Every week I go to the Capital Region Farmers Market and spend exactly one hundred dollars. This buys my food (and sometimes flowers and a bar of olive oil soap) for the week. This week I was having trouble deciding if I’d spend my last coins on a bunch of spring onions or a bunch of dill. I’m very glad I chose dill, because this is the recipe I had in mind and it was well worth it. This recipe is a bit cheeky because potatoes are not in season at the moment, but there are a few stall holders who stored theirs well and are still selling them. This asparagus was to be used in a ginger and salmon soup, but we never made it to the Sydney Fish Markets, so I bought the sensational smoked trout from Cypress Valley and used it this way. When I make a salad with smoked trout, I like to take the skin off and pan fry it to crispy goodness, slice it, and use it as a garnish. It has such great flavour and the added texture is fabulous. If you wanted to do this when you’re having friends over, you could easily prepare the dill and goat cheese balls the day ahead. The flavour will only improve and the rest of the preparation is easy. I hate to say it, but the lemon infused olive oil is not optional. It makes all the difference. I would suggest you go out and get some for this. It means you can use a very mild acid in the dressing, which is very important, and still get a lovely lemony flavour through the salad. Feel free to serve this cold. I feel it’s somehow more substantial hot, but I’ll be taking the second serve cold for lunch tomorrow.
|150||grams||fresh goats cheese|
|140||grams||smoked trout, deboned|
|3||tablespoons||lemon infused olive oil|
To make the dill and goat cheese balls, chop the dill (you want about a tablespoon once chopped). Cut the goat cheese into teaspoon sized pieces. Roll the pieces in the palm of your hand until they form a ball then roll in the chopped dill. Roll them in your hand again, to secure the dill to the cheese. Refrigerate to set.
Wash the potato and slice into wedges. Place in a small saucepan with a good pinch of salt. Cover the potatoes with water and cook on a medium heat till just cooked. Drain and set aside in a largish bowl. Drizzle over a tablespoon of verjuice and about half a teaspoon of lemon oil.
Peel the skin from the trout. Flake the meat and add to the warm potatoes. Heat a little of the lemon oil in a non stick frying pan. When the pan is hot, add the trout skin and cook on medium heat till crispy and golden. Remove from the pan and set on the chopping board, skin side up. Slice into long thin strips.
Hold the bottom and top of the asparagus and bend them so the stalks break. Discard the woody ends. Put about two or three centimetres of water in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Drop the asparagus spears and cook for about 2 minutes. Remove from the pan and drain.
To serve, arrange the potato wedges in a star shape on your plate. Arrange the asparagus spears between the potato wedges, with the tips towards the outside of the plate. Pile the trout in the middle and then arrange the dill and goat cheese balls around the salad. Finish with the crispy trout skin. Drizzle extra lemon oil around the plate and splash of verjuice on top of the salad. Enjoy immediately.