Sunday 13 November 2011

An Autumn tonic salad

The root vegetables

The cocoon phase (read as the cold season) has unfortunately started. As we move indoors for months, the root vegetables start to come out. It’s incredible how much our body and the seasonality of foods are intrinsically connected. I bought some of my favourite winter root vegetables at the farmers market this week to make a salad I ate once at Bocca di Lupo, which has celeriac and radish. Since that day, whenever celeriac and radish come together in my house, I make this salad for us.

Celeriac is a large knobbly root vegetable. It comes from the celery family and has a very similar taste, but it is slightly nuttier and sweeter. Celeriac is not the most beautiful vegetable but is full of nutritional value. I have also bought kohlrabi, a root that tastes a bit like broccoli stalk. In Germany, people often eat it raw, like an apple.

It’s a simple salad that will bring some earthy taste to our palate to celebrate the transition from Autumn to Winter.

Black radish, turnip, swede, jerusalem artichoke...

The roots I brought home (celeriac, pink beetroot, kohl
rabi, black and red radishes
The dressing
The complement
The salad!

Root vegetable Autumn salad 
(inspired by Jacob Kennedy’s recipe)     Serves 4 as a starter

Due to its bitter nature, this salad works as a great starter, as it stimulates the juices of our digestive system.

6-7 radishes and 1 black radish
1 small sized celeriac or ¼ of the big root
1 kohlrabi
1 small pink beetroot
Pecorino cheese or any hard sheep’s cheese (about 100g)
Pomegranate seeds (as much as you like)
A few sprigs of flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked

1 tablespoon white truffle oil
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
Juice of a lemon

Make a dressing with the oils, vinegar, lemon, salt and pepper. Taste for seasoning. Do the following just before you serve, as radishes dry out, and celeriac blackens with time: wash both radishes and kohlrabi (don’t peel them), and shave thinly. Peel the celeriac and shave some pecorino cheese. Toss them with the pomegranate seeds and parsley, and dress lightly. Serve on individual plates, or in a bowl to share from.

Some of the ingredients and their healthy benefits

Celeriac (Apium graveolens rapaceum): it is a great source of vitamin K. It contains vitamins B1, B2, B3 and B5, and minerals such as calcium, iron, potassium and zinc. Celeriac also contains a fair amount of vitamin C and it’s at its best when eaten raw. This vegetable root has been recommended to help promote milk flow in breastfeeding mothers; to alleviate the symptoms of period pain; and as a natural diuretic, also helping to break down and flush out kidney stones. Due to its high sodium content, it is advised not to add too much salt when cooking it.

Radish (Raphanus sativus): it’s part of the mustard family. Radishes used to be predominantly black and not red. It contains high levels of vitamin C. It’s also high in fibre and water, which is very beneficial for people with constipation. Black radish stimulates the bile production, liver detoxification and the cleaning of the gallbladder, maintaining a healthy digestive tract. It contains antibacterial properties that help balancing the digestive flora. It treats coughs and fortifies lungs; and also helps to balance fatty or oily food in the body.

Kohlrabi (Brassica olearosa or Cavoli rapa): it comes from the wild cabbage family and is also known as cabbage-turnip. It contains high levels of vitamin C (which helps to maintain a healthy immune system) and high levels of potassium ( needed for a proper muscle and nerve functions). It helps the storage of carbohydrates, used as fuel by the muscles. It also contains good levels of vitamin B6, folic acid, and the minerals calcium, copper, selenium, phosphorus and magnesium. It has antiviral and antifungal properties, which helps the treatment of candida. It is high in fibre and low in calories. It has a low GI and it is a good alternative for people who suffer from diabetes and hypoglycaemia, as it helps to stabilize the sugar levels in the blood. Both leaves and vegetable are rich in vitamin A. Kohlrabi improves blood circulation. Some studies show that the substance called isothiocyanate, found in kohlrabi  can help convert oestrogen in the body and protects against hormones associated with prostate and breast cancers.  

Beetroot (Beta vulgaris): previously mentioned here

Till next week!



  1. Mmm! What a delicious and inspiring recipe margot. I will look forward to your next one. Thanks

  2. Você fez com que a salada ficasse linda e apetitosa!

  3. Thank you Andrea! There will be plenty more to come. Enjoy!

    Ana querida, muito obrigada. Os ingredientes ajudam. Bj grande

  4. Linda e apetitosa!
    Vou tentar adaptar com algumas raízes daqui...Alguma sugestão?
    Vc é minha "gurua"!!!

  5. Gui querido! Eu, sua gurua? Que honra! Voce que eh um super profissa na cozinha. Bem, voce vai poder achar quase tudo ai: rabanete, nabo, beterraba (talvez aih vc soh encontre a vermelha), roma e um queijinho da Serra da Canastra. Que tal adicionar maca verde cortada em lascas finas? Depois me conta. Bjs!!!


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