Wednesday 25 April 2012

Gingered Beet and Fennel Salad

From Red Hot and Green, Janet Hazen, Chronicle Books, 1996.

It is some time since I have tried a recipe from this cookbook. I have found that sometimes they work and sometimes they just miss out a little from what they should be. However, the contents of the book are different from those you find in many books so it is worth going back to it every now and again to see what I might have missed. The recipes all centre around different heating elements: ginger, mustard, peppercorns, horseradish and chillies.

This salad sounded as though it might appeal; it contained beetroot and fennel, both of which I am fond of. The heating element was ginger.

The beetroot was cooked by boiling it until it was tender. It was then left to cool and peeled and cut into thin wedges.

The dressing, prepared next, was based on fresh orange juice, always a good companion for beetroot. This was mixed with a little vinegar, oil, some ground coriander, and fresh ginger cut into thin slivers.

Watercress was placed on a plate. The beetroot wedges were arranged on top. Over this went the fennel, cut into thin slices. The dressing was drizzled over the salad and some toasted, chopped almonds scattered over the top.

This was a successful recipe. The salad looked great and tasted pretty good too. The fennel gave a goodly crunch that went well with the tender, juicy beetroot. I felt there was a little bit more pepper from the watercress than the ginger which seemed to be lost in the salad, perhaps because I had cut back a little on the quantity suggested in the recipe.

Taste: ✔✔✔
Ease of cooking: ✔✔✔✔

As some of these books may be out of print if anyone would like a particular recipe, email me ( and I’ll send an abbreviated version. Of course, the whole book would be better; it’s loaded with other goodies.

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