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Little gem salad with chive vinaigrette, pickled red onions & crispy breadcrumbs

Little gem salad with chive vinaigrette, pickled red onions & crispy breadcrumbs

This simple salad from Elly Curshen is great to serve alongside pizza – its fresh, herby, zingy is a real foil for hot, melted cheese. The addition of finely chopped chives means they are well distributed and every mouthful of salad is seasoned with their mild allium flavour.

5 out of 5 stars(1) Rate this recipe
VegetarianLow in saturated fat
  • Serves2 as a side
  • CourseSide
  • Prepare35 mins
  • Cook15 mins
  • Total time50 mins

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  • 1 little gem lettuce
  • 1 slice sourdough, crusts on, roughly torn
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, finely grated (to taste)
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • ½ x 20g pack chives, finely chopped to give 1-2 tbsp, plus extra longer pieces to serve

For the pickled onions

  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 lime, juice
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • ½ tsp sea salt flakes
  • ½ tsp caster or granulated sugar


  1. Start by making the pickled onions. Bring a small pan of water to a simmer, add the onion and allow to bubble gently for 2 minutes. In a small bowl, mix the lime juice, vinegar, salt and sugar. Drain the onions and add to the bowl. Mix well and leave to rest for 30 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, separate the lettuce leaves and wash in a bowl of ice-cold water. Leave in the water to crisp up.

  3. For the crispy breadcrumbs, blitz the sourdough to large crumbs in a food processor. Heat 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil in a frying pan, add the crumbs and cook over a medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring often, until golden. Tip into a bowl and allow to cool and crisp.

  4. For the dressing, combine the garlic and a pinch of sea salt flakes in a large mixing bowl. Using a balloon whisk, mix in the vinegar, then 2 tbsp oil and whisk to emulsify. Add the chives and season with freshly ground black pepper.

  5. Drain the lettuce and dry thoroughly. When ready to serve, add the lettuce to the dressing in the bowl. Toss everything together well and coat the leaves with the chive dressing.

  6. Tip the contents of the bowl onto a serving platter or plates, and top with some crispy breadcrumbs, drained pink onions, and extra chives. You may have extra onions and breadcrumbs, but they will both keep in airtight containers for 1 week – the onions in the fridge and the breadcrumbs at room temperature.

Cook’s tip

Potato skins
The next time you make mashed potato, use scooped out baked potatoes and save the skins. Place them on a tray, skin-side down, and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until crispy and golden brown. Fill each skin with a dollop of soured cream and sprinkle with chopped chives.

Asparagus with chive brown butter
Simply melt some butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Allow the butter to cook until it turns golden brown and develops a nutty aroma, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Once the butter is browned, remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in finely chopped chives. Pour over lightly steamed asparagus.

Chive & ricotta pasta
For a fresh, creamy and very quick midweek supper, mix a generous amount of finely chopped chives, some lemon juice and zest, and some chopped parsley into a tub of ricotta cheese. Toss with cooked pasta and season to taste.


Typical values per serving when made using specific products in recipe


933kJ/ 225kcals



Saturated Fat












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Overall rating (5/5)

5 out of 5 stars1 rating