(Theguardian) – From salt cod to grilled aubergine, there’s a lot more to salad than lettuce
Neil Rankin, Peter Gordon, Olia Hercules, Eleonora Galasso, Angela Hartnett, Gary Usher, Meera Sodha Nathan Outlaw, Alexis Gauthier, Jane Baxter, Fergus Henderson, Thomasina Miers
Sat 9 Jul 2016 08.00 BSTLast modified on Tue 9 Jul 2019 09.38 BST
Neil Rankin’s last-minute grilled salad.
Neil Rankin’s last-minute grilled salad. Photographs: Rita Platts for the Guardian. Food styling: Frankie Unsworth. Stylist’s assistant: Tamara Vos. Prop stylist: Louie Waller
Last-minute grilled salad: Neil Rankin
Because barbecues aren’t only for big slabs of meat or fish. To make the puffed rice, just deep-fry raw wild rice for a few seconds in 180C oil, then drain. Serves six to eight.
2 fennel bulbs, one left whole, the other thinly sliced
3 courgettes, thickly sliced lengthways
2 tropea (or red) onions, cut in half lengthways but unpeeled
3 spring onions, trimmed
4 stalks white, purple or green sprouting broccoli
3 spears asparagus
1 globe artichoke, trimmed and quartered lengthways
1 small bunch dandelion leaves
1 romaine lettuce, cut in half lengthways through the core
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For the dressing
Olive oil, to taste
Lemon juice, to taste
Sea salt flakes
4 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 handful chives, cut into 2.5cm lengths
2 tbsp puffed wild rice (see introduction)
1 tbsp garlic slices, fried until crisp
Couple of grates of parmesan
Cook the whole fennel bulb in the hot coals for 10 minutes, until blackened, then peel off the charred outer layer.
Lay the fennel and courgette slices, the onion halves, spring onions, leek, broccoli, asparagus and artichoke quarters on the grill of the barbecue. Cook, turning as needed, until tender and charred. Remove from the grill as they are cooked, but leave the leek until it is blackened all over, then peel off the outer layer. Roughly chop all the veg, including the fennel bulb.
Grill the dandelion leaves for a few seconds; grill the lettuce halves on one side only, until almost black.
Combine all the vegetables on a platter. Dress with oil, lemon juice and salt to taste, sprinkle with the herbs, puffed rice, crisp garlic and parmesan, and serve.
Low And Slow, by Neil Rankin, is published by Ebury Press at £25. To order a copy for £20, go to bookshop.theguardian.com.
What to drink I’d be inclined to opt for a gutsy rosé such as the full-flavoured Domaine des Tourelles Rosé 2015 (13% abv), from Lebanon, which is currently on offer at D Byrne of Clitheroe for £8.39. Fiona Beckett
Lamb neck, baked pitta, figs, feta, tomato, cucumber, mint and kalamata olives: Peter Gordon
Peter Gordon’s lamb neck, baked pita, figs, feta, tomato, cucumber, mint and olives.
Peter Gordon’s lamb neck, baked pitta, figs, feta, tomato, cucumber, mint and olives
I use lamb neck fillet for this warm salad, but loin, leg steaks or even leftover roast leg will work. Black olives work better than green ones here. Serves six as a main course.
900g lamb neck fillet, trimmed of excess fat and sinew
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
3-4 pitta breads (depending on size), torn into pieces
2 tbsp red-wine vinegar
150g kalamata (or other black) olives
2 small cucumbers, peeled and sliced
30 mint leaves, torn
200g feta, roughly crumbled
½ tsp dried oregano
1 juicy lemon, cut into six wedges
Heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Put a roasting dish on the hob on a medium heat. Season the lamb, brush with a teaspoon of oil, then brown well on all sides. Remove the lamb and add the pitta to the dish, tossing it around to coat it in the fat. Sit the lamb on the bread and transfer to the oven until the lamb is cooked: lamb neck can be a little fatty, so it’s best to cook it medium for this; neck fillets will take about 10 minutes. Lift the meat on to another dish, leave to rest in a warm place for 10 minutes, then slice and put it on a plate; reserve the cooking juices.
Drizzle the vinegar over the pitta in the oven dish, add the olives and half the remaining oil, and toss. Return the bread to the oven until crisp – about eight to 10 minutes.
While the bread is baking, cut the tomatoes in half crossways, then gently squeeze out and discard the seeds. Cut the flesh into chunks and mix with the cucumber, mint, feta, oregano and remaining oil.
Remove the stems from the figs (and peel them, if you prefer), then thickly slice and add to the tomato salad. Toss everything together and season lightly with salt (the feta is already salty) and a quarter-teaspoon of coarsely ground black pepper.
To serve, pile the salad on top of the crisp pitta. Lay the lamb on top, drizzle over the cooking juices and serve with lemon wedges.
Peter Gordon is chef/owner of Providores and Tapa Room, London W1. His latest book, Savour, is published by Jacqui Small at £25. To order a copy for £20, go to bookshop.theguardian.com.
What to drink Any bright, juicy red would be great with this, and the Wine Society’s Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Vigna Corvino 2015 is a bargain at £6.95 (or £3.95 a half-bottle; 13% abv). FB
Buckwheat and smashed herb salad: Olia Hercules
Olia Hercules’ buckwheat and smashed herb salad.
Olia Hercules’ buckwheat and smashed herb salad
This also works without the runners, or use thinly sliced sticks of kohlrabi instead. Serves four.
200g raw buckwheat (or ready toasted)
200g tender runner beans
20g coriander, leaves and stalks
20g basil, leaves and stalks
10g tarragon, leaves only
1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped
2 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp honey
Sea salt flakes
2 tbsp mild olive oil or rapeseed oil
1 handful fresh mint leaves
If you’re using raw buckwheat, toast it until it turns golden, to draw out that beautiful nutty flavour: you can do this in a dry frying pan or in the oven at 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Just keep shaking the pan or roasting tray, so it colours evenly.
If your radishes have leaves on, and they look fresh, do not get rid of them: they are delicious, so add the leaves to the salad. Cut the radishes themselves in half lengthways.
If your runner beans are very fresh, you can use them raw and chop them into thin pieces as they are; otherwise, quickly blanch in boiling water, drain and refresh first.
Cook the buckwheat in 400ml boiling salted water for about 20 minutes, until tender but still al dente and the water is absorbed.
For the dressing, use a pestle and mortar or a food processor. Pound or blitz the herbs, garlic, vinegar, honey and a teaspoon of sea salt, then slowly feed in the oil. Add more oil if it’s not quite coming together – you want a homogeneous dressing. Don’t worry about “bruising” the herbs: that’s what they do in Georgia, and it works a treat. Adjust the seasoning to taste: it should be really well seasoned, mostly sour, salty and a tiny bit sweet.
When the buckwheat is ready, drain it if it hasn’t absorbed all the water, then leave to cool a little. In a serving bowl, mix the buckwheat, beans, radishes and dressing, scatter over the mint leaves and serve.
Olia Hercules is a cook and food writer. Her book Mamushka is published by Mitchell Beazley at £25. To order a copy for £20, go to bookshop.theguardian.com.
What to drink This is a candidate for a zippy white such as an albariño or the stellar Argyros Assyrtiko 2014 (£16.50 Huntsworth Wine Company; 13.2% abv), from Santorini. FB