It is Spring, and the nasturtiums have leaves as big as lotus leaves and flowers of all hue peaking out from beneath.
This dish is an adaptation of an Ottolenghi recipe – a salad using pink grapefruit. I had a dozen pink grapefruit and this seemed an awesome opportunity to play with this recipe. The original recipe uses watercress, which is difficult to find here – its not common and is expensive. Not having the inclination or the time to drive the 30 mins it takes to get to a green grocer that does stock it, I substituted with produce from my garden. Into the salad went baby nasturtium leaves, yellow and red nasturtium flower petals and marigold flower petals. It was extraordinary.
This is a salad that, even in its original form, appears on paper like it won’t come together with Ottolenghi’s usual balanced and banging flavours. It feels like too much sumac. There is a chilli in the dressing. And crispy, sharp raw onion. But the flavours are massive and surprising! Bright, puckery grapefruit gently mixed with peppery watercress (in my case, nasturtium leaves), bitter Belgian endive, sweet leaves of basil basil, sharp red onion slices, and a tangy vinaigrette heavy with the lemony tangy sumac. Flavour clash? Not at all. A beautiful, balanced, juicy salad that is colourful and divine.
Pomelo can be used in place of the grapefruit. Pink Pomelo can be found over Summer in local Asian green groceries.
Similar recipes include Locquat Salad, Three Citrus Salad with Chilli, Ginger and Almond Salsa, Pink Grapefruit Salad with Avocado, and Pomelo and Green Mango Salad.