Friday, 6 March 2015

Baby leaf salad with tuna dressing and anchovy crumbs

This is a salad for fish lovers, full of flavour from the meaty tuna, briny fish and piquant capers. The saltiness of the anchovies is tempered by a rich, creamy dressing and the breadcrumbs add nutty, garlicky crunch.


140g mesclun or other young salad leaves
3 spring onions or a small shallot
a tablespoon of salted capers
80g best quality tinned tuna in olive oil e.g. Callipo
a clove of garlic juice from half a lemon
3 tablespoons crème fraîche
a table spoon extra virgin olive oil
4 anchovy fillets
2 teaspoons olive oil (use the oil from the anchovy tin if you have it)
2 heaped tablespoons of breadcrumbs or Japanese panko crumbs 
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Wash and spin dry the salad leaves and put them in a large bowl. Finely slice the onions or shallot, rinse and dry the capers and add both to the leaves.

Put the tuna with its oil into a small bowl, crush the garlic and use a fork to mash it into the tuna to make a smooth paste. Mix in the lemon juice, crème fraîche and olive oil and stir to combine.

Place a small pan over a low heat and add the anchovy fillets in their oil. As they heat up they will start to disintegrate into the oil. Add the breadcrumbs and the cayenne pepper and stir with a fork to coat the breadcrumbs in the anchovy oil mixture. Cook until the crumbs are browned and crisp then remove from the heat.

Toss the leaves in the tuna dressing, sprinkle over the breadcrumbs and serve immediately. Possibly with a cold glass of Chablis.

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