Saturday, 8 February 2014

Bittersweet & Beautiful

Insalata Invernale di Cedro, Portulacca & Radicchio
Winter Salad of Cedro, Portulac & Radicchio

I decided to make just a simple salad for supper this evening. That's all. Just 3 ingredients. Sounds a bit meagre, I know. But looks pretty amazing, huh? :-) 

Well, I am glad we agree on that! Now I can tell you a little more about it!

I know I am being a little flippant, but the fact of the matter is, that when said 3 ingredients are so beautiful and have so much flavor- there really isn't much that needs to be done to them- you simply do your best to bring the best out of them... 

As you can see, I had a beautiful, slightly bitter, claret-colored radicchio, 2-3 good handfuls of wonderfully fresh, nutty and juicy "Portulac" greens and a half of Cedro lemon. All I had to do was to find the right way to bring out the most of their own individual flavors- and the best way to do that in this instance, was to add some sweetness into the equation.

But first things first- of course both the radicchio and the portulac needed rinsing and whilst they dried off a little, I peeled the cedro, cut out the flesh of the lemon and then sliced the mild and fresh white pith as finely as I could. The radicchio simply needed to be cut into slices and in next to no time it was time to arrange and serve the salad up!

The first ingredient to go onto my platter was the fresh and tender portulac, swiftly followed by half of the radicchio. Then came the cedro and the rest of the radicchio on top- just to keep all of those beautiful colors nicely and evenly spread. A little too little of the green leaves showing? Just pinch down to the bottom here and there and lift some up- but don't stress over it. nature has already made it beautiful for you!

To dress the salad, I decided to simply use olive oil and some honey- there was already enough tartness in the lemon to make adding vinegar kind of redundant. The honey I used was an orange-blossom honey from near to home, in Sicily... lucky me! But of course, any liquid honey will do for this. The seasoning came from a good sprinkle of my very own "Salt of the Earth" mix- it has been so long since I made it! And it still tastes great! Here is the link to how I make it, just to refresh your memories ;-)

So, with a nice pinch of my magic powder, the salad was transformed- and how! Once I started eating this I began thinking of Springtime- it was so refreshing! But the fact of the matter is that the Cedro is a Winter fruit really, the best period for it being from around the end of November until March. So if you are lucky enough to be able to get one and try this out- I do recommend it! And I hope you enjoy it!

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