Posts Tagged “salad”

Cavolo Nero and Parmesan Salad This is my new favourite winter salad. Cavolo nero (black kale), has an amazing depth of flavour and is surprisingly savoury, especially when roasted until crisp. Its bubble-like texture is beautiful, too, and makes for an eye-catching plate of food. I've boosted the cavolo's natural savouriness by pairing it with Parmesan cheese, one of the world's most famous sources of umami. The fact that they are two classic Italian ingredients makes this dish all the more satisfying. The cavolo nero is prepared in 3 different ways; steamed, finely chopped raw and roasted, so that the full range of flavour is maximised from this amazing vegetable. A selection of nuts adds to the savouriness and brings some extra texture. To counter the bold flavours and ensure that things don't get too rich, I've added some finely sliced celery and a fresh tarragon vinegar dressing. --- * 200g cavolo nero * 30g parmesan cheese, finely grated * 1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely sliced * 1 handful pine nuts * 1 handful cashew nuts * 1 handful pistachio nuts * 1 stick celery, peeled * 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil * 2 teaspoons tarragon vinegar * sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper * vegetable oil, for frying 1. Heat the oven to 180C and place a roasting tray inside to get hot. Remove and discard the tough inner stalks from the cavolo nero, then roughly chop the leaves into 2-3 inch long pieces. Once the roasting tray is hot, place one third of the cavolo nero in the tray and toss with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Season lightly with sea salt and place in the oven for 10 minutes. 2. From the remainder of the cavolo nero, take a small handful and finely chop. Set this aside - it will go in the salad, raw, at the end. 3. Take a frying pan or saute pan and place it over a medium heat. Add a little vegetable oil and, once it's hot, add the remaining cavolo nero and season lightly with sea salt. Stir and fry for 30 seconds, then add the sliced garlic. Continue to fry for 30 more seconds then add a glassful of water. Cover with a lid or some kitchen foil and steam until the cavolo nero is tender. 4. Check the cavolo nero in the oven. You want it to be crisp. If it's not quite there then give it a toss and return to the oven for 5 minutes. When it's done, remove from the tray and place on a plate lined with kitchen paper to drain. 5. Put the steamed cavolo nero in a mixing bowl and allow to cool. Roughly chop the cashews and pistachios to be about the same size at the pine nuts, then place in a pan over a medium-high heat and add a small pinch of salt. Dry roast until lightly golden, then add to the mixing bowl. Finely slice the celery at an angle and add to the bowl along with the raw cavolo nero you set aside earlier. Add most of the parmesan, saving about a quarter of it to put on top at the end. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the tarragon vinegar, then mix everything together. Taste and season with salt and pepper if necessary. It might need more olive oil and/or vinegar, too. Serve in a bowl, with the crisp cavolo nero and the reserved parmesan on the top.

