Diabetes and dieting are two serious things. But food doesn’t have to be! We jokingly call this our Russian Millionaire’s Salad, because if we were to buy the real ingredients, we’d need a millionaire’s budget to afford it!
But this dish very much proves that luxury doesn’t necessarily command a high price tag. The caviar is not sturgeon; rather Atlantic lump-fish roe. Truffles come in the form of inexpensive truffle-oil, mixed into the vinaigrette-dressing. The salmon is by far the dearest thing on the plate (but no-one needs know that).
So place your vodka bottle in the freezer for a couple of hours, and dig out your finest cut-lead-crystal glasses. Imperial Russia may be long gone, but we can still drink nostalgically to its memory! The second toast can be to ketones – salads don’t come much lower in carbohydrate than this; so diabetics, gluten-intolerants and LCHF-dieters can all dig in with aplomb!
Place a pan of water on to boil, and cook the beans for two & a half minutes until al dente. Lift out of the pan and plunge into cold water, so they keep their colour and crunch. Do exactly the same with the quails’ eggs. Any longer than 2 1/2 minutes will mean they’re hard-boiled. I like a slight softness to the yolk, but this is to preference. Once the eggs have sat in cold water for circa 5 minutes and are cool to the touch; shell, rinse and pat dry with paper-towel.
Now for the dressing. Put a teaspoon of Dijon mustard into a mixing bowl. Using your eye as guide, add a double volume of white-wine vinegar and a small squeeze of lemon-juice (half mustard to liquid). Grind in pepper and salt and then whisk smooth. Now start to beat in your truffle-oil. I use half truffle-oil to light olive-oil, but it all depends on how extravagant you’re feeling. Whisk in the oil in slow drips, so that it incorporates immediately. Once you’ve got four times the volume than you had of mustard-vinegar mix; give it a quick taste to adjust for seasoning and tartness. We want it sharp, but not unpleasantly so!
Toss your beans in the truffle-dressing and place onto your serving-dish. Stand the eggs at intervals and sprinkle these with paprika. Layer on your smoked salmon and dollop a good tablespoon of caviar beside this. Sprinkle on sliced radishes for colour and bite, followed by a good squeeze of lime.
Slice a celery-stick into inch-chunks and top with salmon-pâté (salmon off-cuts blitzed up with lemon-juice and crème-fraîche). Serve these at intervals around the side, again sprinkled with paprika.
This dish feels incredibly decadent, yet it’s actually really straightforward and quick. Sometimes it’s nice to prepare something that’s just a little bit different; and this recipe certainly qualifies as that! It can also be eaten for breakfast; indeed we’ve had it on Christmas morning a couple of times.
Whatever the occasion, you’ll feel like a millionaire every time you have it. For most of us, it’s the closest we’ll ever come!
Thanks for reading and bon ap!