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Corsican Charcuterie Plate (Salade Terre et Mer)

Typical of my husband’s island of Corsica is a plate of charcuterie. Inspired from a Corsican restaurant, enjoy a simple starter version of a Corsican charcuterie plate – an elegant ‘Terre et Mer‘ Salad.

It’s where land meets sea with smoked salmon, charcuterie and a little green salad with apple and beetroot. Made in under 30 minutes.

terre mer salad

It’s like my Corsican and me – a delicious marriage meeting Corsica with Scotland!

A Taste of Corsica

Visiting family around Calvi, on the west coast of Corsica, it’s typical to see a wild and dramatic coastline.

Genoese Towers dotted along Corsica’s dramatic coastline almost echo cries from the past from distant tower-keepers, warning of pirates or invaders to claim the Island of Beauty.

Windy walks along the ragged coast of Punta di Spanu is not just invigorating. Its air is also filled with the heady aromas of the maquis.

Calvi Corsica Ship on coastline

What is the Corsican Maquis?

The Corsican maquis, or undergrowth, is a heady mix of wild herbs: rosemary, thyme, myrtle, wild cistus, laburnum, sage, mint and curry plants.

Such an intoxicating mixture of salty, smoky, spicy perfumes come together as a herbal, almost gingerbread-like smell around the island. Honestly, it’s so particular to Corsica, I wish I could bottle its unique fragrance.

Corsican-maquis-wild-herbs

Corsica’s Cuisine

Just 15 minutes by car inland and you’re already in the often snow-capped mountains. Donkeys and goats graze on the higher maquis-floored slopes. Life is at a completely different pace to Parisian life.

With so much coastline you’d think that Corsican cuisine is centred around fish. Conversely, it’s more about the land – with slow-cooked family dishes like veal and pepper stew.

It’s also rich in its ewe’s milk or goat cheese, with its most famous being brocciu. A bit like ricotta, this is the main ingredient of its most famous dish, Cannelloni au Brocciu. This is more than any ricotta and spinach dish with its typical herbs, echoing the land. Also much like the simple Mint Omelette my Corsican mother-in-law makes often. Likewise, try its most popular dessert, the fiadone Corsican cheesecake. Moreover, don’t ever leave the island without trying some beignets au brocciu – either salted or sweet, found in the best bakeries.

What is Typically on a Charcuterie Plate in Corsica?

It’s a land where Corsican charcuterie is king and any mountain walk (notably the GR20) will finish with a huge board of charcuterie to share. It’s typically simple as the emphasis is on the cured meats – and there are plenty of varieties to choose from:

  • Lonzu – salted tenderloin and less fatty, as it’s the leanest cut of cured ham with almost a sweet, nutty taste;
  • Coppa – dark crimson coloured, this is made with pork loin and has fat marbled through the muscle. Perhaps the most popular of Corsican meats and easier to find around France;
  • Figatellu –  unlike the others, never eaten raw but cooked or bbq. U-shaped and almost black, this sausage made of liver and minced pork meat is particularly strong in flavour;
  • Prisuttu – much milder than above, this cured meat is also dark and salted with sea salt.

Each platter is based around these above cured meats (see Corsican charcuterie for more detail) with a little cheese (they are so strong, a little goes a long way!) plus a pot of typical Corsican fig jam to put out the cheese and figatellu fires!

plate of Corsican charcuterie

Inspiration for Land & Sea Salad

This starter recipe got its inspiration from the restaurant, U Fanale in Calvi. The chef, Philippe Gouret delights visitors with a surprise Corsican starter salad of terre et mer, where land meets sea. At first glance, it seemed a strange combination with smoked salmon and smoked charcuterie on the same plate. However, just try them together. It works!

land and sea salad with macaron

How to Make a Simple Charcuterie Plate with Salmon

Serve the smoked salmon (or smoked trout) with thin slices of your favourite charcuterie or cured meat.  Add some lamb’s lettuce (salade de mâche) or watercress (cresson) and julienne strips of chiogga beetroot (marinated in olive oil and Xeres vinegar), like the chef prepared;

I added some finely chopped Granny Smith apple marinated in lemon juice for that extra personal touch, although this will be fabulous served with fresh figs in season.

Plus, adding a beetroot and horseradish macaron takes it to the next level! Macaron recipe in my book, Mad About Macarons – there’s a whole chapter on savoury macarons.

terre mer salad

Corsican Charcuterie Plate with Salmon (Salade Terre et Mer)

Author: Jill Colonna
Prep Time15 mins
Marinating time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course : Appetizer, Starter, Light Lunch
Cuisine : French, Corsican
Keyword : land sea, meat and fish, protein salads, charcuterie plate
Servings : 4 people

Description

Typical of my husband's island of Corsica is the charcuterie plate. This simple starter version of a Corsican charcuterie plate - an elegant 'Terre et Mer' Salad - is where land meets sea with smoked salmon (or trout), cured hams and a little green salad with apple and beetroot.

