Smoked Eel Salad - Grant Allen

"All cooks face the challenge of providing food that covers off restricted diets, for caterers this can be a bit of a nightmare. Inevitably there will be gluten free, dairy free or coeliac guests, vegetarians and vegans abound and that back up packet of rice crackers won’t really cut it if you are trying to present something interesting.
These days I try to keep most of my offers “universal “ to avoid having to create specific treats for particular diets or having the host embarrassed about the lack of choice for all guests.
As many canapés are bread based , it was a lucky find to come across The Larder Project at the night market .
The bread is tasty, textured and easy to cook and cut - it doesn’t crumble apart and thats most important for small bases .
I baked the loaf in a cake tin, I wanted a thin finger cut to serve with the eel in place of putting it on a crostini or cracker."

Smoked Eel
Larder Project Bread cut to size
Watercress , picked over and stems removed
Lemon zest + juice
Salt + pepper
Baby watercress to garnish .

Shred the smoked eel by hand, pulling it apart into small slivers

Process the watercress, mayonnaise and lemon zest in a blender till smooth .

Taste and season, add some lemon juice but not too much, the watercress mayonnaise needs to be firm enough to bind the eel .

Fold through the shredded smoked eel .

Pile a tablespoon full on a small plate, add the bread finger and scatter some baby watercress to garnish.

Grant Allen is an established chef, caterer and food stylist. Follow him on instagram or check out his website