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Fresh buffalo curd summer salad, by Madalene Bonvini-Hamel

02 June 2010

This recipe by Madalene Bonvini-Hamel makes the most of seasonal June ingredients such as peas, which are at their most flavoursome in the summer months. For more recipes, see our article Flavours of June.

INGREDIENTS (Serves four)

For the fresh buffalo curd

• 2 litres fresh buffalo milk
• 150ml lemon juice
• 1½ tsp salt

For the summer salad

• 2 fresh new-season courgettes
• 4 British asparagus
• 1 kohlrabi
• Summer micro salad
• 120g shelled fresh peas
• 1tsp wild sumac
• Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
• 2 sprigs of purple thyme

For the lemon oil

• 60ml lemon juice
• 60ml extra virgin olive oil
• Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper


To make the buffalo curd, rinse a medium saucepan with cold water, measure the fresh buffalo milk, lemon juice and salt into the dampened pan and set aside for 20 minutes.

Over very low heat gently bring the milk to 80°C, stir only if you need to prevent the milk from burning. Do not disturb the milk too much. Once the milk reaches the temperature remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool at room temperature for 3 hours.

Line a chinois with muslin cloth and carefully pour the curdled milk through the muslin, leave to drain naturally for 1 hour. Hang the muslin in the fridge and leave to continue to drain over night.

The following day, discard the whey and transfer the fresh curd cheese to a clean container, the fresh curd is now ready to use. This quantity of milk makes approximately 750g of fresh buffalo curd cheese and will keep for 5 days in the fridge.

For the lemon oil, measure the ingredients into a clean jar with a tight-fitting lid, shake vigorously and adjust the seasoning if needed.

To prepare the summer salad, peel the kohlrabi, use a mandolin to finely slice and then cut into 1cm wide strips, dunk the strips in ice water to crisp.

Wash the courgettes and use a vegetable peeler to slice into long ribbons. To slice the asparagus, remove the stalk and use a vegetable peeler to slice into strips.

Blanch the shelled fresh peas and refresh and drain. Place the peas in a small bowl, add a teaspoon of the lemon oil and season to taste and lightly crush the peas.

Wash and drain the micro salad.

To serve, place the strips of drained kohlrabi, courgette and asparagus on a large flat tray, season and drizzle with the lemon oil, leave for 5 minutes to marinate.

Serve a quenelle of the fresh buffalo curd on a spoon, season with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper, a few drops of the lemon oil and some of the picked purple thyme leaves, position the spoon on the plate.

Arrange the marinated vegetables on the plate; garnish each plate with the micro salad, a few drops of the lemon oil and a dusting of the wild sumac.

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