Sautéed Carrot, Apple and Fennel Salad

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Occasionally, one can just glide into the kitchen and stumble upon such a charming assortment of produce, that can make lunch look as effortless as throwing a ball into the air. Today just happened to be one of those days, and as someone who is fundamentally uncoordinated, such seamless moments are always relished with gusto. This is one of my all time favourite salad composites. Clear and light and fresh. It’s dainty enough for breakfast and robust enough for lunch. There’s nothing tricky going on here, this is a meal as unfussy as wearing cotton socks to bed. Nothing fancy whatsoever, just a few very beautiful ingredients, with a bright splash of lemon and a runny egg.

Sauteed Carrot, Apple and Fennel Salad
(serves two, just multiply or divide to suit)

Two eggs
Half a fennel bulb, finely sliced with a mandolin
Four radishes, finely sliced with a mandolin
Half a green apple, finely sliced with a mandolin
Five dutch carrots, sliced finely lengthways
A little olive oil
Sea salt and cracked black pepper

Lemon mustard vinaigrette
Juice of one lemon
Four tablespoons of olive oil
One tablespoon of wholegrain mustard
Sea salt and black pepper

Don’t cut the apple until the end, lest it go brown. Instead start by making the lemon mustard vinaigrette by whisking all ingredients in a small bowl with a fork, and seasoning with the salt and pepper. Drizzle a little olive oil in a small frying pan. Lightly saute the carrots in some salt and pepper for a few minutes. They should be slightly softened, a little scorched but still have a bit of crunch to them. Meanwhile, boil the eggs. I use very large eggs, which – for medium to hard boiled – demand a precision six minutes and forty four seconds in simmering water.
Toss the sliced – almost shaved – radish, fennel and apple in a bowl with the dressing. Add the carrots. Divide between plates. Top each with an egg, and a good dusting of pepper and salt.

This is also marvelous with a bit of shaved Parmesan on top

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