Friday, December 25, 2009

Dearest Jennifer (Australian Christmas Salad)

Even though i'm Jewish, my parents and I had a tradition of Christmas on the St Kilda with their friends; and after the delicious foods were consumed we'd go for a walk.
I think this'd be lovely for a real Australian (bloody hot) Christmas lunch.

Dearest Jennifer (Paterson),
Being a child of parents of a; how shall we put it; slightly hippie-ish nature, and therefore Televisionless for the extent of my childhood and into the forseeable future, I was not a child brought up on the vast slew of cooking shows available on Australian television. The only shows that were on at my Fairy-Godfather's (close friend of the family) house at the times we visited were those things used to fill late-evening slots on SBS. It was then that my family was introduced to you, and Clarissa, and the darling English countryside; and many a happy evening was spent following you as you traipsed around the isles and made deliciousness occur.
My aunt first made a version of this for us at a dinner where we produced your Broad beans in Dill (Season 3, Episode 1: Benedictine Nuns). The link may seem weak- but that dish alone is one of the first reasons i ever started cooking... and this is something i've been experimenting with all week, so stiff biscuits.

Michelle's Salad
Serves 2 (multiply as req.)
1 Large/ 2 small Manderin Oranges
1 handful bocconcini/mini mozarella
3 tablespoons slivered almonds (originally Macadamias- but when I added the Bocconcini to the recipe I felt a less fatty nut was required. Substitute the almonds and the Bocconcini with Macadamias to make this a Vegan-friendly option.)
4 large lettuce leaves
1 handful baby lettuce leaf mix
1 handful baby spinach
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
¼ Teaspoon best mustard
Black Pepper (freshly ground)

1. Peel the Manderin Orange(s) of both pith and the white casing of each segment-
a. With your thumb nail tear the join along the ridge of the segment
b. Peel down both sides and use them to tear away the middle face of the segment
2. Tear each segment into two or three pieces- you want the pieces to be big enough to pack a punch of juice, but not so big that that’s all you are fitting on your fork
3. Cut/Tear the Bocconcini until no piece is bigger than the surface of your thumb-nail
4. Chop the slivered almonds roughly
5. Chop the lettuce and spinach finely- you want to create a lot of fine threads that clump together and bring dressing with them.
6. Mix the vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, mustard, salt and pepper- can be done in a glass with a fork, or best in a small bottle to really distribute the mustard evenly (otherwise it gets clumpy and doesn’t look the best; although the taste is the same)
7. In a bowl, layer the lettuce, spinach and baby leaves first, then the mandarin pieces, the bocconcini, the almonds and finally the dressing.
8. Nom. Nom Nom Nom.
(as you can see; I only had Iceberg lettuce and no Bocconcini... but this recipe is most tweakable.)

All my love,

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