Valentine’s Day is upon us! It’s super noticeable that this is a day filled with love; there is endearing words and heart shaped pictures all over the Internet and in every shop its red colored candies and chocolate boxes with small love messages on. I find it kind of cute! Love is truly worth celebrating. But at the same time it’s a shame that love needs a dedicated day; I mean love should be embraced every single day not only once a year.
No matter whom – husband, girlfriend, best friend, dad, sister, granny or dog – you will spread some extra love to on Tuesday (14/2) I have a great starter that’s the perfect beginning of a long and cozy night. Silky Jerusalem artichoke pure, chips, a fresh and mellow salad with cucumber, dill and shallots, crispy bacon and as a final crown – a quenelle of caviar. This dish is amazing! Every single bite is a joy for the palate. It’s honestly one of the best starters I’ve ever had.
So let’s celebrate your beloved one on Valentines Day and don’t forget to fill and spread all the other days of the year with love.
Jerusalem Artichoke Pure with Chips, Cucumber-, Dill- and Shallot Salad, Bacon and Caviar – 4 servings
This is the kind of starter that will make you shine because its perfection in every single bite. Its decadent, luxurious and oh so good! Make this to your love and I promise that your evening will turn out in the greatest way.
Chips and pure
500 g Jerusalem artichoke (jordärtsskocka)
50 g crème fraiche
Natural oil for frying
75 g cucumber (about 1/3)
30-40 g shallot (1 small)
12 g lemon juice
12 g olive oil
80 g vendace caviar1
70 g bacon (½ package)
Chips and pure. Peel the artichokes. Thinly slice half of the artichokes into chips. Here I recommend you to use a mandolin since it’s accurate and quick, but a speed- or potato peeler will do the work as well. Place the artichoke slices in a bowl with cold water to rinse them from any excessive starch. Leave them in the water for about 30 minutes. Rinse and fill up with fresh water if it starts to get too cloudy.
Boil the rest of the artichokes in a pot with a pinch of salt until tender. Drain the artichoke and let the steam evaporate. Mix with crème fraiche in a hand blender until smooth. Add salt to taste and pass the pure through a fine sieve to get rid of any lumps. Store in the fridge until serving.
Heat up neutral oil in a pan. Wipe the artichoke slices dry on some kitchen paper or a -towel. When the oil reaches 160 °C it’s time for frying. Fry the artichokes in 4 batches. Stir the chips around every now and then to make sure all sides are fried. When just slightly colored transfer to a piece of paper towel and add salt. There will be some leftover chips but they are good to munch on just as they are.
Salad. Deseed the cucumber and cut it into small cubes. Peal and finely shop the shallots and a few springs of dill. Make the vinaigrette by combining oil and lemon. Add cucumber, shallots and dill and let it marinate in the fridge for a while. Add salt just before serving.
To serve. Finely slice the bacon and fry it on medium heat in a dry pan until nicely colored and crisp. Get rid of excess fat by draining it on a paper towel. Pick out a few small springs of dill for garnish. Spread out a circle of pure in each plate. Form a quenelle of caviar and place it in the middle. Spread out salad, bacon, chips and some springs of dill, and drizzle everything with a few drops of olive oil.
1 Vendace caviar is quite expensive, but you could swap it for any other that comes from a jar. The taste won’t quite be the same so I think its wort the money once or twice a year for special occasions. Called löjrom in Swedish.