Vegetarian Meals

Friends with Recipes: A Duo of Inspired Spanish Salads

This week’s “Friends with Recipes” post is from yet another of the many lovely people I have met through Instagram. Aleid was sweet enough to come say hit to me at an event last year and we had a great time chatting (mostly about toddlers and #froobs). I’m a sucker for interesting, fun, positive people, so when she asked about submitting a recipe that ties into her new art blog, I couldn’t say no!

I love the creativity behind this gorgeous meal, and the two salads offered below are a perfect addition to a light, tapas style dinner (my favourite kind of meal!). I hope you enjoy this as much as I do!

Bethie x

A Duo of Inspired Spanish Salads – Aleid Farnum-Ford


My midweek meal is inspired by a painting in the National Gallery. Still Life with Oranges and Walnuts (1772) by the Spanish painter Luis Meléndez is a feast for the eyes and had me hitting the kitchen to knock up a mediterranean meal that tastes of al fresco dining in the Spanish sun.


Luis Meléndez, 1716 – 1780 Still Life with Oranges and Walnuts 1772 Oil on canvas

I’ve used the oranges and walnuts that you see here. In addition to these Meléndez paints chestnuts, a melon, earthenware jugs, a small barrel and some circular and oblong boxes. The round boxes were normally used for cheese (I’ve added manchego to my meal) while the rectangular ones were used for sweets, such as dulce de membrillo (I’ve added that too). The jugs probably contain wine (add at your leisure), while the barrel possibly contains olives, which I’ve represented in the olive sourdough.

The two salads that provide the freshness and flavour here are staples in our home. Cheese is very important to my husband and the bread is something both my boys (3 and 1 years) love despite (or maybe because of) its punchy flavour. The amounts I’ve pulled together fed a family of four with some leftovers for lunch but do bump up the amounts for a more generous, mediterranean-style gathering.



Lentil and Walnut Salad
-400g can (2 cups) lentils (ready cooked)
-15g (1/3 cups) chopped fresh chives
-50g walnut pieces (or more)
-big pinch salt
-olive oil
-white wine vinegar
-salt and pepper to taste

Carrot and Orange Salad
-4 medium carrots, peeled
-juice of 1/2 an orange (or more) olive oil
-red wine vinegar
-fennel seeds
-handful sultanas
-salt and pepper to taste

Bread: Olive Sourdough (Celtic Bakers, Ocado) Manchego cheese
Membrillo quince spread


Lentil and Walnut Salad
Drain and rinse the lentils and put them in a bowl with the chopped chives (I use kitchen scissors) and the walnuts (break some up and leave others larger). Whisk together the salt, a good lug of olive oil and nice splash of vinegar and then dress the salad, stirring well, boosting the seasoning if necessary.

Carrot and Orange Salad

Using a box grater or processor shred the carrots into a bowl. Dress them with the orange juice, a lug of olive oil and a big dash of red wine vinegar. Add as many sultanas and fennel seeds as you see fit. Toss the lot together with a good pinch of salt and pepper to taste.

To serve: slice the bread generously and serve with manchego cheese, membrillo and salads.

Thanks, Aleid! I can’t wait to check out your new blog. I love art, but shamefully don’t know much about it. The idea of weekly “bite-size” art descriptions sound right up my alley!



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  • Reply
    March 4, 2016 at 7:06 pm

    These look lovely, one of my favourite salads is grated carrot, chopped apple and walnuts.

    • Reply
      March 9, 2016 at 12:41 pm

      Yum! I could go for one of those right now! x

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