Gosh, I’ve gone a long time without posting. How easily the days slip into weeks without much pause for thought! A (beautifully) low key Christmas and pie, wine and friend-filled New Year feel long since passed, along with the promise of December. Illnesses and anxieties and body-numbing cold have taken their toll and left weariness in their wake. Oh, the joy of January! It’s during these dull, grey weeks that I need to remind myself more than ever to keep working towards small goals. Slight achievements may seem insignificant, but when we reflect on what they facilitate – well, without them we’re nothing. I’m trying to remember to nurture an everyday that’s healthy in all meanings of the word. One important, grounding way to do this, I’ve found, is to keep bringing creativity and vibrance to the dining table. This simple, hearty salad ticks those boxes – an explosion of colour and flavour, simple to prepare and satisfying enough to be eaten as a meal in its own right… Guaranteed to bring cheer to a dreary day!
For the cannellini bean purée:
1 can cannellini beans, drained
1 tbsp. tahini
1 tsp. dried mint
1 tsp. garlic powder (I used this rather than fresh garlic to get the flavour of garlic without the heat)
1 tsp. sumac
Juice of 1/2 small lemon
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
Splash of water
Pinch of salt
For the salad:
500g beetroot, roasted and cooled
250g new potatoes, roasted and cooled
A handful of almonds
2 tbsp. pine nuts
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 clove garlic
1/2 small onion, finely sliced
1/3 small pomegranate, arils removed
1 tbsp. capers
Handful fresh coriander, chopped
Sprinkling of chilli flakes
Coarsely ground sea salt, to taste
In a blender, blitz together all ingredients for the purée until smooth. Add more or less water to achieve your desired consistency.
Next, lightly toast the almonds and pine nuts in a dry pan Grate or mash the clove of garlic, and add to the olive oil. Stir well.
Finally, assemble the salad – I like to smooth a thick layer of bean purée over the base of the plate, followed by the beetroot and potato. Drizzle the garlicky oil over the top, then throw over the nuts, onion, capers, pomegranate, coriander, salt and chilli flakes.