Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipes for winter salads and slaws (2024)

There are two ways to get warm and happy in the kitchen right now. One is to turn on the oven or stove, and put on a pot to simmer away for a good few hours. I love this sort of slow, warming and hearty cooking, because it challenges the cold and grey outdoors. The other way, though, is to meet the weather head on with a riot of colour, an abundance of freshness and the wake-up call of citrus fruit. Today’s recipes for raw meals in a bowl excite me as much as stews and soups at this time of the year; in fact, they’re so quick that four out of five are practically instant, involving little more than just grating veg. They’re like the friend who opts for a bracing swim over a hot bath, the one who wears a vibrant winter coat amid the sea of black and grey.

Grated veg may not seem the most obvious choice for the end of February, granted, but I challenge you to eat any of these dishes and not feel just a bit warmed (by the spices and all that grating), sweetened (by all the root vegetables), satisfied and enriched (by the nuts and cheese).

Beetroot, plum and Dolcelatte salad

Add a few roughly chopped toasted hazelnuts, if you fancy some extra crunch. Serves four.

4-5 raw beetroots, peeled and coarsely grated (350g)
3-4 plums, stoned and cut into 0.5cm-thick slices (250g)
20g basil leaves, large ones torn
5g picked tarragon
70g Dolcelatte, roughly broken into 5cm x 2cm chunks
1 tsp poppy seeds

For the dressing
3 tbsp olive oil
1½ tbsp sherry vinegar
1 tsp honey
¼ garlic clove, peeled and crushed
1 tsp fennel seeds, toasted and lightly crushed
¼ red onion, peeled and thinly sliced

Whisk all the dressing ingredients apart from the onion with a half-teaspoon of salt, then stir in the onion and set aside for about half an hour, so it softens.

Put the beetroot, plums, half the basil and half the tarragon in a large bowl, pour over the dressing, then toss and transfer to a serving dish. Dot with the cheese, scatter with the poppy seeds, sprinkle over the remaining herbs and serve.

Moroccan carrot salad with orange and pistachio

The orange blossom is a lovely addition to the dressing, but don’t buy a whole bottle just for the sake of a quarter-teaspoon. This salad is still lovely without it. Serves four.

650g carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
2 oranges, peeled and cut into 1cm pieces
½ small garlic clove, peeled and crushed
50g pistachios, toasted and chopped
20g coriander leaves
15g mint leaves

For the dressing
3 tbsp olive oil
¼ tsp orange blossom water (optional)
2 tsp honey
1½ tsp cumin seeds, toasted and lightly crushed
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
3 tbsp lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Whisk the dressing ingredients in a bowl with half a teaspoon of salt and a good grind of pepper. Add the salad ingredients, toss to coat and serve.

Root vegetables with mango and curried yoghurt

You need fresh curry leaves here, not dried, so you’ll need to head to an Asian food shop. Serves two to four.

2 medium carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
1 medium parsnip, peeled and coarsely grated
¼ small celeriac, peeled and coarsely grated
½ red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
Finely grated zest of 1 lime, plus 2 tbsp lime juice
15g picked mint leaves
1 medium mango, peeled and cut into julienne strips
Salt and pepper
1 tsp nigella seeds

For the dressing
60ml vegetable oil
1 sprig fresh curry leaves (ie, about 10 leaves)
1½ tsp black mustard seeds
160g Greek-style yoghurt
2 tsp medium curry powder
1 tsp light brown soft sugar

To make the dressing, heat the oil in a small saucepan on a medium-high flame. Once hot, fry the curry leaves and mustard seeds for 45 seconds, then strain the oil into a bowl and transfer the leaves and seeds to a plate lined with kitchen towel.

While the oil is cooling, put the carrot, parsnip, celeriac and onion in a large bowl with the lime zest and juice, then toss to combine.

Put the curry leaves and mustard seeds in a medium bowl and add the cooled oil, yoghurt, curry powder, sugar and a third of a teaspoon of salt. Toss to combine, pour over the salad and toss again. Add the mint and mango, mix gently, so you don’t break up the mango, and season to taste. Sprinkle with the nigella seeds and serve.

Hispi cabbage and kalette slaw

This is the only recipe here that doesn’t involve grated veg; it’s also not as quick to make as the others, because the cabbage needs time to soften. The sweet, spiced sesame flavour works deliciously with the cabbage. Kalette is a cross between brussels sprouts and kale that has a lovely purple-green colour; you can buy it in some supermarkets and greengrocers. Failing that, use purple kale instead. Serves four.

½ hispi (or sweetheart) cabbage, core removed and leaves shredded into 2mm-wide strips
150g kalettes, quartered (or 90g purple kale), stalks removed and discarded, leaves shredded into 2mm-wide strips
2-3 oranges
1 tsp soy sauce
1½ tbsp rice vinegar
1½ tsp maple syrup
½ tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp sesame oil
3 tbsp groundnut oil
1 tbsp lime juice
50g flaked almonds, lightly toasted
2 tbsp sesame seeds, lightly toasted
25g coriander leaves, roughly chopped
25g mint leaves, torn
1 tbsp coriander seeds, toasted and lightly crushed

Put the cabbage and kalettes in a large bowl. Finely shave off three strips of orange zest (use a vegetable peeler) and put them in a small saucepan. Juice the oranges – you’ll need 200ml – and add to the pan with the soy, vinegar, syrup and chilli. Turn on the heat, bring to a boil and cook for five to six minutes, stirring frequently, until the juice has reduced to a syrup and you have about 60ml left in the pan. Pour into a small bowl, and whisk in the sesame and groundnut oils. Pour the warm dressing over the cabbage, toss and set aside for at least half an hour, ideally longer, to give the cabbage time to soften.

To serve, add the lime juice, almonds, sesame seeds, herbs and half the coriander seeds to the slaw, mix well and add salt, to taste. Arrange on a large platter (or divide between individual plates) and serve with the remaining coriander seeds sprinkled on top.

Radish, daikon and green papaya salad

Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipes for winter salads and slaws (1)

The dried shrimp and fish sauce do mean this salad makes its presence known, but please don’t judge it by its smell alone: the taste more than makes up for it. If you can’t find green papaya, roughly grate peeled, cored granny smith apples instead – they work almost as well. Serves four.

100g radishes (ie, roughly 12 breakfast radishes), cut into 3mm-thick slices (use a mandoline, if you have one)
½ medium daikon, peeled and coarsely grated (180g)
½ young green papaya, peeled and coarsely grated (or 180g grated granny smith apples)
10g Thai basil leaves (or regular basil)
10g mint leaves
10g coriander leaves
40g salted roasted peanuts, lightly crushed with the flat of a knife

For the dressing
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 tbsp caster sugar
¼ bird’s eye chilli (or more, to taste), finely chopped or sliced
½ lemongrass stalk, bashed, outer layer removed, then thinly sliced
1 tbsp dried shrimp
2 limes, juiced (you need 3½ tbsp)
1 tbsp fish sauce

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First make the dressing. Pound the garlic and sugar in a mortar, then add the chilli, lemongrass and dried shrimp, and carry on pounding until the lemongrass and shrimp start to break apart. Add the lime juice and fish sauce, stir to combine, then put to one side for at least half an hour, to give the flavours a chance to meld.

Put all the salad ingredients except the peanuts in a large bowl, pour over the dressing, toss to coat and divide between four plates. Sprinkle over the peanuts and serve immediately.

Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipes for winter salads and slaws (2024)
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