This time, it’s all about the sauce. Butter cooked with shallots & white wine combine to create a creamy dressing bringing together this delicious spring salad. Delicate ribbons of fresh courgette, asparagus and radish, sprinkled with sweet bursts of pomegranate. Surprisingly simple.
Try clarified butter for cooking, for a higher smoke point. Put a butter block in a glad bag and leave in a pot of hot water until melted. Chill in the fridge until solid, and then wash off the white milk solids.
1 bunch asparagus
1 bunch radishes
2 handfuls watercress
1 pomegranate (or packet of fresh pomegranate seeds)
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
100g Westgold butter
½ cup sauvignon blanc
6 crushed peppercorns
3 sprigs fresh herbs
2 shallots, sliced
Rinse the vegetables and watercress and dry off on a clean tea towel. Top and tail the courgettes and radishes. Cut the courgettes in half lengthwise. Snap the tough stalk off the asparagus. Using a mandolin, slice the vegetables very thinly, toss together and pile into a platter. Break the watercress into small stalks and sprinkle over the vegetables.
Cut the pomegranate in half and using a heavy spoon, tap the bottom to knock out the seeds onto the vegetables. Leave aside at room temperature while you make the herb butter.
Our tip: For perfectly snapped asparagus, hold the top in one hand, then with the other hand bend the base down until the stalk gives way and naturally breaks.
Herb butter: put all the ingredients except the butter into a small saucepan and simmer until the liquid has reduced to about 1 tablespoon. Remove from the heat. Using a whisk drop in small cubes of butter a few cubes at a time, until all the butter has been incorporated. Pour through a sieve into a warmed bowl, pressing the shallots with a rubber scraper to squeeze out all the butter. Season and keep in a warm place until serving time. NB: if you prefer a tangier herb butter add a squeeze of lemon juice at the end.
To finish, season the vegetables with sea salt and fresh ground pepper and serve with the bowl of warm herb butter to the side.
Our Tip: It’s important to keep the butter sauce warm. Once it cools it will start to set and harden (this is a natural reaction for butter to return to its normal solid state). If the salad ingredients are chilled this will also cause the dressing to harden so the salad is best kept at room temperature before serving.