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Smoked salmon with mango salsa, squid ink pasta and Caesar salad

When Rebecca Leader is not working in her garden, she’s in the kitchen whipping up culinary delights for her whanau. Here’s one of her favourite one-dish meals, a recipe that combines the sweetness of mangoes with the tang of lime juice, the smokiness of salmon and the fresh crunchiness of salad. And it’s so colourful on the plate . . .

Mango salsa

Ingredients:

1 fresh mango

1 capsicum

⅓ telegraph cucumber

1 red onion

3 cloves of garlic

A handful of fresh coriander

Salt and pepper

A dash of sesame oil

A dash of olive oil

The juice of one lime

1 tsp of apple cider vinegar

Method:

Finely chop the mango, capsicum, cucumber, red onion and coriander.

Crush the garlic.

Combine all ingredients together in a bowl. Give it a good stir.

This can be made up to two days beforehand.

Salmon and Squid Ink linguini

Ingredients:

2 x 150g packets of peppered smoked salmon 1 bunch of spring onions

1 packet of squid ink linguini

Method:

Cook the linguini as per the instructions on the packet and drain in a colander.

Slice the spring onions and break up the salmon.

Mix all these three ingredients together in another bowl.

Caesar salad

Seeing this is a quick, easy meal, I purchased a packet of Caesar salad from the vegetable department at the supermarket.

But here's a recipe if you want to make your own.

Ingredients:

2 cos lettuces, roughly broken up.

½ cup shaved parmesan

Croutons — make as many as you like with left-over, day-old bread.

Olive oil

Anchovies (optional)

150g of bacon, diced into small pieces and baked in oven till crispy

Caesar dressing:

1 cup of mayonnaise (whole egg)

2 tbsp of lemon juice

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tbsp of anchovies, minced (not optional)

1 tsp of Dijon mustard

¼ cup of parmesan cheese, grated

Salt and pepper

To make the dressing:

Whisk together garlic, lemon juice, Dijon mustard and anchovies.

Mix in the mayonnaise, parmesan and salt and pepper to taste.

Toss dressing through salad.

Croutons:

To make croutons, chop bread into cubes and toss in olive oil to coat but not saturate.

Place on baking tray at 180C and bake turning regularly till crispy.

Dice bacon and bake till crispy also.

Combine all salad ingredients in a bowl once the bacon and croutons have cooled.

Tips:

• There are quite a few different components to make a Caesar salad but the dressing can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge.

The croutons can also be baked ahead of time and stored in an airtight container.

• A Caesar salad definitely needs anchovies — otherwise it's not a Caesar. Don't be afraid of anchovies . Even if you don't put them in the salad, they need to be in the dressing — that's what makes it special. Anchovies give a different dimension to the salad.

If you don't like anchovies, buy a pre-made Caesar dressing . . . but it won't taste as good.

To Serve:

Once all ingredients are prepped, place the salad on the plate, add the salmon and squid ink linguini on top of that and then the mango salsa.

Bon apppetit!

Picture by Rebecca Leader