Sometimes when you are making Ottolenghi dishes, when you are rubbing that vinegar and sugar mixture into the onions or the chilli concoction into the cucumbers, massaging gently, when you are cooking the fourth or fifth element for the recipe, you think this is never going to work, why am I bothering? But then you taste the final dish, and you melt, and the flavours are incredible, and it is totally worth the messy kitchen and the washing up.
This is another Ottolenghi salad that brightens up the day. The king of flavours, Ottolenghi’s taste combinations really are quite extraordinary.
This crispy salad hits you full on with its sharp sweetness and oniony heat, and it’s just what is required to shake up tired tastebuds on a drowsy wintry or early spring night. You will love this one.
You might like to browse other Ottolenghi recipes, or explore other Salads here and here. We have Apple Salads and Celeriac Salads. Check for all other Celeriac recipes, and take some time to explore all of our Early Spring recipes.
3 tbsp white-wine vinegar
2 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp salt
1 medium red onion, peeled and sliced very thinly
60ml canola or grapeseed oil
¼ head celeriac (250g after peeling and slicing)
60ml lemon juice
2-3 granny smith apples (350g after coring and slicing)
2 tsp poppy seeds
1 red chilli, sliced thinly on an angle
15g coriander leaves, roughly chopped
If using moraiya, wash it first and soak for 10 mins. Drain and add to 1 cup water, cover and gently simmer over low heat for 15 – 17 mins. It should be perfectly cooked. Fluff it up with a fork, add a little butter, cover with the lid again and allow to sit for 3 minutes.
If using quinoa, bring a small saucepan of water to a boil, add the quinoa and cook for 10 minutes. Drain into a fine sieve, run under cold water and then shake well to remove all the water. Leave to cool down.
While these are cooking, put the vinegar, sugar and salt in a medium mixing bowl and whisk to dissolve. Add the onion and, using your hands, rub the liquid into it. Add the rapeseed oil, stir and set aside to marinate.
Peel the celeriac, cut it into 3mm thick slices and then cut the slices into long, 3mm-wide strips (use a mandolin if you have one). Place the strips at once in a large mixing bowl, along with the lemon juice, and stir well – this will help prevent discoloration. Quarter the apples, remove and discard the cores, and cut the fruit into matchstick-shaped pieces similar to the celeriac. Add the apple to the celeriac bowl and stir well, so it, too, gets a protective coat of lemon juice. (The apples and celeriac can both be cut using a mandolin or a food processor.)
To finish, add the onion and any juices from its bowl to the apple and celeriac mix, then stir in the cooked quinoa, poppy seeds, chilli and coriander. Taste and add extra salt, sugar or vinegar, if you need them – you’re aiming for a pungent, sweet and sour flavour.
recipe notes and alternatives
If you are serving it on its own add a handful of chopped walnuts and a few baby leaves.
I have made this with 1/2 cup moraiya instead of quinoa, and it is really good.