Salad of white dandelion, rocket, smoked eel and horseradish

Serves 4
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Indy Lifestyle Online

I love the rich, sweet flavour of smoked eel. It works well with horseradish, whose peppery heat offsets that richness. The bitter, intense flavour of winter leaves works so well here.

200g/7oz smoked eel
1 small bunch of rocket
1 head of white dandelion
1 tbsp good-quality capers
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
The juice of half a lemon
50ml/2fl oz extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp freshly grated horseradish
160ml/51/2fl oz crème fraîche

Lay the eel on a board and gently run your hands over the fillet to locate any bones. Eels tend to have quite a lot, and they need to be removed. The easiest way is with tweezers. Once as many as possible have been removed, break the eel into one-inch pieces with your hands.

Wash the salad leaves and gently pat dry. Rinse the capers well and roughly chop. Place both in a bowl and season with salt, pepper, lemon juice and olive oil. Toss gently to coat the leaves. Fold the grated horseradish into the crème fraîche and season well with salt but no pepper. Stir.

To serve, arrange the eel on four plates. Top with the dressed salad and finish with a generous dollop of horseradish. Serve with a wedge of lemon for people to squeeze over the eel themselves.

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