Trio of No-Cook Starters

Diana Henry introduces us to three very simple summer starters with no hard and fast rules
By Diana Henry
Trio of No-Cook Starters
  • Rating:
  • Serves: n/a
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Effort: easy


For the radishes

  • French breakfast radishes
  • unsalted butter
  • rock salt
  • Baguette or sourdough bread
  • black olives
  • salami

For the vegetable pinzimonio

  • asparagus
  • fennel
  • cherry tomatoes
  • cauliflower
  • green beans, blanched
  • young carrots, scrubbed
  • avocados
  • Single estateextra virgin olive oil

For the parma ham and peaches

  • Parma or cured ham
  • white peaches
  • balsamic vinegar


1. For the radishes: choose radishes with leaves that are sprightly, not droopy, as they can be eaten too. Wash them well, lay on a platter along with the butter, salt and bread. The idea is to spread the peppery radishes with the butter, sprinkle with salt and eat with the bread. Wrinkled black olives and rounds of salami are good along with this.

2. For the vegetable pinzimonio: lightly steam the asparagus over a pan of boiling water. Remove the tough outer leaves from the fennel before cutting into fine slices and cut the cauliflower into small florets.

3. Arrange these, along with the other vegetables on a large platter. Provide each diner with a little glass or bowl full of really good extra virgin olive oil (about 70ml per person) and have sea salt and black pepper available.

4. For the parma ham and peaches: cut the peaches into quarters and remove the stones. Lay on a platter with the ham and drizzle with a little balsamic.

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