Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Sluttishly Savoury: Haggis, Pomegranate & Feta Winter Salad


WHAT THE WHAT NOW? That was my reaction when I went for dinner at super-lovely The Mustard Seed in Inverness recently, and saw a salad of haggis, feta cheese and pomegranate on the menu. I love haggis, of course I do, but for me it's always been gorgeously stodgy and served with neeps and tatties in the traditional style. Haggis in a salad? Haggis with feta? Haggis with POMEGRANATE?! I had to try this flavour combo at once.

Reader, I was not disappointed. I talked about this starter all night, which was probably a bit annoying for the people I went to the theatre with afterwards. I knew I had to try to recreate the dish myself at home.

My recipe is most definitely inspired by the original, in that it uses the same three main ingredients, but I have made up my own little dressing to go with it, as I thought mint and orange were the perfect complement to the sweet-savoury thing going on in the rest of the dish. The restaurant went with a Dijon mustard sauce, which would be equally delicious here. Hell, you could even add a little whisky to that sauce. Hic.

I fashioned my haggis into haggis balls (tee-hee), mainly to make it look pretty, but also to give Mama B the opportunity to exclaim - as she is wont to do - "The POOR haggis!". I trust she is doing that right now. You don't need to make yours into balls if you don't want - if you'd rather skip that step, I'd suggest altering the order of the recipe below so that you cook the haggis just before serving, and skip the frying part (I like a crispy exterior, and frying the balls achieves that, but it's not a deal-breaker by any means!).

Haggis, Pomegranate & Feta Winter Salad (serves 4 as lunch or 4-6 as a starter)
You will need:
  • 450g haggis
  • A glug of olive oil for frying
  • 150g rocket leaves
  • The seeds of one pomegranate, pith removed
  • 130g feta cheese, crumbled
  • Salt and pepper to taste
For the dressing:
  • A large handful of fresh mint, finely chopped
  • The juice and pulp of one large orange
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Make it! 
  1. Cook the haggis as per the packet instructions. For heaven's sake, microwave it. Who can be bothered with 90 minutes in the oven or 45 minutes on the stove? Not I. Microwaving it takes 5 minutes tops. Just remember to remove the metal clips or KAPOW BOOM WHOOSH EEK will happen quite rapidly. 
  2. Set the haggis aside - with whatever covering you have over it for the cooking stage removed - to cool for a few minutes. 
  3. Meanwhile, make the dressing by combining the mint, orange juice and pulp, garlic and oil and mixing well. Season to taste, but do remember the haggis and feta are both salty.
  4. Heat a little oil in a frying pan, and use a melon baller - or your hands - to form small balls of haggis. Fry these very quickly to get a crunchy exterior, and place on a wad of kitchen roll to absorb the excess oil.
  5. Assemble your salad - rocket, pomegranate and feta - then add the warm haggis balls. Drizzle the dressing, and add a little salt and pepper if needed (unlikely, but taste it and see!).
And that's it - haggis has been elevated to Gourmet Ingredient Status. May I be so bold as to suggest you partake of this dish on St. Andrew's Day on November 30th? It'll be sure to convert even the most haggis-sceptical of dinner guests!

4 comments:

  1. This looks delicious. I'm going to make it for St. Andrew's Day.

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  2. The Mustard Seed is my favourite restaurant! An Invernessian here... But sadly one who doesn't like Haggis. Maybe with veggie haggis...?

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    Replies
    1. It's so nice there - do you like The Kitchen too, Mary? I was born and raised in Elgin, so Inverness was my nearest fun and exciting city when I was growing up! And yes - definitely give it a go with veggie haggis, if you like it. Sometimes I prefer veggie haggis to the real thing, even as a staunch meat eater/haggis lover!

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