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Lamb sweetbreads, sorrel, herb & summer vegetable salad

Ed Smith

A fresh, crunchy, herby summer salad with soft and buttery sweetbreads

Recipe Meta


1 hour 15 mins (including soaking)


10 mins






  • 500g lamb sweetbreads
  • 3 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 100g butter
  • Juice of 1 lemon

For the salad

  • 2 small yellow courgettes
  • 1 bunch breakfast radishes
  • 1 gem lettuce
  • 100g bag of sorrel
  • 200g fresh peas in their pods
  • 100g mangetout
  • Leaves from 5 sprigs of mint, roughly chopped
  • Leaves picked from 15 sprigs of chervil

For the dressing

  • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 tsp maple syrup
  • Sea salt


Put the sweetbreads in a bowl and cover with cold water. Drain the water and repeat two times, then fill the bowl once more, leaving the sweetbreads to soak for an hour, then drain.

Bring a saucepan of water to the boil. Blanch the sweetbreads for 5 mins. Drain and plunge into iced water or leave under a running cold tap until cool. Use your thumb and fore finger to push any tight knots of fat and the membrane from the sweetbreads, drain and dry on a kitchen towel. Chill in the fridge until required (you could do this first part well in advance if you wish).

When ready to eat, use a vegetable peeler to peel ribbons from the courgettes, wash the radishes and cut in half lengthways, separate the lettuce leaves and cut the largest in half, cut the sorrel leaves in half, pod the peas and wash the mangetout. Set to one side.

Whisk the salad dressing ingredients in a large bowl until emulsified and set to one side.

Place a heavy bottomed or cast iron frying pan over a high heat. Add the sunflower oil and allow it to heat almost to smoking point. Place the sweetbreads on the hot oil, and allow to sear for 60 secs before turning.

Sear the other side of the sweetbreads for another 1 min, then add the butter and allow to froth and brown for 2-3 mins more, moving the sweetbreads around so they colour nicely. Squeeze the lemon juice in, season generously with salt and remove from the heat.

Toss the salad in the dressing bowl. Decant into four individual bowls or plates and divide the sweetbreads between them. Eat immediately.

Image: Ed Smith

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