“The herbs, cucumber and yoghurt in this chopped kale salad are a notably cooling combination, and one that’s a particularly good foil for hot-smoked river trout – with its subtle whiff of charred woodchips, and flaky but still succulent flesh. It’s a cheering, fresh dish that’s robust enough to fill you up, but not so heavy that it weighs you down. You’ll know best the moments when that kind of thing is needed. If you can’t find or don’t fancy hot-smoked trout, try smoked mackerel, or grilled fresh mackerel or trout.” – Ed Smith
This is an edited extract from Crave by Ed Smith, published by Quadrille Books, and is available where all good books are sold.
Photography by Sam A Harris
2 x 400g (14oz) cans chickpeas (garbanzos), drained
1 tbsp olive oil
250g (9oz) kale (not the pre-prepared kind),
leaves shredded (stems discarded)
1 lemon, zest finely grated and the juice of ½
1½ large cucumbers, peeled, halved lengthways,
seeds scooped out and discarded, flesh cut into 1cm (½in) crescents
10 dill sprigs, ½ fronds finely chopped and ½ left whole
Leaves picked from 10 sprigs mint, finely chopped
100g (3½oz) Greek yoghurt
4 fillets hot-smoked trout
Flaky sea salt and ground black pepper
Heat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/425°F.
Spread half the chickpeas over a small baking sheet. Add the oil, roll the chickpeas in it until glossy, and cook at the top of the oven for 30 minutes until golden (they become crunchier as they cool). Season immediately with lots of flaky salt then set to one side.
Transfer the shredded kale leaves to a mixing bowl, add half a teaspoon of flaky sea salt, then use one hand to squeeze or ‘massage’ the kale for a minute or so, until wet and reduced in volume. Add the lemon zest and juice along with the non roasted chickpeas, mix and fluff with a fork.
Put the cucumber crescents into a separate bowl, add a pinch of salt and stir. Add to the cucumbers the chopped herbs and the yoghurt before transferring two thirds from that bowl to the kale. Mix again with a fork, then pick and add most of the remaining dill fronds (saving a few for the garnish) along with lots of black pepper, and mix again.
Decant onto a large platter or individual plates. Top with the remaining cucumbers and yoghurt, the crisp chickpeas, then the smoked fish in large flakes, and finish with a final flourish of dill fronds.