My little cookbook library got extended by a few amazing recipe collections. Santa (or rather my Maltese mama Jenny) was so kind to leave a few gems under our tree: Nigel Slater‘s new The Kitchen Diaries III, Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi (finally!), Vegetarian India by Madhur Jaffrey, and the fantastic Anatolia by Somer Sivrioglu and David Dale. The latter blew me away! This book is gorgeous, the pictures are mouthwatering and the dishes inspired me as soon as I laid my eyes on the first page. I’ll definitely write about it again in the next few weeks, I already tried one of the recipes for a Turkish pizza and it was divine. Madhur is a new find for me, I haven’t had much time to thumb through the pages of her book but what I’ve seen so far looks promising. Nigel’s book is a cooking bible with 250 (!) recipes – and I’m already struggling with the amount of work I have with the 100 recipes in my book! I love his approach to creating recipes, the way he writes about them and the beautiful photos taken by Jonathan Lovekin who’s also been responsible for Nigel’s former kitchen diaries, which I’m equally obsessed with. I’m sure I’ll spend quite some time with this book in the next few years.
One of Nigel’s creations, which is the 248th recipe in the book, struck me right away: a gorgeous celeriac and blood orange salad sprinkled with nigella seeds and capers. I haven’t tried it yet – but I will soon – however, it made me think about celeriac salad. I like the addition of citrus, especially my beloved blood orange, but so far they haven’t been in sight at the market. Kumquats came to mind, caramelized and softened in sizzling honey, I used these sweet, sour, and bitter bites for my luscious Orange Blossom, Ricotta, Kumquat, and Pistachio Tartine last April. It was quite a beauty. For my salad of grated celeriac, I also added a creamy yet light yoghurt-cardamom dressing, and sprinkled it with walnuts. Some honey drizzled on top to enhance the sweetness and my first winter salad of 2016 was born. Thank you Nigel!
If you’re not that fond of kumquats, you can replace them with orange fillets.
Celeriac Salad with Cardamom-Yoghurt, Caramelized Honey Kumquats, and Walnuts
For the dressing
yoghurt 200g / 2/3 cup
olive oil 2 tablespoons
freshly squeezed orange juice 1 tablespoon
ground cardamom 1/4 teaspoon
freshly grated orange zest 1/2 teaspoon plus 1 teaspoon for the topping
fine sea salt
For the salad
peeled celeriac, grated, 250g / 9 ounces
freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 tablespoon
runny honey 1 tablespoon plus 1-2 tablespoons for the topping
freshly squeezed orange juice 4 tablespoons
kumquats, cut in half lengthwise, 12
(or 12 orange fillets)
walnuts, 1 large handful
a few black peppercorns, crushed in a mortar
For the dressing, whisk together all the ingredients until smooth and season to taste with salt, pepper, cardamom and orange juice.
In a large bowl, mix the grated celeriac and lemon juice, using your fingers. Sprinkle with the dressing.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the honey in a small, heavy pan on high heat, add the kumquats and the orange juice and cook for about 2-4 minutes or until soft and caramelized, turn them once or twice and mind that they don’t burn. Take the pan off the heat and arrange the kumquats on top of the salad.
Sprinkle the salad with walnuts, crushed pepper, and additional orange zest, and drizzle with honey. Enjoy immediately or let it sit for a few hours. It won’t look as pretty anymore but tastes just as good.