Sunday Salad- Raw Winter Veg Salad with Horseradish

Oh man, I just love the winters farmers market. I’m completely surprised every time I go by how much is still available, despite the weather. Now, that’s not to say that I live in a place that gets a proper Canadian winter, it rarely, if ever, snows here, but it gets cold enough that I certainly have no burning desire to go outside. But things are still growing, and the cold is preserving the apples and pears, and and I can still buy slews of kinds of root veggies. 

And there is a certain energy at the farmers market too, and it doesn’t fade away with the sun, there are still kids everywhere, and people laughing, and having samples of the greatest Asian pears, or the new kind of smoked cheddar.  There’s a sense of adventure when you go to the farmers market, but maybe that’s just because it’s nearly always pouring rain. It makes you feel a little hard core. 

This is a salad made with only very pretty winter veg, and served very simply. The sort of salad that takes 5 minutes to put together, but gives you that crispness that I crave from raw vegetables. The kind I always think I have to forfeight during the cold months, before I remember that with the help from a mandolin to slice them very thin, the texture can take me right back to the days of warmth and sunshine. 

5 small Beets, of any kind

1/2 head Fennel

3 small Carrots, of any kind

3 tbsp Olive Oil

1 tbsp Lemon Juice

1 tbsp Finely chopped Parsley

1 tsp-1 tbsp Horseradish- fresh of from a jar

Salt and Pepper

Peel the carrots, or if they’re very small just wipe them down with a damp cloth. Cut them into thin thin slices, either by hand of with a mandolin. 

Slice the fennel the same way. 

Peel the beets, and then slice very thinly too, this is definitely easier with a mandolin. 

In the bottom of a medium sized bowl mix together the lemon, dijon, olive oil, and the horseradish. Mix in a bit and see how it tastes. If you can find fresh horseradish you won’t need as much, if your  using the jarred kind and it’s a new jar, you won’t need much more. If it’s been sitting in your fridge for a long time you might need quite a bit. 

Add in the vegetables and the parsley and mix it all together. 

Sunday Salad- Radiccio and Blood Orange Salad with Black Olives and Mint Dressing

Summer salads are an easy seduction. The bright colours, the delicate greens, the warmth of fruit warming in the sun, it’s a simple formula, like the blonde with the big laugh on TV, there is something comforting about getting it all upfront. There isn’t much hidden in a summer salad.

Winter salads are the opposite. Either there is nothing at all to love, you know the ones, with the flavourless lettuce, the watery cucumber and the grainy tomato, or you take some time to produce complicated mix of things that use up the limited things that grow in January.

This salad falls firmly into the latter category, it’s a perfect balance of bitter lettuce, salty olives, and tart oranges all tossed in a sweet dressing that is brightened by fresh mint.

I started thinking about radiccio at home, but when I got to my local market and saw the blood oranges I couldn’t resist adding them to the mix. It wasn’t until I saw the mint perched close to the check-out that I realized that this salad was teatering somewhere between Italian and Moroccan. Regardless of it’s origins, this salad and a thick cut of toast is the answer to a cold crisp day.

Blood Orange and Raddicio Salad with Dried Olives and Mint Dressing

1 Head Radiccio

5 Blood Oranges (regular oranges will do if you can’t find their red cousins)

1/3 cup Dried Black Olives

1/2 Lemon

1 tbsp Finely chopped Mint

1tbsp Finely chopped Flat Leaf Parsley

1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil


Segment the oranges: Cut off their tops and bottoms. With the orange “standing up” cut off the peel and pith so that no white from the peel remains. Over a medium bowl pick up the orange and using a paring knife cut in between the membranes to release each slice of orange. When your finished removing the slices squeeze all the remaining juice from the core into the bowl. Repeat with the rest of the oranges.

Strain the orange slices into a small pot, and reduce that liquid until it is syrupy, and only about a tablespoon remains.

Mix this mixture with the lemon juice and whisk in the oil. Add a pinch of salt and adjust the seasoning as you wish. Mix in the parsley and mint.

Wash the radiccio and tear into a big pieces. Mix them with the orange segments.

Tear the olives apart by pressing your thumb into the middle until the olive splits in half. Remove the pit and tear them fully in half. Continue with the rest of them and add that to the bowl with the orange and radiccio.

Toss with the dressing and serve immediately!

Semolina Crusted Tillapia with Dukkah

I was introduced to dukkah by a woman I worked for at Little Nest, and instantly fell in love with it. It’s a beautiful thing dukkah, rich with fennel seeds and cumin drenched in olive oil, and in this version with loads of parsley and cilantro chopped in too. People will tell you that it isn’t dukkah, and they’re sort of right, this is a totally bastardised version, but also the version that I was introduced to, and so now the one I prefer. Traditionally it doesn’t have fresh herbs in it, but it turns what is essentially a spice blend into something to dip bread in, pour over poached eggs, and in this case spoon on top of fish.

Semolina Crusted Tilapia with Dukkah

2 fillets Tilapia

1/4 cup Semolina Flour

Salt and Pepper


1/2 cup Hazelnuts

1/4 cup Toasted Sesame seeds

1 tsp Fennel Seeds

1 tsp Cumin Seeds

1 tsp Corriander Seeds

1 cup Flat Leaf Parsley Leaves

1 cup Cilantro Leaves

1/2 cup Olive Oil

Salt Pepper

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Put the hazelnuts in the oven and cook for about 15 minutes, tossing them every few minutes until they are toasted all the way through.

In a small pan over low heat toast the fennel, cumin and coriander seeds until they are fragrant but not smoking.

Put them into a food processor, a spice grinder, or a mortar and pestle and grind until fine.

Add in the hazelnuts and the sesame seeds and crack them but you want them still coarse.

If your using a food processor add in the leaves and the olive oil and blitz until the leaves are broken up but not pureed. Or you can cut them by hand.

Add in the salt and pepper and check your seasoning.

Turn your broiler on high and let it warm up a bit.

Mix the salt, pepper and semolina together on a plate and dip the fillets in making sure they’re well coated. Put them on a lightly oiled pan and then on the top shelf of the oven.

Keep them in until the tops are slightly browned and they are cooked all the way through.