GOOD GREEN FUN

Sal­ads have come into their own as lunch spe­cials and even mains for a light, health-con­scious din­ner. Sum­mer’s bounty gives chefs a chance to rise above let­tuce and tomato.

China Daily (USA) - - LIFE | DINING -

The meat-lover in your fam­ily may still dis­miss sal­ads as “rab­bit food”, but their whole­some good­ness of­fers some­thing for ev­ery­one. Bei­jing chef Camila Betin of Fac­tory says her fa­vorite sum­mer fruits al­low her to cre­ate “a great com­bi­na­tion of sweet, acid and nutty fla­vors that are fab­u­lous for a light sum­mer lunch”. Mean­while, tak­ing in­spi­ra­tion from China’s ar­guably most fa­mous poul­try dish — roast duck, Hakkasan’s sig­na­ture salad is based on deep-fried and deboned duck and topped with a haze of frilly greens. We asked sev­eral cre­ative chefs in the cap­i­tal and in Shang­hai to share how they take ad­van­tage of sea­sonal pro­duce at this time of year — some are lush and leafy, oth­ers spare and el­e­men­tal. You can fol­low your nose to their restau­rants, or take in­spi­ra­tion from the pho­tos and recipes here and try them at home.

1 Black Pep­per Crusted Tuna Salad

From chef David Jean Marteau, gen­eral sec­re­tary. Dis­ci­ples Es­coffier In­ter­na­tional, China del­e­ga­tion

1 pur­ple potato ½ or­ange sweet potato 1 small reg­u­lar potato 4 ta­ble­spoons ground black pep­per 4 fresh tuna steaks, 1 cmthick ½ cup halves red cherry to­ma­toes, skin­less ½ cup (125 ml) pit­ted black olives ¼ cup sliv­ered red radish 1 tsp an­chovy paste ¼ cup fresh green peas 1 tsp red wine vine­gar 4 quail eggs, poached Salt and pep­per, to taste 12 fresh basil tips 4 ta­ble­spoons ex­tra-vir­gin olive oil

Cut the pota­toes into small wedges and shape them like olives. Bring a saucepan of salted wa­ter to a boil. Add the pota­toes and cook un­til done. Drain and pat dry with pa­per towel. Set aside.

Bring a saucepan of salted wa­ter to a boil. Add the green peas and cook un­til done. Drain and cool un­der cold run­ning wa­ter. Pat dry and set aside.

In a large plate, place the ground black pep­per, and crust the tuna steaks on all sides.

In a medium-size non-stick saucepan over medium heat, sear the tuna steaks on each side for about 30 sec­onds. Re­move the steaks from the heat and set aside, then cool for 10 min­utes. Cut each steak into thin slices.

In a medium-size mix­ing bowl, toss the cherry to­ma­toes with the black olives, the sliv­ered red radish, the an­chovy paste and the green peas with the red-wine vine­gar, half of the ex­tra vir­gin olive, then add the salt and pep­per. Check the sea­son­ing.

On four sep­a­rate flat plates, place all the in­gre­di­ents evenly and nicely. Then add the poached quail eggs and the fresh basil tips. Driz­zle each plate with the re­main­ing of the ex­tra vir­gin olive oil. Serves 4.

2 Nicoise Salad

From chef Jar­rod Ver­biak at Bistrot B, Rose­wood Bei- jing ho­tel

Con­fit tuna pate: 120g tuna con­fit 20g may­on­naise 35g Nicoise olive 10g ca­pers 5g pars­ley 10ml olive oil Finely chop the olives, ca­pers and pars­ley. Mix well with the rest of the in­gre­di­ents and al­low the dish to chill for 30 min­utes be­fore be­ing served.

Tuna spices: 100g co­rian­der seed 20g pa­prika 10g chili pep­per 10g fen­nel seed 5g cumin seed 10g or­ange peel (dry) Mix all the in­gre­di­ents to­gether and keep them in a dry, cool place.

Dress­ing de Provence: 150g gar­lic 100g shal­lot 80g Di­jon mus­tard 300ml white vine­gar 3g rose­mary 1g laven­der 2g tar­ragon 4g thyme 500ml olive oil Salt Chop the gar­lic and the shal­lot. Put the gar­lic, shal­lot, vine­gar, mus­tard and chopped aro­matic herbs into a mix­ing bowl. Add olive oil and in­cor­po­rate with a whisk.

Mak­ing the salad: 120g tuna loin slice 10g Ro­maine let­tuce 20g Bos­ton let­tuce 16g red radic­chio let­tuce 21g frisee let­tuce 3g arugula 15g french bean 30g cherry tomato 30g baby potato 15g black olive 30g red and yel­low bell pep­per 10g red baby radish

Slice the tuna and mar­i­nate it with the spices in a very hot pan. Slightly pan-fry un­til the out­side is a golden brown color but the in­side re­mains red.

Ona plate, ar­range the veg­eta­bles and green leaves; then top with the tuna con­fit and Proven­cal dress­ing. Serves 1.

