This is a delightful Spring salad full of flavor. When Spring finally decides to stay awhile, you might want to give this one a try.
It’s late April and another cold front is moving in. Wasn’t it back in February that Punxsutawney Phil predicted an early Spring? In DFW, it sure looked like he was going to be correct. In February we were experiencing temperatures in the high 60s to mid to high 70s. Things started to green up early. On the first day of Spring we had relatively clear skies with temperatures in the high 60s. All looked good. Then the yo-yo effect kicked in where temperatures and weather have been all over the place. As I finish this post today, it’s 39 F! The rest of the United States, has not been so lucky as temperatures have been well below normal. In fact, on March 22, 2013, Butler County, Ohio, prosecutor Mike Gmoser had poor Phil indicted for criminal fraud! Click here for the story.
Because of the peculiar weather we are experiencing our cooking may seem a little odd and out of place. One day we’re grilling or having ceviche and the next it’s a braise, soup or spicy little dish to generate a little warmth. This is one of those seemingly odd season meals. The weather was delightful, mid 70s, clear skies, light breeze. Fresh greens were showing up at the markets and I had just purchased a beautiful piece of swordfish from the fishmonger. We were playing with the wonderful blood orange olive oil I had received as a Christmas present from my younger brother. A salad with a light orange flavor vinaigrette was truly in order. This gave me an opportunity to play with my sous vide set up to poach the fish and the ability to create a lovely new vinaigrette. Springtime was in the air.
Now, to those of you who aren’t experiencing Spring and want to prosecute Phil criminally for his fraudulent conduct, let me remind you that criminal fraud, as with any other fraud, requires that you prove a culpable mental state; in legal jargon, scienter. In other words, you must establish Phil, knowingly and intentionally represented Spring would come early when he knew otherwise and he did so just to entice you into believing you would be enjoying the bounties that come with Spring, like this beautiful salad. If he did, he is a dastardly little devil. If he didn’t, he is no worse than your stock broker who seemingly throws darts at the business page to make your investments. Regardless, I have been assured that at some point in the very foreseeable future that Spring will finally arrive and when it does, give this recipe a try.
For the Vinaigrette
- 1/4 cup champagne vinegar (or any light white wine vinegar)
- 1/4 cup blood orange olive oil
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp white pepper
- 1 sprig cilantro, minced
- pinch savory
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1/2 tsp orange blossom honey
For the Swordfish
- 1 swordfish steak, 12 oz
- sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/3 cup good olive oil
For the Salad
- spring greens mix (whatever you like)
- baby spinach
- red onions, thinly sliced
- grape tomatoes, whole
- toasted almond slices
For the vinaigrette
Place all ingredients in a small blender.
Emulsify and set aside until ready to serve.
For the swordfish
Season the swordfish with salt & pepper on both sides.
Place swordfish in a vacuum bag with 1/3 cup of olive oil.
seal at 23 PSI and place in sous vide at 57 C/ 135 F for 20 minutes.
Now, if you don’t have a sous vide setup, get an appropriate sized pot and add a sufficient amount of oil to cover the fish. Put over very low heat, preferably using a heat diffuser, and heat to a temperature of 140 F. It is very tricky to maintain low heat but low heat is what you need. Add the fish to the olive oil and poach for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to drain. If you like your fish more completely cooked, then by all means increase the cooking time, anywhere upward to 10 more minutes, to meet your own tastes.
Place salad mix on plate along with sliced red onions and grape tomatoes.
Cut swordfish into cubes and arrange on to of greens.
Sprinkle with toasted almond slices
Dress with vinaigrette, serve & enjoy!
NOTES: Now, previously in a post on Poached Nairagi (Striped Marlin) with Lime Basil Pesto on Tomatoes, I cooked a similarly dense and steaky fish at 59 C/138 F for 12 minutes. I also used 2/3 cup of olive oil. This preparation was to try a different approach to see which we preferred. While the sous vide approach does allow you to use less oil to poach the fish, we found we liked the 59 C/138 F for 12 minutes best. Your milage may vary.