Eat

Make the Salad That Saved Fergus Henderson's Life

Listen to London chef and nose-to-tail eating don Fergus Henderson when he says: "I am alive thanks to this salad."

by Munchies Staff
22 June 2016, 1:00pm

Photo by Farideh Sadeghin

Salad is great. All that green stuff is good for your iron levels and sometimes it comes with croutons. Awesome. Big fan of salad.

You wouldn't really describe salad as being "lifesaving," though. A good cheese toastie can bring you back from hangovers that feel like death and a squashed Kit Kat probably did save your life that one time you went hiking and forgot the way back to the tea shop—but salad? That's a big call for a side dish.

Well, it's time to stop underestimating salad's restorative properties because none other than nose-to-tail eating legend and British food don Fergus Henderson says that a simple lettuce and anchovy salad once saved his life.

RECIPE: Anchovy, Little Gem, and Tomato Salad

Here's how it goes. Some 20 years ago, Fergus was visiting his sister in Barcelona and ended up having five boozy lunches in one day. He explains: "Much of the city shuts over the weekend, so we had to take in every restaurant that she wanted to show me—all on the Friday of my arrival. Unfortunately the pace continued, fueled by the icy cold, rough version of marc [a type of brandy] that they serve in those parts. So on Saturday morning, I truly thought I was dying."

But help was at hand! Fergus found an old Barcelona restaurant that served a roasted tomato, parsley, anchovy, and Little Gem salad. It was the nutrient-packed dish his brandy-ravaged body so sorely needed.

Fergus says: "I am alive thanks to this salad."

We recommend recreating this lifesaving salad with fresh vine-ripe tomatoes and serving with grilled meats as part of your summer barbecue spread. Just remember, this ain't no side dish.