Spring salad with sesame oil and shallot dressing

Serves 4-6

Preparation time overnight

Cooking time 10 to 30 mins

A nutty salad that will go well with any oriental main meat or vegetable dish.Ingredients
For the caramelised pecans:
225g/8oz pecans, shelled
110g/4oz sugar
450ml/15fl oz oil, preferably groundnut
For the salad:
350g/12oz tender salad greens
3 tbsp shallots, finely chopped and squeezed dried
2 tbsp Chinese or Japanese white rice vinegar
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp oil, preferably groundnut
Method
1. Make the pecans: bring a pot of water to the boil. Add the pecans and cook for
about 5 minutes to blanch them. Drain the nuts in a sieve, and pat dry with kitchen paper and spread them on a baking tray.
2. Let the pecans dry for 40 minutes, then sprinkle the sugar over the pecans and roll them around in the sugar to cover them completely. Place the tray of sugared pecans in a cool drafty place. Let them dry overnight. (The recipe can be done ahead to this point.)
3. Heat a wok or large frying-pan over high heat until it is hot. Add
the oil, and when it is hot, turn the heat to medium and deep-fry a batch
of the pecans for about 2 minutes or until the sugar melts and the pecans
turn golden. (Watch the heat to prevent burning.)
4. Remove the pecans from the oil with a slotted spoon or strainer. Lay them on a cake rack to cool. (Do not drain them on kitchen paper as the sugar will stick when it dries.) Repeat until all are done.
5.The caramel pecans can be kept in a sealed glass jar for about 2 weeks.
6. Wash and thoroughly spin dry the salad greens. In a large salad
bowl, combine the shallots with the vinegar, salt and pepper. Slowly beat
in the sesame and groundnut oil. Add the greens and toss thoroughly. Add the pecans, mix and serve at once.

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