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Smoked salmon is an excellent source of lean protein.
Smoked salmon is an excellent source of lean protein.

Healthy recipe: Caramelised chicory, smoked salmon and avocado dressing

A dish low in fat, the chicory adds a bittersweet tang to the fish and acts as a foil to the dressing, which gets all its creaminess from the nutrient-rich avocado.

Smoked salmon is an excellent source of lean protein that is low in fat, contains omega-3 fatty acids (effective in lowering cholesterol) and a number of important nutrients, including vitamins A, D, E and B-12. By marinating the salmon in herbs and citrus zest first, you give the fish an extra kick of flavour and prevent it from tasting too rich.

The chicory, also known as endive, is also effective here, adding a bittersweet tang to the fish and acting as a foil to the dressing, which gets all its creaminess from nutrient-rich avocado, rather than from the addition of mayonnaise or cream, meaning that the dish remains low in saturated fats. Chicory leaves are low in calories, a good source of fibre and are thought to help liver, gall bladder and kidney function.

Caramelised chicory, smoked salmon and avocado dressing

Serves 2

For the chicory:

2 heads chicory
5g butter
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp clear honey
3 sprigs thyme
2 tbsp water

For the marinade:

1 lemon, zest and juice
1 lime, zest and juice
2 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 shallot, peeled and finely diced
1 tbsp olive oil

For the dressing:

garlic clove, peeled and crushed (optional)
100ml natural yogurt
ripe avocado, peeled, stoned and roughly chopped
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp water
salt and black pepper

Slice the chicory in half lengthways. Preheat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/ gas 4. Place an ovenproof pan over a medium-high heat and add the butter, oil and honey. When the butter begins to foam, add the chicory, cut side down, and cook for 2-3 minutes, until caramelised. Pour over the stock or water, season with salt and black pepper, cover loosely with foil and transfer to the oven to cook for 30 minutes, or until tender.

Slice or separate the smoked salmon into strips. Whisk together all the marinade ingredients, season with black pepper and pour over the fish, turning the salmon to coat.

Tip the crushed garlic (if using), lemon juice, chopped avocado and yogurt into a bowl, pour over the water and blend together using a hand blender. Season with plenty of black pepper.

Arrange the chicory pieces on serving plates, drape over the marinated salmon and spoon the dressing over the top.

Nutritional information for smoked salmon, per 85g:

Calories: 85
Calories from fat: 33
Total fat: 3.7g
Saturated fat: 0.8g
Source: http://caloriecount.about.com

eshardlow@thenational.ae

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