Warm toasted nettle Caesar, asparagus, green apple & fennel – REAL Chefs with Kirk Haworth

With a focus on sustainability for people and the planet, Kirk is a leading figure in British plant-based cookery and is spear-heading a mission to improve chef’s wellness in the wider industry. “Sustainability is not just about the earth, the food or the ingredients – it’s about people, and creating a lifestyle that’s sustainable for all of us to coexist in good health.”

Kirk Howarth is donating to Hospitality Action.


Warm toasted nettle Caesar, asparagus, green apple & fennel – recipe

Serves 1

Gem lettuce

Cut one baby gem lettuce in half length ways, wash thoroughly & dry.

Bring a non stick frying pan to a medium – high heat add 1 tsp of coconut oil and place the half gem lettuce presentation side down, cook for around 1 minute until golden, brush with olive oil & season with a sprinkle of maldon salt.

Sautéed nettle & spinach

  • Washed organic spinach – 1 small handful
  • Wild washed nettles – 1 small handful


Wearing gloves, carefully pick some nettles on your walk through your the countryside. With some scissors cut the leaves into warm water and wash 3 times. Dry & mix with the spinach. Gently sauté in a little olive oil & salt until wilted. Drain on a paper towel.

Spring salad

  • Asparagus – 1 stick cut into 1cm pieces
  • Green apple – 1/8 – diced into small cubes
  • Small Red onion – 1/4 – finely sliced
  • Fennel – 1/4 finely sliced
  • Toasted cashew nuts – 1 tbsp
  • Pickled yellow radish or gherkin – 3 slices
  • Lemon – half juiced
  • Olive oil – 1 tsp
  • Salt to taste

Add all of the above into a small mixing bowl & check for seasoning.

Nettle crisps

In a non stick frying pan add 2 large tbsp of coconut oil and bring to a medium heat, add 2 nettle leaves at a time and fry until crisp, season with maldon salt.

  • Chick pea aioli
  • Chickpea water – 160ml
  • Lemon juice – 1 tbsp
  • Cider vinegar – 1 tbsp
  • Roasted garlic clove – 1
  • Sunflower oil – 400 ml
  • Olive oil – 60 ml
  • Xantham gum – 1 pinch
  • Salt to taste


Add all the ingredients apart from the oils and blend on full speed for for 2 mins, slowly add the oils until it becomes a thick like mayonnaise consistency.

To plate

Put the toasted half gem lettuce just of centre of the plate.

Gently add the sautéed nettle & spinach mix.

Add 6 dots of the chick pea aioli.

Dress with 1 large tbsp of spring salad mix.

Add 3 slices of pickled radish.

Cover with 3 crispy nettle leaves to garnish.



Follow Kirk Haworth on Instagram | Remember to tag us into your posts when you try this recipe #REALChefs

Return to the REAL Chefs page