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Asparagus and black forest ham salad

01 May 2007
Asparagus and black forest ham salad

Ingredients (Serves six)

12 asparagus spears, thinly sliced, for pickling
24 asparagus spears, for poaching
Salt, sugar, and lemon juice, to taste
4 punnets mixed Sacura cress
Additional salad leaves, as desired
12 slices Black Forest ham

For confit tomatoes 6 plum tomatoes
4 cloves of garlic
Small bunch of thyme
100ml olive oil
Rock salt to sprinkle

For confit potatoes 12 new potatoes
185g butter
20g Maldon sea salt
Small bunch of thyme
2 cloves of garlic, crushed

For grain mustard marinade 1tbs grain mustard
1tbs honey
50ml olive oil
20g sea salt
100ml Cabinet Sauvignon vinegar

For wild garlic oil 400ml of extra virgin olive oil
100g of chopped wild garlic

Method Confit tomatoes: Blanch and deseed plum tomatoes and quarter. Place petals on to a clingfilmed shallow baking tray. On top of each tomato, place a slice of garlic, sprinkle of sea salt, thyme and olive oil.

Place in a low oven or hot cupboard on about 50°C for about three hours.

Confit potatoes: Place potatoes in a saucepan, cover with butter, add a couple of sprigs of thyme, garlic and salt and cook gently on a low heat with lid on for about one hour until tender. Peel and slice.

Grain mustard marinade: Heat the vinegar to dissolve the sugar. Add the other ingredients. Reserve a little for dressing. Pour the rest over the sliced asparagus. Leave for 25 minutes.

Wild garlic oil: Heat the extra virgin olive oil to 50°C. Place chopped wild garlic into the oil and leave to infuse for 20 minutes. Liquidise and pass through muslin.

Peel and trim the asparagus to about four inches long. Poach in boiling water with salt, sugar and lemon juice. Cook for two to three minutes.

Place on a tray lined with kitchen paper and cool in a blast chiller or refresh in iced water immediately.

Place four spears of asparagus dressed with the marinade on the plate.

Arrange the pickled asparagus around, together with the tomatoes, Black

Forest ham and potatoes. Dress the salad leaves and cress with the marinade and place neatly on top. Finish with the wild garlic oil.

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