This is just the sort of salad I want to eat when I am coming out of the winter stodge phase and need something fresher – just in time for the end of the blood orange season. It is a good salad to prepare ahead and will keep well in the fridge as long as you follow the salting instructions below – if you skip this step, the vegetables will go soggy.
There are other greens that work well in this salad. I grow horseradish, and the leaves, when young, give a bit of a kick. Shred some finely and add to the serving greens. Mustard greens will give a similar effect; mitzuna is also mustardy but much milder.
250g (8 3/4 oz) red cabbage, finely shredded
2 heads of red chicory, roughly chopped
1 large carrot, preferably purple, julienned
2 celery sticks (plus leaves from the centre of the bunch), sliced
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp caster (superfine) sugar
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1 blood orange
400g (14oz) smoked mackerel, skinned, deboned and roughly broken up
2 tbsp capers, rinsed
1 small bunch of dill, finely chopped
1 small bunch of mint, leaves only, finely chopped
A few sprigs of tarragon, finely chopped
A handful of baby beetroot (beet) leaves
A few purple kale leaves, destemmed and massaged
A few horseradish, mustard green or mitzuna leaves
For the dressing
1 heaped tbsp créme fraîche
2 tsp wholegrain mustard
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
1 tbsp hazelnut or walnut oil
Orange juice from the blood orange
Sea salt and freshly ground black
Put the red cabbage, chicory, carrot, celery and red onion into a large colander and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sea salt, the sugar and the vinegar. Mix thoroughly and set over a bowl or stand in your sink. Cover with a tea towel and leave to stand for an hour.
Transfer the vegetables to a serving bowl. Prepare the orange by topping and tailing it, cutting away the skin and outer membrane, then dicing the remaining flesh, flicking out any seeds or large pieces of pith. Squeeze juice from the discarded skin into a small bowl.
Make the dressing by adding the créme fraîche, wholegrain mustard, sherry vinegar and oil to the orange juice. Season with salt and pepper and whisk together.
Pour the dressing over the salad, then add the mackerel, capers and orange. Fold over gently to combine everything, then add the herbs and the celery leaves. Fold over once more.
Serve on a bed of the remaining leaves.
Excerpted with permission from Leaf by Catherine Phipps, published by Quadrille October 2019, RRP $35.00 hardcover.
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