A whimsical dish of silky salmon, crisp mini-Scotch eggs and pickled beetroot that’s also a feast for the eyes.
For the pickled golden beetroot, place the golden beetroot into a pan and cover with water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the beetroot are tender. Leave to cool slightly before peeling and slicing. Place the sliced beetroot into a bowl.
Meanwhile, place the white wine vinegar, water and sugar into a small non-reactive saucepan and simmer until the sugar has dissolved. Simmer for a further 4-5 minutes, then pour the mixture over the golden beetroot slices. Leave to cool, then place into the fridge to chill until ready to serve.
For the purple beetroot, peel and chop the beetroot into chunks, place into a pan and with the butter and a pinch of salt and cover with water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the beetroot is tender. Drain the beetroot, reserving some of the cooking liquid.
Blend the beetroot in a food processor until smooth, adding a few tablespoons of the reserved cooking liquid if necessary. Pass the beetroot purée through a fine sieve and set aside.
For the confit salmon, place the salmon fillets into a vacuum pack bag with the lemon, salt and freshly chopped dill. Add enough olive oil to coat the salmon, then seal the bags and place into a water bath set to 60C/140F for 10-15 minutes, or until cooked. Alternatively, use a re-sealable bag wrapped in cling film and a pot of water (check the temperature using a digital thermometer at regular intervals). Set the salmon aside to rest in the bags.
For the horseradish sauce, finely grate the fresh horseradish into a bowl and add the cream, lemon juice, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Beat together until thickened.
For the scotch egg, cook the quails’ eggs in a small pan of boiling water for two minutes and 15 seconds, then drain and refresh in cold water. Drain again, then carefully peel the eggs and set aside.
Place the smoked salmon and cream into a food processor and blend until smooth, then add the chervil and blend for a further ten seconds to combine. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Take a large spoonful of the salmon mixture and flatten it out in your hand (wet your hands slightly to prevent the mixture from sticking), then place a quails’ egg in the middle and bring the rest of the mixture around the egg to cover. Press the mousse firmly around the egg, adding more mousse if necessary. Dust the eggs in the flour, then dip into the beaten egg and roll in the panko breadcrumbs.
Half-fill a deep, heavy-based pan with vegetable oil and heat to 180C/350F (CAUTION: hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended). Carefully drop the quails’ eggs into the oil and fry for 1-2 minutes, or until golden-brown and crisp all over. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
To serve, remove the salmon from the bags and place a fillet on each plate. Swipe some of the beetroot purée down one side of the plate. Dress the watercress and radishes with olive oil, then divide among the serving plates. Arrange the pickled golden beetroots around, then dot the horseradish cream around the plate.
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