What’s On My Table – With Alexandra Dudley
What’s On My Table – With Alexandra Dudley

What’s On My Table – With Alexandra Dudley

Alexandra Dudley is a food columnist, cookbook author and host of the Come For Supper podcast. In this monthly column, she takes us inside her east London kitchen to show us what she’s cooking and the tools she’s loving. This time, it’s a salad reminiscent of high summer – plus, three of her top serving accessories…
By Alexandra Dudley

All products on this page have been selected by our editorial team, however we may make commission on some products.

This is just the sort of thing I crave this time of year, as I try and keep a bit of summer alive. Something fresh with a good crunch. Loosely inspired by the many delicious dip-like salads I enjoyed in Greece this summer – as well as a classic Greek salad – the dressing is a creamy combination of smashed feta and peas spiked with lots of olive oil and lemon juice. I find bashing the cucumbers quite enjoyable, but you can just chop them if you like. 

I’m really enjoying the increasing range of canned seltzers and sodas. I love the satisfaction of popping open a can at the end of a hard day and lots of them are lower ABV than standard cocktails too so are perfect for a midweek drink. My current favourites are the vodka sodas from Goldling Drinks. They do one called Moonlight with berries, pomegranate and just a hint of black pepper. It is delicious alongside this salad.

Smashed Cucumber, Feta & Pea Salad

Total Time
12 Minutes
200g of peas, blanched & cooled
5 baby cucumbers (or 2 large ones)
200g of feta
3 tbsp of olive oil
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp of oregano
1 handful of fresh mint leaves, chopped
30g of pistachios, roughly chopped
Step 1

Blanch and refresh the peas in cold water before draining if you have not yet done this.

Step 2

Using a rolling pin, bash the cucumbers. The aim is not to smash them apart, but simply to slightly smash the insides. Then roughly chop them.

Step 3

In a bowl add roughly half the peas. Crumble in half the feta, zest in the lemon and add the juice. Then add a few good glugs of olive oil and smash with a fork until you have a creamy textured dressing. Add more olive oil if you need. I find a shallow bowl works best for this. Stir in the oregano.

Step 4

Toss the smashed, chopped cucumber, fresh peas, mint leaves and dressing in a bowl. Top with the chopped pistachios, a drizzle of good olive oil and more fresh mint if you like.


Saint Jacques Plate, From £69 | Les Ottomans

I got married last year and have really enjoyed using the lovely things that friends and family bought my husband and I as gifts from The Wedding Shop. This shell plate has been a joy to use all summer long. I have used it for everything from crudites to pasta dishes. 

Available at WeddingShop.com

Small Palm Porcelain Candle Holder, £177 | Les Ottomans

I try to bring as much colour to the table as possible as we slide into autumn, and I love the vibrancy of this palm candlestick holder. The green feels fun and looks very good alongside a bowl of pumpkins when they come into season.

Available at Farfetch.com

Camber Soft Wash Table Cloth, £125 | The White Company

A floaty white linen tablecloth is my go-to. I have a few that I use on repeat –especially if they still look good without an iron. This one from The White Company has slightly frayed edges which give it a bit more character. 

Available at TheWhiteCompany.com


The River Café

My husband and I try to eat at The River Café once a year. It has become an annual ritual where we take a moment to take stock of the good things that we’ve managed to achieve that year, along with some of the losses. A wondrous restaurant with an ever-changing seasonal menu, there is no best time to visit The River Café, but my favourite time to go is when the weather is still just warm enough to sit outside. We went a few weeks ago and enjoyed plates of Devon crab with marinated Italian tomatoes, capers and fennel and mozzarella-stuffed squash with black olives and pangrattato followed by perfectly grilled Dover sole with braised yellow beans. 

Cooking for my job means I often find myself half imagining, half dissecting meals that I have ordered before they arrive. Much of the beauty of the food at The River Café is its dedication to simplicity, and yet each time I feel I know what I’m getting, I am blissfully surprised. You can taste that the focaccia was baked that morning, that the fish was in the pan two minutes ago. The service is the right balance of enthusiastic but not overbearing too. There has been a lot of conversation surrounding the topic of rising restaurant costs. The River Café is expensive and there are of course cheaper places to eat in London but for me, going to a restaurant is about so much more than just the food. It is the entire experience and my visit to The River Café is something I look forward to every year. 

Visit RiverCafe.com

For more from Alexandra, follow her @AlexandraDudley or visit AlexandraDudley.com

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