This dish is full of vibrant colours, natural flavours and amazing textures. It's so easy to prepare and works perfectly as a starter, or accompaniment to any summertime feast.
Ingredients - serves 2
For the dressing
Sea salt & pepper
1 tsp Dijon mustard
3/4 tbsp Goats curd
1 Red chicory heart
1 Handful pistachios
1 Fennel bulb & green fronds
1 Handful mint
1/2 Blood orange
1 Handful red amaranth (or any colourful looking herb or cress)
Try to get the best goats curd available to you as this is the star of the show, I got mine from Neal's Yard Dairy. Good goats curd is smooth and soft and has a distinctive creamy flavour.
Start by removing the green fennel fronds from the bulb and leave to one side.
Slice your fennel into approximately 1.5cm slices then drizzle with olive oil, sea salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon. Cover loosely with tin foil and place on an oven tray to bake for around 15 minutes at 200°c. The cooked fennel should be soft but not mushy.
When cooked, slice your fennel into smaller pieces and set aside for later.
Next, peel away the leaves from the chicory and add to a bowl.
Gently crush your pistachios and leave to one side.
Peel your orange with a knife, being sure to remove all of the pith from the outside. Now slice small segments of your orange, ensuring you get only the sweet centre of the fruit.
To make your dressing, add the juice of half your lemon, double that volume of olive oil, a good few turns of salt and pepper, a tsp of honey and a slightly smaller tsp of mustard. Whisk with a fork to form a vinaigrette.
Add your cooked fennel, chicory, mint leaves and fennel fronds to a large bowl and dress well with your dressing.
Now time to get creative and assemble your salad.
Take one heaped tablespoon of goats curd and smudge onto your plate (this may feel a bit wanky but stick with it) do this three times in different areas of the plate.
Scatter over your dressed salad mixture, then place a few orange segments over the top and some of your red amaranth. Lastly, sprinkle over your crushed pistachios.
I like to finish with a touch more vinaigrette and a swirl of good quality honey.