Sunday, 2 April 2017

Chicory, Courgette and Radish Salad with Orange, Coriander and Dill Dressing

Well, this wasn't supposed to be a recipe for my blog, but it turned out so delicious, that it would have been criminal not to share it!

The other half declared it the most delicious thing he'd eaten this year - and he doesn't like salads, so that's really saying something! The children also loved it, and I found it incredibly more-ish - especially the dressing, so I've had to write it down as accurately as I can, so we can recreate it again!

The only downside to creating something delicious, without planning it or thinking about it, is that you don't tend to get a very good photo of it, as you haven't set it up or made it at the right time of day - so apologies for the picture, but I can assure you that the flavours are divine! This was created to go with hot smoked mackerel, and hot smoked salmon (with a few new potatoes on the side, or some crusty bread would be nice too), and it really is fantastic with smoked fish. It would also be great with griddled, roast or barbecued chicken., and a sophisticated side to serve on a platter for people to help themselves to.

  • 1/2 medium red onion
  • 2.5 x 15ml tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sugar (e.g. golden caster)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 oranges 
  • 2 heads of chicory (or if you're not keen on chicory, a bag of peppery watercress, or a couple of baby gem lettuces instead)
  • 1 medium courgette
  • 6 radishes
  • 16 stoned kalamata olives, halved
  • 1 small punnet of cress

For the dressing
  • 1 heaped tsp wholegrain mustard (e.g. Maille is gluten free)
  • 1 heaped tsp dijon mustard (e.g. Maille is gluten free) 
  • 1-2 tbsp runny honey (to taste)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice (or to taste)
  • Handful fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • Handful fresh dill, finely chopped
  • Extra virgin olive oil (see method, probably around 120-150ml)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Finely slice the red onion half (halved from top to root) - easiest done with a mandolin or food processor. Mix the red wine vinegar with the sugar and salt, stir to dissolve, then add the sliced onion to it. Mix together thoroughly, gently press down and set aside while preparing the other ingredients.

2. Finely grate the zest of one of the oranges into a jug or large jar (for the dressing). Segment both of the oranges (reserving all of the juice, including squeezing it from the chopped off peel), by cutting off the top and bottom, then cutting the peel away from the flesh in downwards strokes, then cutting between each membrane to release the flesh - see here if you need further instruction / photos. If any segments are quite thick, slice them in half. Squeeze all of the juice from the cut off peel and remaining membrane into the jug containing the zest, and pour any excess juice from the segments into there too. You'll get about 50ml of juice. Reserve the orange segments.

3. Separate and wash the chicory leaves (easiest if you cut off the bottom first), cutting the larger ones into two or three pieces each. Cut the courgette in half lengthways, then finely slice the courgette and radishes (easiest done with a mandolin or food processor). Toss the chicory, courgette and radishes together to mix evenly.

4. Add the mustards, honey, lemon juice and chopped herbs to the orange juice and zest in the jug. Drain the vinegar from the red onion into it too, and mix together with a whisk. Continue to whisk, and slowly pour in extra virgin olive oil until it emulsifies (you will probably need just over the same volume of olive oil, as the mixture you already have, so check first). Taste, then add freshly ground black pepper, and a little more salt if needed. If you need to, add extra lemon juice or honey to taste.

5. To serve, scatter the chicory / courgette / radish mixture over a plate, spoon over as much dressing as you like, then scatter over the red onions, orange segments, olives and cress and enjoy!

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