Sunday, October 27, 2013

Roasted Beetroot, Leek & Walnut Salad with Tamarind Dressing & Pomegranate

Roasted Beetroot, Leek & Walnut Salad 2

Here's a post that's short and sweet
It's all about the humble beet
At IHCC, it's potluck week
A chance for the beet to meet a leek.
At Tasting Jerusalem** this month we're all about tamarind ...
When teamed with beet and leek, it's a match made in heaven
It's sweet and sour tang makes this dressing sing
From the man who may be rightfully called the "salad king".
Another triumph from my favourite cook
Yotam Ottolenghi's Jerusalem, A Cookbook.

Roasted Beetroot, Leek & Walnut Salad 1

Ok, so I'm never going to win any prizes for my poetry.  But what I lack in literary skills, my favourite chef, Yotam Ottolenghi, more than makes up for with yet another winning salad.  This is, as is typical of so many of Ottolenghi's dishes, a triumph of tastes and textures and has become a regular in our household over the last few months.  The combination of earthy beetroot with sweet, delicate leeks, peppery rocket, and crunchy walnuts is great even before you douse it all in a bold, garlicky, tangy dressing and finish it off with pomegranate seeds that explode in your mouth with their tangy juice and crunch.  In the original recipe Ottolenghi describes the pomegranate seeds as being optional - I say if it is at all humanly possible for you to include them, then do so.  Their tangy, slightly sour flavour reinforces the sweet-sour tang of the tamarind in the dressing, and the extra texture they bring should not be overlooked, and if that's not enough to persuade you, just take a look ... don't they look like little jewels strewn all over your salad.  That jewel-like look seems to elevate such humble ingredients as beetroot and leeks into something quite special.

Cooks Tip:  Pomegranates are in season right now.  Buy three or four, remove all the seeds, spread them out on a baking sheet and pop in the freezer till frozen.  Remove sheet and put the seeds into a snaplock bag.  Return to the freezer.  You will have a supply of pomegranate seeds all year long - just take out a spoonful or two for a salad whenever you need them.

Roasted Beetroot, Leek & Walnut Salad 3

Roasted Beetroot, Leek & Walnut Salad
with Tamarind Dressing & Pomegranate Recipe
Adapted (slightly) from recipe by Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi
Serves 3-4 as a side, or 2 as a light meal
Click here for a printable copy of this recipe

3x medium beetroot
1x large leek
small handful fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped
large handful rocket leaves (arugula)
seeds from half a pomegranate
generous handful of toasted walnuts, roughly chopped

Dressing:
2x garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1-1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons tamarind concentrate
flaky sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 220 degrees C (425 degrees F).

Wrap each of the beetroot in tin foil and bake in the preheated oven until tender - about 60 minutes.  Remove from the oven, unwrap foil and leave to cool.  Peel, cut into wedges, and set aside in a medium sized bowl.

Wash leek and cut into pieces about 6cm (2-1/2 in) long.  Put into a small saucepan, cover with water and a generous pinch of sea salt, and bring to the boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until just tender, but not falling apart - about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat, drain and refresh under cold water.  Once cooled, cut each piece into 2 or 3 smaller pieces, and set aside in a small bowl.

To make the dressing, whisk all ingredients together until well combined, and set aside for 10 minutes for the flavours to fully develop.  Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.

Pour dressing over the beetroot and leeks in their separate bowls and toss until vegetables are well covered with the dressing (you want to keep them in the separate bowls until after they have been dressed so that the beetroot doesn't stain the leeks).

To assemble the salad, arrange half of the beetroot on a serving platter.  Top with some of the rocket, a sprinkling of the coriander and walnuts and all of the leeks.  Arrange the remaining beetroot over the top.  Sprinkle over the remaining rocket, coriander and walnuts, and finish with the pomegranate seeds.

Roasted Beetroot, Leek & Walnut Salad 4

If you would like to see what else my friends have cooked up for Potluck Week, then do go and visit I Heart Cooking Clubs and check out the links.

IHCC Potluck Badge

**Tasting Jerusalem is a virtual cooking community exploring the vibrant flavors and cuisine of the Middle East through the lens of Jerusalem: A Cookbook by Ottolenghi and Tamimi published by Ten Speed Press. You can follow along and cook with us by subscribing to omgyummy.com, following the hashtag #TastingJrslm on Twitter and Instagram, liking our Facebook page or joining our Google+ Community and finally checking out all of our groups’ dishes on Pinterest.

I'll also be sharing this post at See Ya In the Gumbo, hosted by the lovely Michelle at Ms. enPlace, at Weekend Cooking hosted by Beth at Beth Fish Reads, and at Food on Friday:Beetroot hosted by Carole at Carole's Chatter, at Foodie Friday hosted by Designs by Gollam, and at Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays hosted by my lovely friend Deb at Kahakai Kitchen.

See Ya in The Gumbo Badge         Weekend Cooking Badge          Foodie Friday Badge          Souper Sundays Badge

40 comments:

  1. OMG this looks awesome!! So pretty and I bet it tastes fantastic.

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    1. Thanks so much, Beth - yes it certainly does taste great.

