RECIPE: LANGOUSTINE & SUMMER VEG SALAD
Delicate, sweet and succulent, Scottish langoustines should be a national delicacy. Sadly, a large proportion of the langoustines fished in the United Kingdom’s waters are exported to France and Spain, and what doesn’t get shipped overseas is generally coated in bread crumbs, frozen, and sold as scampi. Hopefully our ever increasing awareness of nationally sourced produce and fresh food will soon make that a thing of the past.
To allow their natural qualities to shine, fresh langoustines are best treated simply. In my summer salad I have combined them with raw and cooked vegetables, sourdough croutons and buttermilk to create a vibrant and balanced dish. The raw vegetables add freshness and texture, the buttermilk dressing, although light and clean, adds a vital sharpness, and the sourdough croutons add a much-needed crunch. If you can find them do pop in a few nasturtium leaves; their peppery heat is fantastic.
To make the croutons, bake bite-sized pieces of sourdough bread, drizzled with olive oil, at 100°C until they’re crunchy (which should be about 40 minutes). Leave them to cool and then store in an air-tight container.
Print Langoustine & Summer Vegetable Salad, Sourdough Croutons, Lime & Buttermilk Dressing Prep Time 30 Cook Time 10 Serves 4
120g of fresh peas – podded but raw
8 white asparagus – raw, cut into bite size pieces
120g of broad beans – cooked and peeled
4 handfuls salad leaves – nasturtium, watercress and pea shoots
20 sourdough croutons
1 lime – grated and juiced
Edible flowers to decorate (optional)
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Cook the langoustines for 5 minutes and then plunge into ice cold water.
Carefully cut the langoustines in half lengthwise, remove the black intestinal tract, then carefully remove the tail from the shell (leave a few of the langoustines in the shells to decorate the plate).
Mix the buttermilk with the lime juice and a pinch of zest. Season to taste with salt.
Place the salad leaves in a large bowl with the peas, broad beans, asparagus and croutons. Add 4 tablespoons of buttermilk dressing and gently toss the salad through it.
Pile the salad into the centre of the plate. Dress the langoustine tails with some buttermilk dressing and divide between the plates. Decorate with edible flowers if you are feeling that way inclined.