Baby Gem Salad With Radish, Pine Nuts & Anchovy Dressing

This little salad packs a punch thanks to the anchovy dressing. Combined with garlic, vinegar and olive oil, there isn’t a better dressing for crispy, baby gem lettuce. The radish also adds colour and a little heat, and the toasted pine nuts give a lovely crunch. Great as a barbecue side, or simply by itself.
Serves
4
Ingredients
Ingredients
50g of pine nuts
4 baby gem lettuces
½ garlic clove
8 anchovy fillets in olive oil
2 tbsp pf red wine vinegar
4 tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil
150g of radishes
1 punnet of mustard cress
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
Method
Step 1
Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/180°C Fan/400°F/Gas 6. Scatter the pine nuts over a baking sheet and roast them for 3 minutes, until golden. Remove them from the oven and leave to cool.
Step 2
Carefully cut the baby gem lettuces away from the stem, keeping the leaves intact, then slice them into quarters. Place the quarters into a bowl of iced water to crisp up for 10 minutes, then place them in a salad spinner and spin until they are dry. Set aside.
Step 3
In a pestle and mortar, crush the garlic with a good pinch of salt until it has formed a paste, then add the anchovy fillets and bash them until you have a smooth, combined anchovy paste. Add the vinegar and then slowly whisk in the olive oil to give a nicely emulsified dressing.
Step 4
Tip the baby gem leaves into a large salad bowl and pour in most of the dressing. Toss the leaves in the dressing to fully coat and then clean the edge of the bowl.
Step 5
Slice the radishes as thinly as possible using a mandolin, truffle slicer or sharp knife. Sprinkle these over the top of the salad. Take the mustard cress plant out of the punnet and cut off the base. Scatter the mustard cress over top of the sliced radishes. Finish with a scattering of the toasted pine nuts and dollops of any remaining dressing. Serve as a starter or as part of a barbecue.

The Italian Pantry by Theo Randall (Quadrille, £21.99, was £26)
Photography: Lizzie Mayson.

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