Crab Salad Of all the delicious things in the world to eat, crab is easily one of my favourites. It's got an intense flavour of the sea and it's succulent, sweet and juicy. In short, it's fantastic. Preparing crab involves a bit of work and is fairly time consuming... but it's a labour of love and something I'd urge everyone to try. Cooked in generously seasoned water, the beautiful white meat is excellent whilst still warm, eaten straight from the shell. It hardly needs anything more, although mix it with a little mayonnaise, herbs and lemon juice and you have the beginnings of a delicious salad. I've been wanting to write a crab recipe for a while now, but found it difficult to think of a really photogenic looking dish that wasn't just a rip-off from one of the restaurants I've worked in. The custard part of this dish is similar to a crab crème brûlée that we did at Wedgwood, and it's really tasty. The sweet flavour of crab infuses really well in cream, and the fresh herbs added at the end finish it off beautifully. --- * 1 brown crab * 1 carrot * 1/2 leek * 1 fennel * 2 star anise * 1 thyme * 600ml of whipping cream * 50ml of whole milk * 1 parsley * 1 dill * 1 tarragon * 1 baby gem lettuce * 1 spring onion * 1 chives * 2 pieces of medium sliced white bread * 6 egg yolks * cayenne pepper, or piment d’espelette * 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise * lemon * sea salt 1. Fill a large pan with water and bring to the boil. Season generously with salt (it should be almost as salty as the sea.) Drop the crab in the water, bring back to the boil, remove from the heat and allow to cool for at least 40 minutes. Remove the crab from the water, and place on a tray. 2. Break off the claws, and smash them carefully with a hammer or large knife, trying not to smash into too many small pieces. Separate the meat from the shell, trying to keep it in nice big chunks. Repeat the process with the legs. Now prise the body from the main shell of the crab, and remove and discard the lungs (“dead man’s fingers”). Cut the body in half and carefully scrape out the meat with a crab picker or use the handle of a teaspoon. Cut the pieces in half again and scrape more out - you’ll be surprised how much is hidden in all the cavities. Carefully check the crab meat for pieces of shell, cover and place in the fridge. 3. Heat the oven to 200C. Place a roasting tray in the oven until very hot, then add 3-4 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Smash all the crab shell into small pieces with a heavy knife or rolling pin, then place in the roasting tray. Stir once, then return to the oven for 30 minutes, stirring halfway. 4. Meanwhile, thinly slice all the vegetables, keeping the carrots separate. In a large pot, fry the carrots and star anise in a little vegetable oil with a generous pinch of salt, until lightly coloured. Add the rest of the vegetables and sweat over a medium heat for about 20 minutes.The shells should be lightly coloured. Deglaze the tray with the white wine, and reduce until dry. Add the shells to the pot of vegetables, and the tomato, roughly chopped. Add the cream to the pot, and bring to the boil. Simmer gently for 30 minutes, then roughly chop the herbs (reserving some chives and dill for the salad) and add to the pot. Cover with cling film and leave to infuse for 30 minutes. 5. Pass the crab cream through a fine sieve, rinsing the shell pulp with the milk. Discard the pulp. Taste the cream and adjust the seasoning if it needs. Weigh the cream, and then place 1 egg yolk for every 100g of cream in a separate pan. Boil the cream, then pour slowly over the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Now heat the crab custard over a low heat, stirring constantly with a plastic spatula to ensure it doesn’t stick. When it is thick, and coats the back of the spatula (should be 80C), it is ready. Pour into 6 wide crème brûlée dishes, filling only to 2mm deep. You may have some custard left over which you can just set in separate ramekins to be enjoyed on their own. Place the ramekins in the fridge to set, for at least two hours. 6. To make the crab salad: finely slice the lettuce and the spring onion, cut the reserved chives and pick the dill into fronds. Place everything in a bowl with the picked crab meat, the croutons and add just enough mayonnaise to lightly bind it together; you may not need all of it, it depends on how much crab meat you have. Season with sea salt if it needs, and lemon juice. Divide the mixture into 6 and place in the middle of the custard ramekins. Finally sprinkle over a little cayenne pepper.

Chicken Caesar Salad Jack, John and myself often used to make this in our flat in Sheffield. It’s easy to rustle up pretty quickly, and if you make your own authentic caesar dressing as we did, it’s proper and delicious too. The dressing is key to this dish; it’s a super-enriched mayonnaise, packed with powerful savoriness from garlic, parmesan, anchovies and olive oil. The richness is balanced by a vital squeeze of lemon juice. We always used chicken breast, gently baked in the oven until just cooked, but I’ve switched to using leg now as the darker flakey meat has more flavour and a more pleasing rustic feel that is nicely suited to this dish. This salad provides a fantastic interplay of textures; balancing juicy shredded chicken with crunchy fresh leaves of lettuce and crisp bacon, all bound happily together by the glossy rich dressing. Extra crunch is given by lovely golden croutons. --- * 2 chicken legs * 2 baby gem lettuce * 4 rashers of dry-cured streaky bacon * 2 slices of thick white bread * 100ml of olive oil, plus a little extra for cooking * 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese, grated * 1 anchovy * 1 lemon * 1 egg yolk * 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped * sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper 1. Heat the oven to 180C. Rub the chicken legs with olive oil, season generously with sea salt and place in a roasting tin, then roast in the oven until the skin is crisp and golden and the meat falling off the bone. Remove from the oven, leave to cool slightly then pick the meat off the bone, shredding it to medium sized pieces. Keep the roasting juices from the tray, skimming and discarding any fat from the surface. 2. While the chicken is cooking, fry the bacon in olive oil until crisp, then cut into chunky lardons. Cut the bread into dice, then fry in olive oil, stirring constantly until light golden. Transfer to a tray lined with kitchen paper immediately to drain. Set aside. 3. Now for the dressing; finely grate the parmesan and place in a bowl with the egg yolk, anchovy, garlic and chicken roasting juices. Whisk (or use a blender) until all incorporated and smooth, then begin to add the olive oil, very gradually, until it is emulsified and you have a thick mayonnaise. Add a squeeze of lemon juice to taste, and a couple of tablespoons of water until you have a sauce-like consistency. Season with salt, if needed. Pick and wash the lettuce leaves, and to finish the salad, simply toss everything together with the dressing and throw in a bowl.