Salad. The word powerfully evokes sympathy. Indeed, there is no better way to destroy a loved one’s palate than by inundating it with unimaginative salads. STOP DOING THIS. Instead, light a candle, lay prostrate on the floor, and open up your mind to all the arousing salad-making possibilities you’ve repressed. At first, Mr. Alpenglow emerged from this rite ready to make an iceberg salad with creamy avocado and bacon but immediately understood that this was replication — not revelation. He relit the candle to try again, this time emerging with a radical vision: hot little roasted potatoes and umami-rich crisps nestled in a bed of bright, peppery watercress, topped with slivers of smoked trout, tart green apple, and pickled red onions cloaked in cool crème fraiche with the hidden heat of jalapeño.


green apple, pickled red onion, jalapeño crème fraiche, anchovy rye bits

for the pickled onions:
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

for the roasted potatoes:
2 cups or so of baby gold potatoes
2 tbsp. grapeseed oil
1 tsp. sweet paprika
1 tsp. mustard powder
kosher salt & freshly crackled black pepper

for the anchovy rye croutons:
1 cup of rye bread, roughly torn
4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
6-8 flat-packed anchovies

for the trout mixture:
1 smoked trout filet, roughly torn
1 green apple, cored and thinly sliced
pickled onions (from above)
jalapeño crème fraiche (from below)

for the watercress salad:
2-3 bundles of fresh watercress
2 tbsp. each of extra virgin olive oil & lemon juice
1 tsp. honey
salt and pepper to taste

for the jalapeño crème fraiche:
1/2 a jalapeño, very finely diced
1/2 a garlic clove, finely diced
1 tbsp. finely chopped fresh dill
1/2 cup of crème fraiche
1 tsp. dijon mustard
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. grapeseed oil
kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Heat the oven to 525. In a medium bowl, mix the sugar, salt, and apple cider vinegar. Add the onions and coat well. Let this sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes, preferably an hour. In a large bowl, toss the potatoes with the oil, paprika, mustard powder, salt and pepper. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes until the potatoes are tender inside but extremely crispy outside. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in an oven-safe skillet on medium-high flame and dissolve the anchovies in the oil. Add the rye bread to coat in anchovy oil. Transfer skillet to oven and bake for about 5 minutes until croutons are crisp. Let them cool. In a mortar, smash the jalapeño, garlic, and dill. Add the other ingredients for the jalapeño crème fraiche, stir well, and combine with the trout, apple, and pickled onions (drained and rinsed). Finally, dress the watercress in a thin coat of olive oil, lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper. To serve, plate the watercress first, followed by the roasted potatoes and croutons, then a scoop of the trout mixture.




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