This salad is a rough imitation of a dish served at Perotta’s at the Gallery in Cairns, Northern Queensland. If you happen be in the area, go and try the real thing. But, if like me, you can only dream of this taste sensation, you can always make my version. Which is not too shabby.
Rocket leaves, a handful per person
Popcorn, popped (yes, popcorn, in salad, for dinner!), a handful per person
¼ pumpkin, cubed and roasted at 180c for about 20 mins/until golden
½ pomegranate, seeded
1 lime, juiced
½ – 1 tsp palm sugar
1 tsp caster sugar
¼ tsp salt
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp peanut oil
2 – 4 squid tubes, cut into 2cm squares (about one per person is a good gauge)
⅓ cup rice flour
2 tbsp salt
1 – 2 tbsp chilli flakes
oil for frying
Make the dressing by mixing to combine. Adjust the acid vs sweet to your liking.
Combine the flour, salt and chilli flakes in a bowl or bag to make the squid dusting flour. Toss the squid pieces in the flour mix to coat then fry them in oil. I used about half a cup of oil in a fry pan to shallow fry them, turning them over halfway through. They only need about 2 minutes in the hot oil. Set aside on paper towel once golden.
Toss the rocket leaves with some dressing to coat.
Either toss the remaining salad ingredients (minus the popcorn as you don’t want it soggy) with the rocket and dressing, OR, plate the items individually and sprinkle some dressing over at the end. (I do the latter because the pumpkin can fall apart easily)
Top with squid and some extra pomegranate seeds.