From the Edible Jungle to Cafe Jungle this Spring - Salmon Carpaccio
26 March 2018 - by Niamh Mullally & Joe Enhari

Propagation Manager Niamh Mullally and Cafe Manager Joe Enhari have been working tirelessly on new dishes for the menu, utilising all of the fresh, spring produce from the Edible Jungle. This month's showstopper is Salmon Carpaccio with home-grown Castlefranco, and pickled blood orange and fennel. Follow this beautiful new dish on its journey from the Edible Jungle to your plate...

salmon carpaccio cafe jungle

Salmon Carpaccio with pickled blood orange and fennel, and Castlefranco all homegrown in the Edible Jungle


Niamh and propagation team edible jungle

Niamh and the propagation team at the Edible Jungle

From The Edible Jungle...

Propagation Manager, Niamh Mullally explains...

"Castlefranco radicchio is an invaluable winter crop with an interesting past. It dates back to the 18th century and got its nick name of 'Orchid lettuce' after a noble woman from Castelfranco, Northern Italy, wore a mature, freshly-harvested-head on her evening gown. A cross between a Trevino radicchio and an endive, it was so beautiful,the locals thought it was an exotic flower.

The flavour is subsequently milder than other winter radicchios. It’s a favourite of mine and incredibly easy to grow. The mature heads featured in new Cafe dish were sown in seed trays in August and transplanted in October. It’s not fussy, happy in semi-shade or full sun which is helpful, as these were used as under-planting between taller crops such as kale and chard in the Edible Jungle.

Castlefranco raddicio

Castlefranco raddiccio

A handy tip is to wait for the seedlings to take on a tinge of pink to the leaves, as this means they are starting to develop the more bitter taste of radicchio which is repellent to slugs.

Fennel

Fennel

The fennel being pickled by Cafe Manager Joe was grown inside the ‘Edible Jungle’ polytunnel over the winter months. Autumn sown, bulking fennel is my preference for this crop as it has a tendency to bolt in the summer months. Fennel is pretty straightforward to grow as long as you handle the transplanting with care - they hate root disturbance. Position in full sun and keep weed free."

Pea shoots

Pea shoots

Niamh has grown the above pea shoots inside the polytunnel, in a container without light. This method produces long tender pale stems that resemble bean sprouts but actually have a delicious strong pea flavour. A real delicacy and a favourite with every Chef.

To Cafe Jungle...

Joe Enhari Cafe Manager

Cafe Manager Joe with his new dish...

Café Manager Joe talks us through his dish...

"I'm a big advocate of using antiquated 'cooking' methods, such as pickling, curing and fermenting. The health benefits of natural fermentation have been rigorously explored in recent years. As a bonus it also reduces food waste, and allows us to eat 'out of season' in a responsible fashion.

My inspiration for the dish happened all at once when Niamh arrived, beaming, with the first crop of our produce. As luck would have it blood oranges are in season too. Fennel and citrus is like Rock and Roll. Salmon came to mind instantly. It's a fish with a bad rep' of late, the safe bet. Well, when cured with sumac and Suffolk sea salt it becomes a wonderfully textured, aromatic piece of fish. The home made buttermilk adds some acidity and helps with the rich salmon flavour. Finally the pea shoots and micro mustard bring tiny pops of fresh flavour, helping to balance the bold radicchio.

Joe Enhari Cafe Jungle menu 

The salmon sits on the plate with a sense of uniformity and purpose. The fennel and oranges have been fermenting for 12 days in a salt-brine, offering a wonderful umami tang to the crisp veggie. I tend to use the younger, brighter leaves of the Castlefranco and casually mingle them with the fennel, letting them fall onto the plate. The home made buttermilk and herbs complete the dish and give a pleasant aestheticism. It's rustic yet some-what refined and i'm enamoured with the complexity of colour and flavour.

salmon carpaccio cafe jungle

For me, this dish epitomises everything Niamh and I are trying to achieve for Café Jungle. Fresh, organically-grown produce, full of flavour and provenance, with zero food miles. The 'field-to-fork' collaboration sits proudly on the menu as a sign of things to come, a glimmer of spring and the bountiful harvests we'll be enjoying in the months ahead."

Notes on prep

  • Salmon - 2 day cure in Suffolk sea salt and summac
  • Fennel and orange, sliced thin, 12 days in a 4% brine
  • Radicchio, hand washed and dried, carefully selected.
  • Home made buttermilk with lemon and extra virgin olive oil

Cafe Jungle Suffolk is open for brunch from 10am everyday, serving lunches, light bites and cakes from Midday until 4pm. Cafe Jungle is opening every Saturday evening for dinner from 28th April. Book your table on 01502 559103. 

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