Hot-Smoked Salmon, Avocado, Asparagus, Borlotti Bean and Chervil Salad

With Sweet Chillied Avocado Oil

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Hot-smoked salmon is quite different from regular smoked salmon in that it’s cooked at the same time as being smoked by the heat generated from the smoking. Regular smoked salmon may take up to 36 hours to smoke, whereas hot-smoked can take as little as 15 minutes and it will have a more pronounced smokiness. Hot-smoked salmon has the texture of roast fish, rather than the pliable slices you may be more familiar with, and this makes it great for flaking into salads and pasta dishes. I give a technique for smoking salmon at the end of the recipe – but you may just prefer to buy it!

The chilli oil will make more than you need, so keep the remainder in your fridge for up to 6 months, then use it to spruce up grills and salads or even fried eggs for breakfast.

Ingredients

  • 500 g hulled borlotti beans (you’ll need about 1.5 kg beans in the pod)
  • small handful of mixed favourite hard herbs (thyme, oregano, sage and rosemary are good)
  • flaked salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 hot red chillies, roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons coarsely grated palm sugar (or use Demerara sugar)
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 350 ml extra-virgin avocado oil (or use olive oil)
  • 2 avocados
  • 400 g blanched asparagus spears, woody ends snapped off and discarded
  • 2 large handfuls of salad leaves
  • 600 g hot-smoked salmon fillet (see below or bought)
  • juice of 1 very juicy lemon

Method

Put the beans and herbs into a large pot with ½ teaspoon of salt. Cover with plenty of cold water and bring to the boil, then turn to a simmer and cook for 20–30 minutes until the beans are tender. Leave them to cool in their cooking liquor.

Meanwhile, place the chillies and sugar in a mortar or very small blender and pound or process to make a paste, adding a little of the vinegar if it helps. Tip the paste and the remaining vinegar into a small pan and bring to a simmer, then cook until the vinegar has almost all evaporated – keep a keen eye on it. Pour in the oil and bring the oil up to body temperature, then take off the heat. Leave to cool, then decant into a 400 ml jar or bottle.

Cut the avocados in half, twist out the stones and scoop out the flesh in one piece with a large spoon. Cut into cubes or wedges.

To Serve

Lay the asparagus spears and salad leaves on the plate. Place the avocado on top, then flake the salmon over. Drain the beans and scatter them and the chervil on top, squeeze over the lemon juice, season with flaked salt and freshly ground pepper, and then finally drizzle the oil over – or let your guests do it to taste.