A sunny warm salad for Spring
This peach and lentil salad with warm pork tenderloin is easy peasy to make, looks amazing and will impress even fussy young palates.
This is one of my favourite recipe books and with spring truly sprung it feels like a good time to unleash it on Muddy Stilettos. It’s not new, but you can still buy Around the World in Salads: 120 Ways to Love your Leaves by Katie & Giancarlo Caldesi, the husband-and-wife team who run the brilliant Caldesi en Campagna restaurant and cookery school in Bray as well as, Gerrards Cross and Marylebone.
Around the World in Salads… is a beautifully shot book, jammed with vibrant recipes that you’ll be mighty glad you put in front of your garden party guests. Here’s one of my favourite recipes, a peach & lentil salad with warm pork tenderloin salad that is entirely idiot proof. I know this because I am an idiot in the kitchen. Give it a go.
Peach & lentil salad with warm pork tenderloin, by Katie & Giancarlo Caldesi
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 x 600g pork tenderloin
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
For the dressing
- juice of one lemon
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the salad
- 390g can of Puy or bijoux verts lentils, rinsed and drained
- 60g soft dried prunes, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 75g spinach, kale, lettuce, mustard seeds or rocket
- 2 peaches, stoned, skin on and each one cut into 12 slices
- 2 tablespoons chopped dill or wild fennel
- Crush the fennel seeds using a pestle and mortar and sprinkle them over a piece of baking parchment with the garlic and sea salt. Trim any tough silverskin from the tenderloin and roll it in the garlic, salt and crushed fennel seeds on the paper. Roll up in the parchment, place on a plate and transfer to the fridge for at least 3o minutes and up to a day.
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/ gas mark 4. Remove the pork from the fridge to come to room temperature while you make the salad.
- For the dressing, combine the lemon juice and oil in a bowl and season to taste.
- For the salad, the lentils should be at room temperature or lightly warmed in a pan over a low heat. Mix the lentils, prunes and parsley together, add half the dressing and toss to combine – keep the remaining dressing for the last minute before serving. Arrange the lentils on a large platter with the leaves, peach slices and dill.
- Heat the oil in a large, non-stick frying pan and when hot brown the pork all over to seal in the juices. Transfer to a roasting tin and cook for 12 – 15 minutes or until it is firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and set aside, covered in foil and a tea-towel, to rest for 10 minutes. Cut into approx. 1 cm slices, arrange on top of the lentils with any cooking juices and the reserved dressing poured over the top. Serve straight away.
Caldesi in Campagna, will reopen its garden on 12 Apr. Book your spot. Tel: 01628 788500. caldesi.com/caldesi-in-campagna/