Perhaps for the first time since we moved to England, it feels like we are having a proper summer. At least the longest spell of sunny days in a row. So many flowers are sprinkled though the fields and grasses, the evenings are long and warm, and the farm shops bursting with lovely produce and [...]
Perhaps for the first time since we moved to England, it feels like we are having a proper summer. At least the longest spell of sunny days in a row. So many flowers are sprinkled though the fields and grasses, the evenings are long and warm, and the farm shops bursting with lovely produce and salad leaves. All inspiration to prepare simple, delicate cool dishes. We have had quite a lot of these fresh pea shoots around recently. Dainty little greens that have a subtle fragrance – or essence – of fresh peas. I thought these shoots would provide a lovely balance to the smoked salmon, so I set about pairing them up.
Lemon is so evocative of sunshine and has a gorgeous uplifting aroma. I think the juice can be a bit harsh with a lightly smoked salmon so I decided to make a dressing simply of oil infused with the the lemon zest along with some crushed black pepper. And added few capers for a touch of sharpness and contrast.
This is such a simple dish, but so delicious and elegant. As with most things in life, it’s the quality of what you put into it that makes it good. Fresh ingredients and minimum fuss – perfect! I served myself this dish for lunch with some buttered slices of brown bread and an icy glass of water. White wine would have been lovely, but I still had the school run ahead of me!
I’ve put together a recipe which follows, although it’s hardly needed. This salad is really more of an association!
Smoked salmon and pea shoot salad
For two servings
3 tablespoons of good, light salad oil. I use rapeseed oil for this.
zest of half a lemon
half a teaspoon of crushed black peppercorns
200 g of smoked salmon. I prefer a very lightly smoked salmon, but that’s down to what you like best.
100g of pea shoots. Look for these in farm shops or the salad section of fancy supermarkets. Or best of all, grow your own!
2 small teaspoons of capers
What to do:
Add the zest and pepper to the oil and allow to infuse for a while. These are strong flavours and don’t need long, maybe 10 minutes. In the meantime, divide the smoked salmon between two pretty plates. In a bowl, very lightly toss the pea shoots with some of the flavoured oil and then divide the greens between the plates. Sprinkle over the capers. Finally drizzle the oil together with bits of zest and pepper around the plates in an artistic fashion!