A beautiful spring salad of rare roasted topside of beef, with radicchio, wild garlic, hazelnuts, and parmesan. This is a wonderful alternative to the usual Sunday roast centrepiece.
A salad (for that is what this is), has probably over the years become too narrowly perceived. Too often an afterthought, or side offering, leaves and dressing — tomatoes or avocados (often both) lazily slung in there. There is of course a place for a side salad. In fact, sometimes it is wholly necessary. But there is also a gaping great space for a salad to be front and centre. For a salad can be almost anything, boundless possibilities.
At their best, they are seasonal and considered and all bound by a dressing that must carry the seasoning for the whole dish. Plus, you have an arsenal of ‘extras’ to play with — those choice little bits that add extra intrigue to the occasion. Nuts, cheeses, anchovies, capers, croutons…I could go on. This salad is simple and constructed with the intention of surrounding slices of rare roasted topside with lots of other ingredients that it wants to be eaten with.
Topside of beef, radicchio, hazelnut & parmesan salad
2 small heads of radicchio, quartered, roots removed and washed
1 handful of wild garlic leaves, washed and very roughly chopped
150g wild rocket, washed
2 tbsp capers
2 handfuls of hazelnuts, toasted and lightly crushed
1 banana shallot, very thinly sliced into rings and doused with Moscatel vinegar
200g Parmigiano-Reggiano PDO
9 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
juice of half an unwaxed lemon
- First cook the topside:
- Remove the topside from the fridge and its packaging and allow it to come up to room temperature.
- Preheat your oven to 200°C.
- Season the topside well with fine sea salt and rub all over with a little olive oil.
- Place the topside on an oven tray and transfer to the oven. Set a timer for 10 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to 145°C and then cook for a further 40-45 minutes.
- Remove the topside from the oven and leave to rest and cool, for about an hour.
- While the meat is resting, prepare the dressing:
- Add 3 teaspoons of Dijon mustard, a pinch of salt, and 3 tablespoons of Moscatel vinegar to a small mixing bowl or jug. Whisk together and then start adding the olive oil in a steady stream, whisking continuously. Once the oil is incorporated, add the lemon juice, stir, taste, and then adjust the seasoning as necessary.
- To assemble the salad:
- Use a very sharp knife and slice the topside as thinly as you can. Add it to a mixing bowl, along with the radicchio, rocket, wild garlic, shallots, hazelnuts, and capers. Mix well and then spoon over a liberal amount of the dressing — but do save a little for later.
- Toss the salad, in a gentle manner, so that the dressing reaches all corners, then taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary.
- Lay the salad out on a large serving platter and shave or grate over all of the parmesan.
- Drizzle over any remaining dressing and serve.