Abalone is a highly prized ingredient. Here in this salad recipe it is very quickly fried over a high heat and served with pork cheek and celeriac salad. This makes a lovely entree and would set the scene for a decadent dinner party.
- 1 small whole celeriac
- 2 French shallots, finely diced (soak them in warm water first to make it easier to peel skin away)
- 10 salted capers, rinsed and coarsely chopped
- 1 tbsp finely chopped flat leaf parsley, plus extra to serve
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 5 tbsp olive oil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 abalone, humanely killed by freezing for a couple of hours
- 200 g confit pork cheek or belly, cut into 4 slices (see Note)
- 3 tbsp olive oil, extra
- 2 spring onions, sliced finely on the diagonal
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.
Standing time: 1 hour
Peel the celeriac and shred finely, place in a bowl with the shallots, capers and parsley and mix to combine. Make a vinaigrette by whisking together the mustard, vinegar, oil and some salt and pepper. Reserve one tablespoon of vinaigrette and mix the rest through the celeriac mixture.
Allow the celeriac to stand for an hour or so, so the flavours can get to know one another. Taste again; it should have a slight sharpness which will counter the richness of the pork and abalone.
Shuck the abalone, then scrub with a nail brush or toothbrush until clean. Trim away muscle and slice very finely, almost vertically.
Preheat oven to 190ºC. Heat the sliced pork confit on a tray in the oven until slightly crisp.
Heat 2-3 tablespoons of the oil in a wok to very hot. Sear the abalone, tossing all the time, for 45 secs only. Do not overcook. Remove and then wilt the spring onion briefly in the wok.
Assemble the dish by spooning a quarter of the celeriac on the middle of four plates, cover with the crisp pork, then the abalone and spring onions. Drizzle the remaining vinaigrette over the dish and season with pepper and, if desired, sprinkle over a little chopped parsley.
If you cannot obtain pork confit, use crisped pancetta, not the same but a nice alternative.