Sunday 26 April 2015

Delicate egg ribbons with bresaola, crispy fennel & spring leaves

Delicate egg ribbons with bresaola, crispy fennel & spring leaves

Serves 4
Not too tricky
  • 1 bulb of fennel, herby tops removed
  • 4 large free-range or organic eggs
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • olive oil
  • 1 head of radicchio or treviso, or 2 red chicory, leaves washed, spun dry and torn
  • 2 good handfuls of rocket and/or watercress, washed and spun dry
  • 16 slices of bresaola
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • a handful of freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
  • juice of ½ a lemon
  • Optional:

  • 1 teaspoon truffle oil (try it!)


    For this dish I wanted to do something a little unusual with eggs, so I decided to turn them into silky ribbons. You can make plain ones or flavour the egg mixture with chilli or chopped delicate herbs. I've suggested finishing the salad off with a few drips of truffle oil, which has a lovely mushroomy taste. Although 'fake' truffle oil still tastes good, try to get the real thing – it's expensive but should last you ages and you can use it in soups, in gratins, on roast potatoes, you name it.

    Shave the fennel bulb with a speed peeler or a sharp knife. Put the shavings into iced or very cold water for about a minute – this gives you a lovely crispy texture but the downside is that you lose flavour, so be quick. As soon as the fennel starts to curl up, drain it in a colander, remove any ice cubes, spin it
    really dry in a salad spinner and put to one side.

    Whip up the eggs with a pinch of salt and pepper. Add a splash of water to the mixture as this will give you thin crêpe-like omelettes. Rub a little olive oil over the bottom of a 20cm non-stick frying pan and place it on the heat. Working quickly, pour in a little egg mixture and tilt the pan so it runs all round the bottom. In less than a minute your crêpe will be opaque and cooked through. Touch it lightly to test whether it's done. If it is, hold the pan at an angle and start to peel it away with a spatula. Be gentle and don't rush – if you mess the first one up, don't worry, you'll get the feel for it! When you've made your crêpes, stack them on a board and cover them with tinfoil to keep them warm.

    Put the fennel and all the salad leaves into a bowl. Divide the bresaola between four plates and drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil. Remove the tinfoil from the crêpes. Roll them up one at a time and slice them 1 to 2cm wide. Toss them gently with your fingers to unwind them. Add them to the bowl of fennel and salad leaves with the grated Parmesan. Dress with 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and the lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and toss gently but thoroughly. Taste and balance with seasoning and a little extra lemon juice if need be. For a cool tweak, add a teaspoon of truffle oil. Sprinkle the reserved herby fennel tops over the salad. Place the salad bowl in the middle of the table with your plates of bresaola and let everyone help themselves. Lovely finished with an extra grating of Parmesan.

    Nutritional Information Amount per serving:

    • Calories 293 15%
    • Carbs 4.4g 2%
    • Sugar 1.6g 2%
    • Fat 20.5g 29%
    • Saturates 4.9g 25%
    • Protein 22.8g 51%

    Of an adult's reference intake


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