Friday, 6 December 2013


Salad of Salted Pork Fat , Chioggia beetroot , Persian cucumber , French breakfast radish , Beetroot leaves , Nasturtium leaves , Radish baby greens , Blood orange vinaigrette and Black cypress salt.

                      This doesn't sound like it, but this is a salad with fantastic flavour combinations. Pork fat or 'lard' collection once a very common practise in households is a very rare practise of todays times. Collecting the drippings from crackling on a sunday roast can be re-cycled to bring out or add flavour in a future dish. Some argue the point that proper home harvested lard is healthier than vegetable oils, I'm not real sure on that one, but this dish adds to the list along side 'grass-fed marrow salad' in the 'Backyard greens and sustainable protein salads'. This is a pairing from the inspirational Chef Adam Cron of Pennsylvania. This dish fresh and vibrant belongs to flavours of earthy, sweet, peppery, citrus and bitter with a velvety rich mouth feel. Radish and lard pair so well and with a dash of blood orange vinaigrette to cut the fat its magical.                                                                                                                
                        There wasn't much in the way of prep for this plate other than gathering, washing, slicing and dicing the salad components. Thinly slicing radish, cucumber and beetroot, making wedges with some, for visual difference and with some of the beetroot slices I placed into a saucepan with water, rice wine vinegar, sugar and salt and gently simmered until tender and pickled.The greens ( radish leaves, beetroot leaves & nasturtium leaves ) were washed and tossed in olive oil before being set aside for plating later. A simple vinaigrette was made of olive oil, blood orange juice and palm sugar this was then chilled. The pork fat was removed from the fridge and set out on the bench top to reach room temperature before serving.                                                                                                                            
                           To plate up I shaved thin slices of the pork fat and arranged it on to the plate randomly, topping with some ground black cypress salt. The discs of beetroot fresh and pickled, the radish and the cucumber were next to go on the plate followed by the wedges of beetroot and radish, then the cucumber brunoise. Next I arranged the green leafy salad mix of nasturtium, beet leaves and radish leaves and dressed the plate with the blood orange vinaigrette.


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