Everything…and I mean EVERYTHING in Plenty More by Yotam Ottolenghi looks amazing. The recipe that I’m sharing today, a crunchy root salad, was chosen for a few reasons.
#1 – It’ll kick butt on a holiday table.
#2 – despite all the snow, we still have some local root veggies available.
#3 – It’s not pictured in the book.
#3 is a strange one but it was kind of important. I know that the recipes without pictures aren’t usually attention grabbers, and this was no exception. The recipe is called “Crunchy Root Vegetables”, and while I love root vegetables and all, I needed a little more convincing here. Only after reading through the recipe a few times I began to realize how gorgeous and delicious this salad would turn out to be. I hope that sharing it here, with pictures, will get more people to make it, even those that already have the book.
What you’ll see here is a little bit different from the recipe in the cookbook. As usual, I didn’t have all of the ingredients because being organized when I shop for groceries is on my “needs improvement” list of personal skills. I made a couple of substitutions that I think worked pretty well and I want to encourage you not to be too diligent with following the recipe, but adapt it to use your favourite root veggies and herbs.
The salad features four different crunchy roots, shaved into thin matchsticks, tossed with herbs, chillies, almonds, and poppy seeds, then dressed with a basic vinaigrette. I swapped some of the root veggies that I didn’t have, used lemon juice vs. vinegar, raw honey vs. sugar, and extra-virgin olive oil vs. canola. So this is like the disorganized nutritionist version. The poppy seeds in this recipe are kind of genius so I encourage you to keep them in. It’s hard to explain why, but it’s just one of those Ottolenghi things that keep surprising me in the best possible way.
This recipe is adapted from Plenty More by Yotam Ottolenghi. I've made some substitutions and have slightly modified the recipe to reflect the ingredients I had available and my own style of cooking.
- 2.5 – 3 cups of mixed root vegetables (I used rutabaga, golden beet, parsley root, and turnip), cut into matchsticks
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 2 tsp. poppy seeds
- ~1 cup picked cilantro leaves
- ~1 cup picked dill fronds
- 1 red chilli, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
- 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 1.5 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. salt + more to taste
- 1 tsp. raw honey
- Whisk all of the dressing ingredients, ensuring that the salt and honey dissolve.
- Combine dressing with the sliced roots, mix well, and set aside.
- Toast the almonds in a small pan for about a minute. Add poppy seeds and toast for another minute or so. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Just before serving, toss the dressed vegetables, nuts, and herbs. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Transfer to a serving plate and top with pomegranate seeds.
The success of my matchsticks depended on this mandoline . If you don’t have one, Ottolenghi suggests cutting the vegetables into fine strips roughly 2 inches long and paper thin.