Mizuna is a pretty leaf lettuce with a mild peppery taste. It’s often one of the leaves found in mesclun but can also be bought separately at good greengrocers. You could use mesclun or rocket (arugula) in its place.
- 750 g baby squid, cleaned and reserving the tentacles
- 1 tbsp vegetable or light olive oil
- salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 quantity of herb and lime dressing
- 200 g mizuna leaves
- 1 small red onion, peeled and cut into thin wedges
- ½ bunch mint leaves, for garnish
- ½ bunch coriander (cilantro) leaves, for garnish
Herb and lime dressing
- ½ bunch mint
- ½ bunch coriander
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- 1 large green chilli, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 large lime
- ½ cup vegetable or light olive oil
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Herb and lime dressing makes 1 cup
To make the dressing, pick the mint leaves from the stems and place them in a food processer, add the coriander leaves and stems, garlic, chilli, fish sauce and sugar. Peel the lime making sure there is no pith left. Roughly chop the lime to make sure there are no seeds, add the lime flesh to the processor.
Process until the dressing ingredients are finely chopped, gradually add the oil through the spout of the processor and blend the dressing until it is well emulsified.
Cut the squid hoods open and lay flat with the outside of the hood facing up on a chopping board. Score the squid in a crisscross pattern and then cut into 4–5 cm square pieces. Trim the tentacles but leave whole. Toss the squid with the oil and season.
Heat a barbecue or chargrill plate until hot. Chargrill the squid for 2–3 minutes on each side, until the squid turns white and has a chargrilled look.
Place in a bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon of the dressing and set aside to cool slightly.
Arrange mizuna on a serving platter and sprinkle over the onion, arrange the squid on the salad and drizzle with a little more dressing. Sprinkle over extra mint and coriander leaves. Serve immediately.
the food dept. fact
• For a sweet Asian twist , add some fresh lychees to the salad. If you would like less heat, remove the seeds from the chilli.
• Dressing can be stored in a jar in the refrigerator for up to a week, shake well before use to emulsify. This dressing makes a delicious sauce poured over barbecued seafood.
Photography by Petrina Tinslay, styling by David Morgan and art direction by Anne Marie Cummins.