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Grilled roots, fruits and leaves

As featured on Saturday Kitchen. This is a lovely hearty salad, perfect for cooking outdoors on the barbie if you’re blessed with some early autumn sunshine. However, it’s equally good when made indoors: use a heavy-based frying pan or ridged griddle pan to sear the veg, getting it good and hot before you start.

Servings 4

Ingredients

  • half a medium head of celeriac - about 250g
  • 1 large or 2 small heads of radicchio
  • 2 slightly under-ripe pears
  • a couple of handfuls of blackberries and/or raspberries
  • about 50g whole skin-on hazelnuts, ideally soaked for a few hours in cold water
  • a few chervil or parsley leaves, to finish (optional)

for the dressing

  • 2 tbsp cold-pressed rapeseed oil
  • 2 tsp cider vinegar
  • finely grated zest of half an orange
  • a squeeze of orange juice
  • salt and pepper

Method

Light your barbecue then, while it’s heating up, prepare your veg. Cut the knobbly peel off the celeriac then cut the flesh into very thin slices; they should be the thickness of a 10p piece at most - a bit thinner if possible. Cut the raddichio head, or heads, into sixths or eighths. Quarter the pears (no need to peel), remove the cores, then slice each quarter into two wedges to give you eighths.

When the barbecue is ready – i.e. when the flames have died back and the coals are covered with a layer of white ash – begin cooking. Start with the celeriac: use tongs to lay the pieces on to the hot grill. Don’t move the pieces for a couple of minutes, so they get a chance to develop some colour, then turn them and let them cook on the second side. They should take 5-7 minutes in total to cook. If you’ve got space on the grill, put the pear slices on at the same time (they need 4-6 minutes total), and the raddichio too (it needs 3-4 minutes). Alternatively, if your grill is small, cook in batches. The veg and fruit should all take some nice charred colour from the grill. When everything is done, transfer to a large bowl.

You can make the dressing while the veg and fruit are grilling, or in advance if you prefer. Put half the blackberries and/or raspberries into a sieve and place over a bowl. Use a spoon to crush the fruit and rub it through the sieve, creating a little pool of berry juice in the bowl. Then add the oil, vinegar, orange zest and juice to the berry juice. Add some salt and pepper and whisk together well. Taste and adjust as you like, with a little more vinegar or oil, or an extra squeeze of orange juice.

Pour the dressing over the grilled celeriac, radicchio and pears. Turn gently together and leave for a couple of minutes to mingle and macerate. Then toss gently again.

Transfer the salad onto a serving platter, or divide between four plates.

Dot the remaining whole berries over the salad. Use a heavy knife, a rolling pin or a pestle to roughly bash the hazelnuts and scatter these over the salad too. Finish with a little more salt and pepper, and some chervil or parsley leaves if you have them.

Swaps:

  • You can swap other veg for the celeriac: try thinly sliced carrot, parsnips or squash
  • In place of the raddichio, you can use kale leaves, quartered heads of chicory or wedges of little gem lettuce
  • Apples are a good alternative to the pears. You can either cut them into slim wedges or use an apple corer to remove the cores, then slice the apples into rings, about 5mm thick.
  • If you don’t have hazelnuts, whole soaked almonds work very well too.