Friday, 17 December 2010

Christmas special #12: Performance winter salad

If you want a great, easy winter salad, see my post on Jamie's Winter Coleslaw. It's delicious and very straightforward.

This is slightly more of a performance, hence its poetic name. It's a salad I nicked off Jacob Kennedy, who is head chef at Bocca di Lupo, which is an Italian restaurant in Soho.

I was at school with Jake but I don't think I ever spoke to him, not once. I don't know why. He wasn't in any of my classes, I suppose. Anyway, he's always very friendly now - maybe he feels guilty about never having spoken to me. So I hope he'll look the other way now I've left it 12 years to copy his homework.

This radish and celeriac salad is my favourite thing that Bocca di Lupo does, which is odd for me, because usually the thing I like most on a menu is the thing that is crispiest and covered with the most salt.

I recreated it at home the other night and although it requires quite a lot of ingredients, once you've got them, you can turn this into a really massive salad and it will, I promise, impress all your friends. When you read the ingredients list you'll probably go "yuk" but honestly, honestly, this is a really exciting thing.

You will need:

1 celeriac
1 pack radishes. Little red ones, or those big black ones, if you can source them
1 pomegranate
juice of 1/2 a lemon
some olive oil
some white truffle oil (from Waitrose. Not cheap but lasts for ages and comes in v useful for all sorts of things.)
salt and pepper
pecorino or manchego cheese
some rocket or arugala

1 Peel and slice the celeriac (you may only need 1/2 or a third depending on how big you want to do the salad) as thinly as you can. You may want to cut the celeriac slices further into strips. Slice the radishes equally thinly. (This is basically a recipe invented to make use of a Japanese mandolin). Shave the pecorino.

2 Start the salad with a bed of rocket, then interleave the celeriac, radishes and cheese. Halve the pomegranate and then turn over and whack the back with a wooden spoon so that the seeds fall out, over the salad.

3 Dress with lemon juice, olive oil and truffle oil. Sprinkle over salt and pepper.

Goes nicely with most things, especially anything really rich.


  1. Thank you so much for this post!!! Went to Boca di Lupo for the first time when we visited London in October; my husband and I were immediately smitten with this salad. Definitely our favourite thing there! Can't wait to recreate this at home, but first I think I need to buy a mandolin. Am in Tokyo at the moment, but this will be on the top of my to-cook list when I get home.

    I've been loving the Christmas series this month. xxx

  2. For your American cousins across the pond,... what is 'Rocket'?

  3. Hi Gary

    I think you call it "arugala"? Slim, jagged, slightly bitter leaves. x