Recipes

Nigella's three seasonal salads

Nigella's three seasonal salads Author: Style At Home

Recipes

Nigella's three seasonal salads

Christmas salad
It is predominantly the colour that makes me think of this as a Christmas salad. But then, the starring role played by the Christmas fruit—the pomegranate—would surely be justification enough. This is the salad I bring out time and time again at Christmastime, either to bring a little joy and colour to a quickly gathered together tableful of leftovers, as a side dish when the food really needs no more than a light accompaniment, or even as a starter, so people have something to pick at as I do a little last minute this-or-that.

At this time of year, given my pomegranate-predilection, my fridge is full of those packets of all-done-for-you seeds, and the amount here represents half what I'd expect to find in a packet. If you're going for the whole fruit, use the seeds from a whole pomegranate.

If the salad is a starter, I tend to throw in the red peppers; as a simple side dish it is elegant perfection without.

Ingredients

  • 2 heads red chicory
  • 1 large head radicchio or tardivo
  • 2 red peppers (optional)
  • seeds from 1 pomegranate, or 75g pomegranate seeds from a tub/packet
For the dressing:
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • juice of 1 clementine/satsuma
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 x 15ml tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


Directions
1 Tear the chicory and radicchio or tardivo into pieces into a salad bowl.

2 If you are using the red peppers, deseed them and cut into 2cm strips, and add to the salad.

3 Sprinkle some of the pomegranate seeds over, then whisk together the dressing ingredients to pour over the salad.

4 Toss everything together, then do a final sprinkling of pomegranate seeds over the top before serving.

Makes approximately 6 servings.

 

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Excerpted from Nigella Christmas: Food, Family, Friends, Festivities
with permission by Knopf Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Red salad
This is a fantastic fall-back not least because it’s a speedy, low-effort way to turn something as basic as cold meat or baked potato into a substantial supper. Indeed, you could fork a little best-quality drained, canned tuna straight in and be done. However, even as someone as far from the vegetarian end of the spectrum as could be, I am more than happy to have this, quite simply, as is.

Ingredients

  • 2 x 400g cans red kidney beans
  • 1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 4 teaspoons good-quality red wine vinegar
  • 250g cherry tomatoes
  • 2 x 15ml tablespoons extra virgin olive oil a few tablespoons finely chopped parsley (optional)


Directions
1 Drain and rinse the kidney beans in a colander to get rid of the dark sludge from the tins, then rinse again and put into a serving bowl or dish.

2 Put the chopped onion into a small bowl and pour over the vinegar. Leave to macerate for at least 15 minutes and up to 2 hours.

3 Halve the cherry tomatoes and put them into the serving bowl.
Now tip in the macerated onions and toss through the beans and tomatoes.

4 Drizzle over the oil and toss again, sprinkling with some parsley if you want; I like the way its greenness brings out the red.

Tip: Make the salad, without adding the tomatoes, up to 1 day ahead. Cover and keep cool. Add the tomatoes and parsley (if using), about 1 hour before serving.


Makes 8 servings.

 

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Excerpted from Nigella Christmas: Food, Family, Friends, Festivities
with permission by Knopf Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

 

Chargrilled peppers with pomegranate

Ingredients 

  • 6 peppers (ideally a mix of red, orange and yellow, but never, ever, ever green; all red is fine though)
  • seeds from 2 pomegranates, or 150g
  • pomegranate seeds from a tub/packet
  • 2 x 15ml tablespoons fresh pomegranate juice
  • 2 teaspoons lime or lemon juice
  • 60ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 x 15ml tablespoon garlic oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Maldon salt or 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 3 x 15ml tablespoons drained capers


Directions
1 It was only a matter of time before I came back to the pomegranate. I am relaxed as to how you combine the peppers with the pomegranate. I often make this with frozen bags of chargrilled peppers, which I tip out, unthawed, onto a baking sheet and roast in a hot oven for about 20 minutes. These I often eat warm, with some olive oil and lemon juice (or freshly squeezed pomegranate juice mixed with lime) tossed through, along with a handful of pomegranate seeds. For my cold version I simply use chargrilled peppers from a jar, in place of the roasted packet ones.

2 Below is the method you'll need if you're chargrilling the peppers
yourself. It isn't difficult, just fiddly. Sometimes, I like an excuse to busy myself undemandingly in the kitchen. At other times, I unashamedly take the shortcuts above.

3 This salad is also good if you leave the peppers raw, just deseeded and cut into 1cm-wide strips, all juicy and crunchy, as are the pomegranate seeds, only the peppers are markedly sweeter.

4 If I know all parties will be agreeable, I make a dressing by blending or whisking 2 anchovy fillets with a tablespoonful of red wine vinegar and three of olive oil. Otherwise, the dressing below is perfect.

5 To turn this into a first course, simply add some crumbled feta or sharp goat's cheese. And whether I'm using raw, packet, jarred or home-charred peppers, I like to go for a mix of red, orange and yellow, to create an edible flame on the plate.

6 Preheat the oven to 250°C/gas mark 9.

7 Cut the peppers in half, remove the stalk and seeds, and sit them cut-side down on an oven tray or a couple of trays. Roast in the hot oven until they blister; about 15 minutes should do it.

8 Take out of the oven, and quickly tip the blackened peppers into a big bowl.

9 Cover the bowl tightly with clingfilm and leave the peppers to cool enough to handle.

10 Use your hands to peel off strips of charred skin (don't worry if some is left on) and, as you go, put torn strips of peppers into a serving dish.

11 When you've done all of them, add most of the pomegranate seeds to the peppers and toss well.

12 Whisk together the pomegranate and lime juices (or lemon juice, if using), the olive oil, garlic oil and salt. I often just put everything into an old mustard jar with a lid, and shake. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss gently but well.

13 Add the crocodile-green capers, the perfect salty counterpart to the juicy sweet red peppers, and toss again, taste for seasoning, then add a final scattering of rubied seeds.

Tip: Make the salad, without the capers, up to 1 day ahead. Cover and keep cool. When ready to serve, add the capers and toss again. Check the seasoning then scatter with extra pomegranate seeds.

Makes 8 servings.

 

BUY THIS BOOK
Excerpted from Nigella Christmas: Food, Family, Friends, Festivities with permission by Knopf Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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Recipes

Nigella's three seasonal salads