves garlic, sliced
1 tsp fennel seeds
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 bunch parsley
1. Cut the cucumber into 5-millimetre slices. Slice the coarse base off the celery and cut stalks in half-centimetre slices. Put cucumber and celery in a colander and sprinkle over one teaspoon of salt and sugar, lightly toss through and set aside.
2. Using a sharp knife, cut the ends off the lemons, slice off the peel, and cut out the segments by slicing out the flesh between each of the membranes. Cut each segment into three or four pieces and place in a bowl. Squeeze out any additional juice from the membrane.
3. In a small frying pan over a medium heat, add the oil and heat through. Add the garlic and fry until just golden and fragrant (it needs to be golden and nutty but not burnt). Add the fennel seeds, warm through quickly, take off the heat and allow to cool for a minute or two. Pour over the lemon pieces, season with salt and pepper and mix through.
4. Squeeze the celery and cucumber lightly to remove any excess moisture and tip into a bowl with the parsley and lemon mix. Toss through, leave to sit for 10 minutes, then serve.
Drink Although I wouldn't normally match a wine to something like this, if you're using it alongside barbecued or grilled fish, a crisp glass of riesling or sauvignon blanc would be ideal.