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FoodThe Croft2023Music

The Plate X The Playlist: Fresh

New Year, new you? Have yourself a fresh start with our first Plate X Playlist for 2023! Curated Just for you by Isabelle and Oscar.

By Isabelle Blakeney, 3rd Year English and History and Oscar Ross, Music Editor

TRIGGER WARNING: Mentions of binge eating

The Croft Magazine// The theme for this month's Plate x Playlist is 'Fresh'. Isabelle and Oscar presents us with a Fresh way to start your new year. Isabelle provides a quick, vibrant and nutritious recipe for a (Mostly) Seasonal Salad, whereas Oscar provides a playlist with some new and fresh finds.

The Plate: (Mostly) Seasonal Salad

Isabelle: The new year is upon us, and with it comes the battle between upholding resolutions and managing exam stress. We want to eat healthily after a holiday season of binging, but we tend to lose sight of wellness when feeling overwhelmed with uni. This (mostly) seasonal salad is quick and simple solution, successfully ticking every food group but still satisfying all your aperitive desires.

© Isabelle Blakeney

Vibrancy is key here- each flavour both contrasts and compliments the others, and the colours of the fresh fruit and vegetables is pleasing to the eye, to say the least. The couscous is light but filling, whist the toasted walnuts bring a warmth and an ode to the holidays gone by. Now, I know that fruit in a savoury salad is controversial, but its undeniable that it’s taken off in the past year or so. And personally, I’m all for it. The sweetness and textures of the pear and the orange work in perfect contrast with the tangy feta and mustard-based dressing. It’s a great way to spice up a lunch or two, and I can guarantee that it’ll be a fool-proof motivation through your revision.

© Isabelle Blakeney


100g dry couscous

A handful of walnuts

A small knob of butter

50g spinach

1 pear

1 tangerine (or any small orange)

About 10 cherry tomatoes

30g feta


For the dressing:

1 clove garlic

1 tsp mustard

1 tsp pomegranate molasses (optional)

2 tsp honey

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil


  1. To start, prepare the couscous. Place in a heatproof bowl with 125ml boiling water and the knob of butter, before putting a plate or lid over it and allowing it to soak for about five minutes. Whilst it’s soaking, roughly chop the walnuts and put them in a pan over a medium heat to toast for about 3 to 4 minutes. When the couscous is ready, put it in the fridge to cool down whilst preparing the other ingredients.
  2. Next, peel and chop the pear into small chunks, and peel the tangerine before slicing it horizontally to create rings that easily fall apart. Cut the tomatoes into quarters and crumble the feta.
  3. For the dressing, crush the garlic and mix it in a small bowl with the mustard, molasses, and honey. When they’re well combined, whisk in the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and a pinch of salt.
  4. Take the couscous out of the fridge and place it in the bottom of a bowl, then place the walnuts on top. Pour the dressing over and mix well.
  5. If, like me, you like your aesthetics, place the remaining ingredients in sections over the top to resemble a salad-y pie chart. If not, tip them in and mix well.
© Isabelle Blakeney

And voila! You have a fresh, filling and nutritious salad bursting with textures and flavours- a sure way to get you through the January blues.


New Year's Greetings to everyone! Epigram is here with a fresh new year, fresh new recipe, and a playlist full of fresh new music just for you.

The Playlist:

© Oscar Ross

Featured Image: Isabelle Blakeney

What recipies make you feel 'fresh'?