Salad (sort of) Lyonnaise

A one-pan warm/room temp salad using allotment gleanings. Ingredients list roughly what I used, but essentially it was ‘what I picked/had on hand’.

Also, does anyone have an official name for the ‘fried and folded’ egg? Does this technique have a name? Eggs over easy? Low temp ‘fry’ in a non-stick pan, minimal oil so no crunchy bits, fold the thin bits of the white in and flip it over part way through, so the white ends up cooked through and the yolk still runny. It ends up being a bit like a poached egg, but with much less water…


  • Lettuce (in this case a heading type, a bit like a cross between little gem and iceberg), 180g
  • Garlic scapes, 20g
  • Mange tout, 20g
  • Olive oil, 2 tsp
  • Bacon, 2 rashers, chopped
  • Egg
  • Bread – in this case, sourdough w/grains, about 110g, crusts cut off and cubed for croutons, the rest of the slices served with
  • Butter


  • Fry bacon in about 1tsp oil until crisp; drain and set aside (keeping oil in pan)
  • Add another tsp of oil to the pan and fry croutons. Set aside.
  • Lightly saute the scapes and mange tout, and the lettuce if you like it charred/wilted (I do)
  • Fry-and-fold one egg.
  • Assemble prepared ingredients other than the egg on plate; top with egg.
  • Butter the rest of the bread and serve alongside.

The State of the Allotment

There has been much allotmenteering in the last two years. I started off with a mini-plot – 5m x 5m. I outgrew that in the first year, and traded in for a ‘half’ plot – 5m x 25m. I’ve been digging and planting, digging and planting, and it is starting to look productive (if not weed-free; I am going to be dealing with bindweed, perennial thistles, and horsetails for the forseeable future):

The ‘old’ part

And this spring, I’ve managed to acquire the other half of the same plot! It hasn’t been cultivated much for the last two years, so I am going to be digging again… Here it was just before handover; the bag is mine, and marks the boundary:

The ‘new’ part (before handover)

It’s hard to see the far end, but the white blob is on the next patch, over the path.

My ‘new’ part was strimmed and rotavated (rotivated? rotovated?) before I took it over. I still need to dig out a lot of perennial roots and rocks, and the soil on both the new and old parts needs some serious amendment and improvement.

It’s come on quite a bit already; the old part is significantly more planted, and I’m diggin the new. I’ve put two mini polytunnels in for tomatoes and chillies. I lost all my tomato plants to blight last year, and keeping the rain off should, hopefully, help with that. The polytunnels have guy ropes and I have pegged the base frames to the ground. I still visited three times in one (windy) day last week to make sure they were still there!

One polytunnel viewed from a second under construction

In the near future:

  • I absolutely need to lay in irrigation, or at the very least, water barrels with a hose and pump. Watering this lot by hand is not a realistic option!
  • A fruit cage (already bought – needs erecting)
  • Perennial plants. Asparagus! Artichokes!
  • Enough space to try growing some dye plants! (food gets priority).
  • Experiments! How much land would I need to grow (e.g.) all my wheat for the year? (I’m not going to try that, but I can maybe grow a small patch and extrapolate…)

That’s a whole lotta ‘lottment

So, I signed up for an allotment earlier this year.

Thanks to delays getting it prepped, I didn’t get my hands on it until the weekend before Easter, when I was going to London to visit friends.  Then there was Easter itself, when I travelled North to visit family.  Then I got a stomach bug (apparently all the rage), which wiped me out.

So I’ve managed three visits to it since handing over a cheque – in the middle of what should be the planting season.

A whole lotta ‘lottment

It’s big.  Around 120-feet-long big.  About a tenth of that wide.  And it’s been ‘fallow’ for three years, for which I think we can read ‘neglected’.  It was ploughed and rotivated before I got my hands on it, but that mostly means they’ve buried and broken up the weed mat and roots that were on the surface.  Still, I’ve found evidence of dandelion, bindweed, docken, nettle and some sort of really persistent grass with long, tough, wiry roots.

And parsnips.  I think we can say that the previous tenant really liked parsnips.

This thing is going to be a challenge.  Still, the potatoes are in.