Sunday was International Angela Lansbury Appreciation Day and I wanted to show my appreciation not only for the wonderful Dame Angela this week, but also for all the fabulous people who tested recipes for the forthcoming Murder, She Cooked book.  

There is no way I could have done it without you all.  I’m sure if you tested something, you’ll be pleased to see that Jessica Fletcher has received an advance copy in Cabot Cove! 

There is a copy of the book up for grabs in a competition I’m running so do enter – skip to this page to see how.

The loveliest thing for me in the whole process has been communicating with recipe testers. In the run up to launch day on the 30th September I’ll be sharing some of my favourites pieces of feedback.  Here’s the first one. I received this via email one day in the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic and it made me really happy at a very scary time.  

This is how the verdict will appear in the book, but HOORAH, I can include the fabulous photos Federico sent me too. Thank you Federico Frattini, Edda Belloi and Roberto Frattini of Soliera, a small town in Modena province, northern Italy.

It’s one for all you Angela Lansbury fans, there are 9 other of her favourites in the book…

Federico wrote, “It was a very fresh and delicious salad and my mum not only prepared it but she tested it too. We like it very much and it could be used as main course or as side dish and if you like you can add bread or breadsticks. In the spring or summer time you can add all the vegetable you want. Edda says that it is an easy recipe and it could be even used in a picnic.” 

Edda made some substitutions but as Angela says, you can use whatever good things you have at your disposal.  Federico continued, “Since we are in spring / summer we changed the ingredients and we put something fresh like red apple, radish, melon and yellow bell pepper. As dressing we usually use balsamic vinegar, oil and salt. (My late grandfather produced a 30 years old balsamic vinegar and we use it as dressing).

Some of the vegetables that Edda put in the salad are cultivated by my dad Roberto in our vegetable garden.” 

Ah, that is exactly what Angela would want, Federico, vegetables fresh from the garden!

Federico is a big Murder, She Wrote fan – here he is reading The Corpse Danced at Midnight! Where can I get my hands on a copy of that?!

Federico has made a fab 30 minute documentary called called Murder She Wrote, the world of Jessica Fletcher. I loved seeing some of the locations in the show which Federico visited, I want to do that too! 

Thanks again Federico!  I hope that you will enjoy seeing your verdict in the book.

Angela Lansbury’s Kitchen Sink Salad

½ bunch arugula/rocket, coarse stems removed

½ head romaine lettuce

½ zucchini/courgette

1 small crookneck or yellow squash/pumpkin

¼ jicama*

2 green onions/spring onions

1 carrot, peeled

1 medium tomato, peeled if you prefer

1 cup cauliflower florets

¼ avocado, peeled

1 oz slivered almonds

2 tablespoons salad dressing

Tear the arugula and romaine lettuce into small pieces.  Chop all the vegetables into ¼-inch dice.  Add the slivered almonds to the salad bowl.  Toss everything with 2 tablespoons of my favourite mustard vinaigrette [Angela’s vinaigrette recipe can be found in the entry for Night of the Tarantula], or any salad dressing you like.  You really don’t need to use more dressing that that because the vegetables have so much flavour.

Note: of course, there are so many local, delicious salad greens to choose from.  Experiment with them and you’ll find that each new combination creates a whole different meal.

Serves 2

*Jicama (pronounced hick-a-mah) is a Mexican root vegetable with a brown skin and a crisp white interior that is always eaten raw.  If it isn’t available where you live, you can substitute ½ a bell pepper or a sweet red pepper.

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