Sunday 3 February 2013

Spicy Beetroot, Leek and Walnut Salad

From Jerusalem, Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, Ebury Press, 2012.

A new Yotam Ottolenghi recipe book! I could not resist it despite the fact that it is not just a vegetarian cookbook though it does have many recipes that are vegetarian. His recipes always seem to work and have heaps of flavour. This new book centres around the cuisine of the various peoples that live in Jerusalem and concentrates on trying to present authentic dishes, though with the occasional modification.

I needed a salad to go with a potato and leek pie so chose this recipe which also featured leek.

Firstly I wrapped some beetroot in foil and baked them in the oven until they were done.

Leek was cut into 10cm lengths and simmered gently in a little water for about 10 minutes. They then went under cold running water to stop the cooking process, after which they were left to dry.

A dressing was made of chopped walnuts, a chopped garlic clove, some chilli flakes, cider vinegar, a little walnut oil, salt and olive oil. It called for tamarind water also but after mixing it all and tasting it I was pleased with how it was without. The dressing was left to infuse.

The beetroot was cut into wedges and placed in one bowl. The leek lengths were cut into three and placed in another bowl. The dressing was divided and mixed with the contents of the two bowls. Coriander was chopped and added to both bowls.

At serving time half the beetroot was placed on the plate, followed by some rocket leaves, then half the leek. This was repeated. Finally pomegranate seeds were sprinkled over.

Apart from the leek, this was a very enjoyable salad. Made to use the leek, it was the leek that was disliked and, after a couple of attempts to eat it, was taken off the plate and rejected. It was a little overpowering but, more than that, stringy and unpleasant to eat.

Taste: ✔✔✔
Ease of cooking: ✔✔✔✔

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