Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Brighten up


Now here’s a salad with some guts. Not the offal kind, but a big, bright and ballsy dressing that will smarten up even the saddest bit of lettuce with bright citrus flavours and tangy capers.

Flavour wise, this comes off like a less creamy Caesar dressing, so I went with some shaved parmesan for garnish, but it’s good enough to stand on its own. Segmenting the lemon can be a pain, so one could skip that bit and just use the juice and zest of a lemon, but I find incorporating the lemon segments into the salad gives a nice unexpected boost to the flavours.

April Bloomfield's Lemon Caper Dressing (adapted from “A Girl and Her Pig” via Food 52)

1 medium lemon
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots
1 heaping tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoons drained capers, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon Maldon or another flaky sea salt
1/2 teaspoon superfine sugar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced

Segment the lemons over a bowl to catch the juices (see below) and reserve segments. Squeeze the juice from the membranes into a separate bowl, add the rest of the ingredients, and stir well. Add the lemon segments and toss gently to coat them without breaking them up. Use straightaway or chill in the fridge, covered, for up to an hour.

To segment the lemon, use a sharp knife to cut off just enough of the fruit's top and bottom to expose a full circle of the flesh on either end. Stand the lemon on one of its ends, place your knife point at the seam where the fruit meets the pith, and use a gentle sawing motion to cut away a wide strip of pith and skin, following the curve of the fruit from top to bottom. Repeat the process until all you have left is a nice, round, naked fruit. If you've missed any white pith, trim it off. Make a cut down either side of each segment, right against the membrane, and gently pry out each segment, one at a time (see slideshow). Flick out any seeds, and set the segments aside in a bowl, reserving the juicy membranes.

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