Ingredients

  • 8-12 thin slices charcuterie* (see notes) (Lonzo, Coppa, or other cured ham)
  • 8 slices smoked salmon (or smoked trout)
  • 1 tart apple (Granny Smith, Ariane) chopped finely
  • 1/2 lemon, juice only (or lime)
  • 1 chiogga beetroot chopped finely in strips
  • 3 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
  • 1 tbsp Xeres wine vinegar (or white balsamic)
  • Lettuce of your choice (lamb's lettuce or watercress)
  • 8 radishes halved (optional for decor)

Instructions

  • Marinade the apple slices immediately in the lemon/lime juice.
    Prepare the vinaigrette of olive oil and vinegar, whisking together. In another bowl, marinade the raw thin beetroot slices in a tablespoon of it.
  • Prepare the plates with charcuterie slices on one side, smoked salmon on the other side and in the middle, place the lettuce leaves and top with vinaigrette, fleur de sel salt, a few turns of the peppermill, plus the beetroot and apple slices at the last minute.

Notes

Serve either 2-3 slices of charcuterie and salmon each per person, according to taste. Top with fresh herbs of your choice and serve with either a crusty baguette, oatcakes or a mini beetroot and horseradish savoury macaron (recipe in my first book, Mad About Macarons)

This recipe was first published 9 November 2012 but has now been completely updated.

From the market

From the kitchen

28 responses to “Corsican Charcuterie Plate (Salade Terre et Mer)”

  1. Voici de bien belles photos de notre région .L’assiette européenne me plait pas mal aussi ,Je trouverai bien ma place entre le saumon d’Ecosse , la charcuterie Corse et ce petit Macaron parisien à la couleur ensorceleuse !!!

    Super Grosses Bises à vous 4 !!!

  2. You come up with some crazy Macaron recipe Jill, Love it!

    Ah la Corse,… my mum has been bugging us to go there, somehow we have never reached there, but they were planning to take the ferry one summer. Its not that far after all. It has its charm no? I always imagine how napoleon grew up there and then I wonder how that fella managed to reach so far in his life. Maybe the earth and air is different there. ^.^

    I firmly beieve columbus was Italian. Basta! 😉

    • Thanks, Helene. Ah Napoleon. Yes, he did well coming from a wee island. 🙂
      Hope you manage to get to Corsica. I’ve always wanted to take the ferry but we take the plane from Paris as it’s far quicker. The affect of the maquis on first air contact is impressive!

  3. Oh Jill, you’ve cptured Corsica beautifully, and in turn Corsica was a gracious host to this wonderful travelogue. Montemaggiore looks like heaven on earth, but no more so than your rendition of the salmon and charcuterie—in particular the gorgeous colors of the mac and the beetroot against the proteins. Brava!

  4. Everything’s here for a Corsican delight, there, or at home. The light from these photos is amazing! Thanks for brightening up my day when the weather isn’t great here in Paris. We all need a cure of this! 🙂

    • Why not? Although I do have a garden herb macaron recipe in the Mad Macs chapter… 😉 (just saying…)

  5. I love vacation photos from all over the world – and this is my first time seeing pictures of Corsica! Sounds like you had a fantastic time there. 🙂 I always love your savory and creative macarons!

    • Thanks, Nami. Have so many more photos to share but didn’t want to bore anyone with vacation shots!

  6. You are mac-tastic my friend. I am so jealous of your life travelling around such beautiful places. If I sent you photos of where I drive here you’d be horrified. The concrete jungle. It makes me sad. I love the recipe with the mac right there. So cool. I need to try making macarons. I still have never given it a whirl. They intimidate me.

    • Oh Kim, you need to come over here! You intimidated by a cookie? Go on. Just do it! You’d go crazy over these macarons. I know you would… I dare you!

  7. Breathtaking photos: as always…

    It sums up Corsica perfectly; and the salmon and charcuterie looks like a very interesting alliance!

    The savoury macaron looks simply divine… (Predictable from the queen of macarons 😉 )
    Count on me to try that cutie at home!

    • Thanks but well, I don’t know if I’ve really summed up Corsica. I would take up too much space if I had to talk about it properly. A manuscript has already been started on it with some funny stories to share…

  8. I love Corsica and your post took me right back there, to the beach and the hiking and the wild scent of maquis teased out by the relentless sun. I fell in love with lomo on that holiday — and now I can’t wait to try it with smoked salmon!

    • Lomo would be excellent too, Ann. Maquis teased out by the relentless sun – love it! Let me know how you like the melange.

  9. This could be a main for me. I want to try marrying salmon and charcuteries. Topping it all with a beet macaron is like the icing on the cake for me. Now, lead me to the nearest deli!

    • You’d love it, Thomasina. I was bowled over something so simple yet surprisingly fabulous. Just go easy on the Charcuterie, as it does make you thirsty, especially if you’re making it as a main dish.

  10. I don’t think I could ever leave if I started cooking there. I’ve never made (yet) a savoury macaron but I’m working up to it. 🙂

  11. What a superb starter! And how your savory mac is the perfect finishing touch! Looks like I have to come back to France…so much more to see 🙂 Your photos are marvelous!

  12. Lovely post! I think you should absolutely hi-jack that shop 🙂 What an ideal place to make macarons…and imagine all the delicious inspiration you’d get from the herb party just 15 minutes away!

    • You know, Carsley – it sure is a ‘herb party’ just by rubbing these wild herbs in my fingers the fragrance lingered for a couple of days! (yes I even washed my hands..)

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