3 Smoked Salmon Salad

From chef Sa­muele Rossi, Bella Vita (Tian­jin and Shang­hai)

Fresh fen­nel, thinly sliced Ar­ti­chokes Cherry tomato, cut in 4 pieces Basil and mint, sliced Salt and black pep­per Ex­tra vir­gin olive oil Frisee let­tuce 4 slices fresh salmon Ca­pers Fresh mint leaves

Mix fen­nel, ar­ti­chokes, tomato, herbs, salt, pep­per and oil well with tongs, then put on a flat plate. Wash fris­see let­tuce well in ice wa­ter and drain; trim into small pieces and add around the salad plate. Place salmon slices on the top of salad, dec­o­rate with ca­pers and fresh mint. Add ground fresh black pep­per and ex­tra-vir­gin oil for fin­ish­ing, and serve. Serves 1.

4 Mango and Prawn Salad

From chef Goh Wooi Cheat, Dragon Palace, Kempin­ski Ho­tel (Bei­jing)

3 prawns 40g green pa­paya slices 40g green mango slices 20g onion slices 20g cu­cum­ber slices 10g as­sorted nuts (pis­ta­chios or pump­kin seeds)

For the dress­ing: 1 tsp lime juice 1 tsp plum sauce 1 tsp sugar 1 tsp fish sauce 1 tsp salt ½ tsp sesame oil

Bring the wa­ter to a boil and add the prawns, re­duce the heat, cover the pan and sim­mer the prawns for 3-6 min­utes, depend­ing on their size. Cool down the prawns in cold wa­ter, then peel them.

Place lime juice, plum sauce, sesame oil, sugar, fish sauce and chilies (if you like) into a large bowl; whisk un­til sugar dis­solves.

Place cu­cum­ber, onions, pa­paya and mango in a bowl, add the prawns and dress­ings, toss around 30 sec­onds un­til the pa­paya and onions be­come softer and com­pletely ab­sorb the dress­ing. Serves 1.

5 Prawn Trop­i­cal Salad

From chef Camila Betin at Fac­tory Fresh, Bei­jing

10ml lemon juice 40ml pas­sion fruit puree or pas­sion fruit juice 15g honey 50ml ex­tra vir­gin olive oil 5g spring onion, finely chopped 300g medium-size prawns, grilled 1 mango 6 slices pineap­ple 1 or­ange 20g al­monds 300g kale Salt and pep­per to taste

For the dress­ing: Mix lemon juice, pas­sion fruit juice, salt, pep­per and honey. Slowly add the olive oil, beat­ing with an egg whisk to emul­sify. In the end add the spring onion. Re­serve.

Ar­range the chopped kale in a salad bowl, add the grilled prawns and the fruits. Pour the dress­ing and fin­ish with the al­monds on top. Serves 4-6.

6 Crispy Duck Salad

From Hakkasan (Shang­hai)

60g shred­ded veg­etable 150g deboned, deep-fried duck meat 5ml sesame oil 15ml duck sauce 20g pine nuts 10g shal­lot 150g pomelo 150g grape­fruit 1g basil 1g red pep­per 5g lemon leaf

De­bone and deep-fry duck, com­bine liq­uid in­gre­di­ents and spices, then toss or stack with other in­gre­di­ents. The ten­der duck meat with wok-crisped edges is bal­anced per­fectly by the sweet-sour­ness pro­vided by the two types of cit­rus: pomelo from Chi­nese team and grape­fruit from the West. Serves 1.

7 Sum­mer Bounty

From Moka Bros (Bei­jing)

Cooked lentils Kale Green peas Pome­gran­ate seeds Roasted car­rot Onion Bell pep­pers Leek vinai­grette

Com­bine cooked and raw in­gre­di­ents and toss with vinai­grette. The salad is part of a new menu de­signed to of­fer more ve­gan-friendly food — in­clud­ing su­per­foods like kale and pome­gran­ate.

8 Layer Salad

From chef Mar­cus Me­d­ina, Q Mex (Bei­jing)

A thin layer of en­chi­lada pie (lightly fried corn tor­tilla in gua­jillo chili sauce, topped with spiced black beans, and sour cream) Fresh av­o­cado slices Pico de gallo Fresh tomato salad Creamy moz­zarella Crispy greens Vir­gin olive oil Kala­mata olives Bal­samic vine­gar

Pre­pare base layer of “en­chi­lada pie” and then stack av­o­cado, pico de gallo, tomato, moz­zarella and greens in lay­ers. (To get the cylin­der ef­fect, stack el­e­ments in a lightly oiled tube or can with the ends cut out, then re­move tube.) Mix oil with a small amount of minced Kala­mata olives and bal­samic vine­gar, and driz­zle on salad.

Says chef Me­d­ina: “In Mex­ico, we have this tra­di­tion of mak­ing tacos, bur­ri­tos, en­chi­ladas and just stack­ing and stuff­ing things on top. Work­ing in New York City, I saw many sal­ads, be they round or square with sim­i­lar ar­chi­tec­ture and I thought they were great. I just put my home Mex­i­can el­e­ments to this type of salad and it seems to work.”

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