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The Happy Pear's pickled fennel, grapefruit & courgette salad with seeds & gomasio
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1 head of fennel (about 300g), trimmed
1 small beetroot, cleaned thoroughly and cut into rough slices
2 medium courgettes
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 pink grapefruit
3 tbsp pumpkin seeds
3 tbsp sesame seeds
2 x 90g packs wild rocket
For the pickling liquid
200ml Chinese rice vinegar
2 tsp salt
4 tbsp liquid sweetener (eg agave or maple syrup)
4 whole black peppercorns
1. Mix all the pickling liquid ingredients in a large bowl until the liquid sweetener has fully dissolved. Slice the fennel into the thinnest possible rounds. Add to the pickling liquid, then mix with the beetroot. Set aside for 15-30 minutes.
2. Cut the courgettes in half lengthways, then cut into 4-5 strips. Brush 1 tbsp of oil over the courgettes. Heat a griddle pan over a high heat. Cook the courgettes, in batches, white side down without moving for 4-5 minutes, until well charred. Carefully turn, without tearing, and cook for 2-3 minutes on the other side. Remove from the pan, cool, then chop into bitesize pieces and set aside.
3. Meanwhile, using a serrated knife, trim the top and base from the grapefruit, then slice away all the skin and pith. Cut the flesh into thin rounds. Keep any juice in a large salad bowl or a jar if taking on a picnic.
4. Warm a nonstick dry frying pan over a medium heat, toast the pumpkin and sesame seeds for 5-6 minutes until the sesame seeds start to brown and pop slightly. Remove from the heat. To make the gomasio, put 2 tbsp of the mixed seeds into a pestle and mortar or small food processor with a good pinch of salt, and grind. In a separate bowl, toss the remaining toasted seeds with the courgettes and gomasio. Remove the fennel from the pickling liquid. (Keep the pickling liquid and the beetroot in the fridge for a few days to use in another recipe.) Add 1 tbsp olive oil to the reserved grapefruit juice and season to make a dressing.
5. When ready to assemble. Toss the rocket with the dressing. Divide the dressed leaves between 4 plates or a large platter. Scatter over the courgettes with gomasio, fennel and grapefruit slices. Finish with the remaining olive oil and the remaining whole seeds, then serve immediately.
Typical values per serving:
This recipe was first published in May 2019.