- Food & Drink
I’d meant to make this salad with burrata, but the bit of South East London I live in hasn’t gentrified sufficiently for there to be bowls of burrata in the delicatessens, just a wide range of buffalo mozzarellas. In hindsight, this made my life easier. If I had got hold of a soft ball of burrata, then I would also have wanted fresh walnuts to go with it. And some clementines. The salad wouldn’t have been pulled together after a Nigel Slateresque meander around the markets, but a Doctor Whoish adventure through the supermarkets of time. That’s a lot of work for a salad.
So mozzarella it was. Flabby, salty and looking for friends.
In January friends are easily found. The post-Christmas slump makes it seems like the shops are empty, but the winter harvests are still coming in. And it’s not all cabbages.
This week the first boxes of blood oranges arrived into work, and we went a little blood orange crazy. After the juices, the snacks and the juggling, I claimed a few spare ones to take home.
Last year, at Vallebona, I ate a burrata, blood orange and rocket salad. I wanted to make something similar, but without the rocket. It can be a bit of an unruly lawn on a salad plate. Radicchio’s purple leaves, veined white and quietly bitter, seemed like the perfect foil for the blood oranges’ acidic juiciness.
The dressing was a piece of last minute, condiment cupboard rummaging inspiration. There are a lot of contrasts on the plate: mozzarella’s bland creaminess, radicchio’s rich bitterness, the sharp sweetness of the blood oranges. They needed brining together. When my hand found the jar of miso paste, I knew I had my unifying force. I used brown miso, but if I had white miso paste I think it would’ve been even better.
Mozzarella, Blood Orange & Radicchio Salad with Miso Dressing
3 blood oranges
A handful of radicchio leaves (around 1/2 a small radicchio)
1 x 125g ball of buffalo mozzarella
1 tbsp capers
For the dressing:
Juice of 1/2 blood orange
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp brown miso paste (or maybe white)
1 Slice the tops and bottoms off the oranges so they sit flat on the board. Slice the skin and pith off, cutting as close to the flesh as possible but trying not to carve away lots of the orange with the skin. Separate the radicchio leaves and slice any large leaves. Drain the mozzarella and tear into large chunks.
2 Arrange the radicchio leaves, blood orange and mozzarella on two plates. Scatter over the capers.
3 Whisk the juice of half a blood orange with 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar and 1 tsp miso paste. Drizzle over the salad to serve.