Monday, May 12, 2008
The Ottolenghi Cookbook. Outing no.1 - Fennel and seafood salad
This week I received the season's must-have cookery book from the deli Ottolenghi courtesey of Amazon.
Initial perusal suggests that it will become a well used resource, particularly when it comes to interesting veg.
However, the proof of the salad is in the eating , as they don't say.
The weekend not only saw the arrival of blinding weather but also of Joe, his girlfriend, the lovely Michelle and his French mate - the piano Maestro, Charles. They had been clubbing until the wee small hours so were in need of sustenance in the form of a late lunch. We also needed to get it done and out of the way in time for the the denouement of the football season.
We had this out in the garden along with a few other salads and some grilled lamb. We didn't have sumac or pomegranate but it didn't seem to matter too much..... although I will try it at a later date once I track sumac down.
I thought that this salad was particularly tasty and very, very easy ... obviously if you don't like fennel you won't like it .... but we do, so we did. All in all it bodes well for the book
2 small fennel bulbs
½ red onion, very thinly sliced
Juice and zest of 1 lime
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbsp chopped dill
2 tsp chopped parsley
1 mild chilli, finely chopped
4 tbsp olive oil
¼ tsp salt
350g baby squid, cleaned
8 tiger prawns, peeled and deveined
3 tsp sumac (If you can get it!)
2 tbsp chopped coriander
Pomegranate seeds for garnish (optional)
Trim the bases and tops of the fennel bulbs. Slice widthways as thinly as you can. A mandolin is great for this.
In a large bowl, mix the fennel and onion with the lime juice and zest, garlic, dill, parsley, chilli, 2 tbsp of the olive oil and the salt. Set aside.
Place a heavy iron pan (preferably a griddle pan) on a high flame and leave for a few minutes until piping hot.
Meanwhile, mix the squid and prawns with the remaining 2 tbsp olive oil and a pinch of salt.
Grill the seafood in small batches, turning over after 1 minute, then cooking until just done (roughly 1 more minute for the squid and 3-4 for the prawns). Remove to a chopping board and slice the squid into thick rings. Either leave the prawns whole or cut in half.
Add the seafood to the bowl and toss with the fennel and onion mixture.
To serve, stir in the sumac ( if you have it) and coriander then taste and, if necessary, adjust the seasoning.
A few scattered pomegranate seeds make a beautiful garnish.
This salad can be kept in the fridge for a day.