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A salad for sunny days

This peach and lentil salad with warm pork tenderloin by renowned chefs Kate & Giancarlo Caldesi, is easy peasy to make, looks amazing and will impress even fussy young palates..

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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, it’s been around for several years now, 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 in Bray, Berkshire, and cookery schools in Marylebone and Buckinghamshire.

Around the World in Salads… is a beautifully shot book, jammed with really beautiful recipes that you’ll be mighty glad you put in front of guests (or, let’s be more realistic, whoever is currently sharing your four walls) over the summer.

Here’s one of my favourite recipes, a peach & lentil salad with warm pork tenderloin salad that is entirely idiotproof. I know this because I am an idiot. Give it a go, and check out the book here.

Peach & lentil salad with warm pork tenderloin salad, by Katie & Giancarlo Caldesi

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Serves 4-6

Ingredients
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

Method:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. For the dressing, combine the lemon juice and oil in a bowl and season to taste.
  4. 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.
  5. 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, Old Mill Lane, Bray, Berkshire SL6 2BG. Tel: 01628 788500. caldesi.com/caldesi-in-campagna/

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