I’ve never been much of a salad fan ( I know, I know, that probably makes me a bad person right?) but generally I like my food cooked thankyou very much. However on my recent trip to Da Polpo I found myself for some unknown reason ordering such a thing (this is an event that I don’t believe has happened yet to date and therefore noteworthy!). It took the form of their fennel, endive and almond salad, safely tucked away in the vegetable section of their menu, again not somewhere I’d pay much attention too, so I’m blaming my current inexplicable fennel fetish. But – Wow, this simple combination of flavours was a complete revelation and instantly became the dish I made a mental note to replicate as soon as I returned home.
Last Thursday found a friend and I wandering around Borough Market, taking a well deserved break from an afternoon of chocolate consumption, at the first anniversary of Hotel Chocolates Rabot Estate shop. We came across a stallholder I’d never noticed before Sicily in London . Along with some wonderful fennel salami, I picked up a bottle of incredible blood orange olive oil that I felt sure would enhance quite frankly anything it touched. *ping* the lightbulb moment hit almost as soon as I bought it. With this simple addition, I had myself the absolute perfect accompaniament to all the piadinas I’ve been making recently. The fresh, clean flavours cutting through the richness of the meat and cheese beautifully, just add a cold glass of campari and soda for a blissful, light summer meal. Almost embarressingly simple and yet unnutterably delicious, I just couldn’t resist sharing this heavenly….yes, salad!
For the salad, inspired by the version on da Polpo’s current menu:
large fennel bulb, thinly sliced
20g blanched almonds
couple of large handfuls salad (mine was mainly endive, lambs lettuce & radicchio)
Toss the ingredients in a large bowl with plenty of salt and freshly ground black pepper and dress liberally with blood orange olive oil
Piadina recipe coming soon…….Tweet