Salads typically have two main attributes: raw and plain. And that’s okay, everyday life requires quick and easy solutions to our hectic schedules. The minimum effort and delicious results is what we are all looking for (for these moments this escarole salad will be your salvation). However, on special days we can also make room for long and somewhat more elaborate preparations.
Two techniques are involved in this recipe that can take our salads to a higher level: pickling and curing in salt. Both modify the product by adding new features. Pickling consists of submerging vegetables, greens and even fruit in a vinegar solution that provides acidity, preserves the product and maintains its crunchy texture. Salt curing is a process by which the food is covered with salt, spices and, optionally, sugar, obtaining a different product from the one we started with. A fish, for example, by reducing the water content, will have a firmer texture and salty taste, with the spicy touches that we have chosen.
In addition to being applied to this recipe, you can use them to your liking in many other dishes. A jar of pickles in the fridge can save you a snack, brighten up any vegetable stew, or balance out a cheese sandwich. Store the rolled salt-cured fish in a container with oil and serve simply with the same oil or drained on buttered toast. Both are conservation techniques, so prepare them in advance to use them whenever you want.
It only remains to assemble the dish: a few more ingredients and we will have the perfect salad. In addition, you don’t even need a vinaigrette: a good splash of extra virgin olive oil is more than enough. On the plate, together with the orange and the grapefruit, the salt provided by the sea bass and the acidity of the pickled onion creates the necessary balance to enjoy this salad.
The one to remove the bones from the fish.
For 2 persons
For the cured sea bass
- 1 serving fillet of sea bass
- Coarse salt
- anise seeds
For the pickled onion
- 1 purple onion
- Apple vinager
- mustard seeds
For the salad
- 1 grapefruit
- 1 orange
- 1 endive
- 2 handfuls of arugula or escarole
- extra virgin olive oil
Cut the onion into julienne strips. Fill a jar and cover with 75 ml of vinegar, 75 ml of water, a teaspoon of salt, two of sugar, and a few grains of pepper and mustard. Store in the fridge for at least 24 hours.
Clean the loin of sea bass by removing the bones. Make a mixture with a cup of salt and ⅓ cup of sugar, a tablespoon of mustard, ¼ cup of water and half a tablespoon of anise grains.
Cover the sea bass fillet well with the mixture, cover with plastic wrap and put a weight on top. Leave in the fridge for two hours.
Cut the orange and grapefruit segments. Reserve the juice.
Remove the leaves from the chicory.
Clean the loin of sea bass under the tap and cut into thin slices.
Assemble the salad by combining some orange and grapefruit segments, endive, sea bass and a little pickled onion. Pour over the citrus juice. Drizzle with a good jet of olive oil and finish with a few pieces of escarole or arugula.
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