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  2. This salad looks fabulous, what a beautiful combination of colors ! You are absolutely right about adding pomegranate into the salad... Wonderful explanation as well as the pictures. I drink beatroot & fruit mixed juice sometimes after meal, never tasted beatroot salad, not even know it can be roasted :)

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    1. Thanks for your kind comment. Beetroot is delicious in salads, especially roasted, and seems to cook a bit quicker that way too I think than boiling it. I like beetroot in juice too - I often make a mix of beetroot, carrot, celery, apple and orange.

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  3. I love the zing tamarind adds to a dish. I've had the recipe for this beautiful salad flagged for a while, just waiting for the right season (governed primarily by pomegranate availability), which is now.

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    1. Hope you give this salad a try, Zosia - I'm sure you'll enjoy it. This is definitely the time to get our hands on some pomegranates.

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  4. What a beautiful, gorgeous salad! It looks so fresh and makes me want to dig right in! The minute I saw the photo of your salad, I knew it is an Ottolenghi! Somehow each time I saw a pomegranate at the supermarket or anywhere, I would think of Ottolenghi! LOL!
    So fresh, vibrant and appetizing, as most his salads are!
    And hope you enjoy the edamame dip, it is so good!

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    1. Thanks, Joyce - you made me smile - yes, pomegranate does immediately conjure up thoughts of Ottolenghi doesn't it :-)
      Going to try the edamame dip on the weekend.

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  5. Nothing beats a good beat salad, especially with a twist of Ottolenghi thrown in :o)

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  6. This is such a bright, beautiful salad. I have to admit that I'm iffy about beets. Perhaps it's b/c I grew up on those canned ones? I should learn to live a little!

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    1. Thanks, Michelle. I can get how tinned beetroot might not be a great introduction to such a wonderful vegetable. I would definitely recommend trying fresh ones though - there is no comparison in taste, and roasting is a particularly nice way to enjoy them.

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  7. Replies
    1. Thanks so much, and thank you for stopping by.

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  8. I think your poetry is pretty good! ;-) This salad is so gorgeous--I love the bright colors and I agree, pomegranate seeds would be a must! ;-) Great Potluck pick.

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    1. Thanks, Deb - the pomegranate seeds are a definite must :-)

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  9. This salad is such a winner Sue….another of those Ottolenghi masterpieces 😊 Love the beets & the walnuts together 😊

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    1. You're right, Mairi - Ottolenghi is a genius. I agree, the beetroot and walnuts are great together.

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  10. Beautiful photos of a delicious-sounding salad and a great tip on pomegranites.

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    1. Thanks, Clare. Yes, the pomegranate tip is a definite keeper. They add a real little "something" to salads, both in looks and flavour, and they are here for such a short time that it is great to be able to actually enjoy them all year long.

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  11. This is def on the menu for me this week, yum

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  12. I thought you did just fine on your poetry. The salad looks delicious! I love beets and leeks!

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    1. Thanks so much and thanks for stopping by - I hope you'll visit again soon :-)

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  13. Sue - Just so you know, I am honestly impressed with your poetry skills! I could never write something so cute. I'm so happy to brought an Ottolenghi dish to the potluck. I think this looks like another happy marriage of flavors and texture and certainly a very colorful and happy salad!

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    1. Thanks, Kim - I think you are being much to kind about my poetry efforts though :-) I was so excited to have another chance to revisit Ottolenghi this week, and he certainly didn't disappoint.

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  14. What a beautiful salad. Look at all those colors.

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    1. Thank you - you're very kind. This definitely is a salad that delivers on every front though - taste, texture and looks.

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  15. Sue, I love your poem! And what a great tip on freezing pomegranate arils - I'm going to grab more while they're in season. This beet and leek salad has me drooling...I have to make it soon. A tamarind flavored dressing sounds so good!

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    1. Thanks, Hannah. The tamarind dressing was great - definitely one I would make again to use on anything that can stand up to bold, robust flavours. I need to grab a few more pomegranates too while they're still around.

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  16. This is one of my favorite salads. It's delicious, beautiful, and healthy to eat.

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    1. Thanks, Sarah - yes, it's all those things - I'm so pleased you like it.

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  17. I just pinned this. Lovely salad, lovely presentation.

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    1. Thanks, Madonna, and thanks for visiting - I hope you'll stop by again soon :-)

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  18. I loved your poem ;) And I think I love this salad too. This looks great!

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    1. Thanks, Cathleen - you're very kind - perhaps a little too kind as far as my poetry goes. Thanks for dropping in - I hope you'll stop by again.

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  19. Oh yum! I love tamarind and pomegranate.. and beets.. and leeks.. dude, this looks like an awesome salad :)

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    1. Thanks, Janet - it sure was a great salad - a wonderful combination of ingredients, and robust enough to be a meal in its own right.

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  20. I love beetroot and it's an amazing looking salad :)
    I'v a vegetarian and this is just perfect for me :)

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