I can’t believe we are half way through 6 months of cooking Ottolenghi, we’ve done greens & yellow & this week we have moved on to painting the town red with Ottolenghi over at IHCC. Kind of appropriate as I spent last weekend painting Wellington red & this week painting Auckland red with a cooking class celebrating African flavours at Cook the Books, rocking it out the Manic Street Preachers, a little Wacky White Wine tasting at Soul & a wonderful Balinese feast at Supper Club!
What a wonderful weekend in Wellington, food, fun, cocktails, Warhol, shopping & friend filled. Good times & more on them soon once I have actually recovered from all the painting of the town red. Suffice to say a little healthy living in order post a wonderful weekend & week full of delicious indulgences.
Do beets count as red or would you call them more magenta or cerise? Well for this week I am going with red as this little salad caught my eye. That & beets appearing in the veggie box. It looked pretty as a picture & another new flavour combination to try.
Spicy Beetroot, Leek and Walnut Salad from Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem - IHCC
I made just a couple of changes, well not really changes but I didn’t have tamarind water or walnut oil so I just left them out.
4 medium beetroot
4 medium leeks, cut into 10cm/ 4 inch segments
15g coriander, coarsely chopped
50g pomegranate seeds (optional)
100g walnuts, coarsely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
60ml cup cider vinegar
2 tbsp tamarind water
1/2 tsp walnut oil
2 1/2 tbsp groundnut oil
1 tsp salt
Pre heat oven to 220C /425F
Wrap the beets individually in tin foil and roast them in the oven for 60-90 minutes, depending on their size. Once cooked, you should be able to stick a small knife through to the center easily. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Once cool enough to handle, peel the beets & cut them in to wedges. Put in a medium bowl and set aside.
Place the leeks in a medium pan with salted water, bring to a boil & simmer for 10 minutes, until just cooked. Cook them gently & don’t over cook them otherwise they will fall apart. Drain & refresh under cold water, then cut each segment into 3 smaller pieces & pat dry. Transfer to a bowl, separate from the beetroot & set aside.
While the vegetables are cooking, mix together all the dressing ingredients together & leave for at least 10 minutes to allow all the flavors to come together.
Divide the walnut dressing & the coriander equally between the beets & the leeks & toss gently together. Taste both & season with a little more salt if need be.
To assemble the salad, place most of the beetroot on a serving platter, top with some rocket, then most of the leeks, then the remaining beetroot, & finish with more leeks & rocket. Sprinkle over the pomegranate seeds, if using, and serve immediately.
This is a tasty little salad. Sweet, earthy beetroot, the walnuts nutty & a little creamy, the leeks mildly onion like & just a whisper of heat from the chilli.