From Salades, Damien Pignolet, Lantern, 2010.
The last time I used this book it was for a fruit salad of papaya, blood orange and strawberries. This was a great success so I’m back now into the vegetable salads. There’s heaps to choose from in this elegant book.
For this particular salad there was a reasonable amount of pre-cooking before it could be put together. The beetroot had to be boiled (I used normal beetroot as I could not find babies). The broad beans had to be boiled and then skinned. A slow process but the resulting beans look wonderfully green. The onions had to be boiled. The walnuts had to be fried to gain a little colour.
The other ingredients were prepared without cooking first. The celeriac was cut into julienne. The dressing ingredients (walnut oil, crème fraiche, garlic and cider vinegar) were whipped into a creamy mixture.
The salad was put together in stages. The celeriac, beans and walnuts were dressed and put onto the plates. The onions were then dressed and put on the plate. Lastly came the beetroot so they did not colour the rest of the salad. They were dressed and placed into position and some frisée leaves added. The remaining dressing was poured over.
It was a bit on the fiddly side with all the elements having to be handled separately but it turned out to be a salad that was worth all the work. The creamy dressing worked well with the ingredients. There was a good element of crunch with the celeriac and walnuts. The sweetness of the beetroot was a nice contrast for the onions and broad beans.
Ease of cooking: ✔✔✔