BEET, FENNEL AND RADISH SALAD
by Diana Henry
This is great with salmon, trout, or mackerel (both fresh and smoked), or with a hunk of cheese (goat cheese works well). I even like it the next day, when the salad is soft and stained with beet juice.
For The Dressing
• 1/2 tsp wholegrain mustard
• 1 tsp honey
• salt and pepper
• 2½ tsp cider vinegar
• 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
• 1/2 globe of preserved ginger, very finely chopped, plus 1 tsp syrup (available online or in Asian markets)
• 1 garlic clove, crushed
• 1 fresh small red chile (not too hot), seeded and finely shredded
For The Salad
• 10 radishes, trimmed
• 1 fennel bulb
• lemon juice
• 1/2 red onion
• 1/2 green apple
• 2-3 small raw beets
• handful of fresh mint leaves, chopped
1. To make the dressing, put the mustard, honey, salt, pepper, and vinegar into a small pitcher or cup and, using a fork, whisk in the olive oil in a steady stream. Add all the other ingredients.
2. Slice the radishes thinly, lengthwise, to get teardrop-shaped slices and toss in a bowl.
3. Halve and quarter the fennel and trim the tops (discard the dried-out tips, but reserve the tufty fronds for tossing with the salad). Core each quarter. Using a very sharp knife, cut into wafer-thin slices, lengthwise. Add to the bowl and squeeze on some lemon juice to keep the fennel from discoloring.
4. Cut the onion so thinly that it's almost shaved. Halve the apple and remove the core. Cut each piece into matchstick-like lengths. Add these to the bowl, too, and toss in more lemon juice. Peel the beets and, using a mandolin or a very fine, sharp knife, cut the flesh into wafer-thin slices. Toss these into the bowl, too, along with the mint. Add any fennel fronds. Pour on the dressing, toss, and serve.
Indian spiced carrot and beets salad This is the most spectacular color. It's worth making for that alone but its sweetness is lovely against the starchiness of hummus or the subtlety of sliced avocado. It's good, too, with spicy roast chicken. Peel 1 carrot and 1 small beet and grate coarsely into a bowl. Add 1 tsp ground cumin, a drop of hot pepper sauce, 2 tbsp canola oil, 1 tsp red wine vinegar, a couple of good squeezes of lemon juice, 2 tbsp chopped blanched almonds, 1½ tsp sesame seeds, 1½ tsp pumpkin seeds, 1½ tbsp raisins, plumped up in boiling water and drained, and 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro. Mix carefully and check the seasoning.