Calves' offal salad with gherkins and horseradish

Serves 4 as main course

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Indy Lifestyle Online

You can drop the quantities of this and serve it as a starter course if you wish. I've used a selection of heart, kidney and some testicles, or rognons blancs as they call them in France, and some sweetbreads. You can use either, or even use some calves' liver, up to you.

I don't normally use gherkins in a salad like this but they work really well here, giving a nice acidic bite on the odd mouthful of leaves.

2 rognons blancs (testicles) or 120-150g sweetbreads
150g veal kidney, cut into 2cm nuggets and any sinew removed
1 veal heart, quartered and any sinew removed
Vegetable or corn oil for frying
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Flour for dusting
1 small egg, beaten
30g fresh white breadcrumbs
A couple of handfuls of small salad leaves and herbs, washed and dried
2 large gherkins, thinly sliced lengthways
1tbsp freshly grated horseradish

For the dressing

1tbsp sherry vinegar
4tbsp walnut or hazelnut oil
1tsp caster sugar

Put the testicles or sweetbreads in a pan of salted water, bring to the boil and simmer gently for 2-3 minutes, then leave to cool. Once cool enough to handle, dry off with some kitchen paper and remove the membrane and any fat.

Have 3 dishes ready: one with seasoned flour, one with beaten egg and the third with the breadcrumbs. Cut the testicles or sweetbreads into cm-thick slices and coat them first in flour, dusting off the excess, then through the egg, and finally the breadcrumbs.

Heat a little vegetable oil in a frying pan and fry them for a couple of minutes on each side until crisp, drain on some kitchen paper and keep warm. Wipe out the pan, season the kidney and heart, heat some more oil and fry them on a medium heat for 2-3 minutes on each side, keeping them pink.

To serve, whisk the sherry vinegar, walnut oil and sugar together and season. Toss the leaves and gherkin in the dressing and arrange on serving plates. Slice the heart and kidney and arrange in among the leaves with the testicles or sweetbreads and scatter the horseradish over.