Corn cakes with beetroot and apple salad

Light yet utterly creamy, this corn cake recipe from Yotam Ottolenghi and Ramael Scully is perfect as a generous starter or light lunch. You can also experiment with the cheese in this recipe, perhaps swapping the feta for a blue cheese to give a more intense flavour.

First published in 2015

Extracted from NOPI: The Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Ramael Scully. (Ebury Press, £28)

Photography by Jonathan Lovekin.

Ingredients

Metric

Imperial

Corn cakes

Beetroot and apple salad

  • 120g of Greek yoghurt
  • 2 tsp sherry vinegar, Valdespino or another good-quality sherry vinegar
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 2 tbsp of lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds, roasted and coarsely crushed, plus 1/2 tsp extra, to garnish
  • 1/2 tsp celery seeds
  • 15g of parsley, roughly chopped
  • 2 raw beetroots, peeled and julienned (200g)
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and julienned (140g), kept covered with water with some lemon juice, to prevent discoloration, if prepared in advance

To serve

Method

1
Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6
2
Grease the 6 or 12 moulds (depending on if you want larger or smaller corn cakes) very well with butter and line with squares of baking parchment, cut large enough so that the sides rise a couple of centimetres above the muffin tray
3
Place all the ingredients for the salad, apart from the beetroot and apple, in a medium bowl. Mix well and set aside until ready to serve
4
Place each cob perpendicular on your chopping board and use a large sharp knife to shave off the kernels – you should have about 500g
5
Discard the cob and transfer the kernels to a food processor, along with the shallots and garlic. Pulse for 3–4 seconds, until the mixture is roughly processed but has not turned to a wet purée
6
Add the fennel seeds, cumin, celery seeds, tarragon, baking powder, butter and egg yolks, along with 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and a very good grind of black pepper
7
Blitz a few more times, to combine – some of the corn kernels will still be whole – then transfer to a medium bowl. Fold the flour in by hand and set aside
8
Place the egg whites in a separate medium bowl and whisk to form firm peaks. Fold a third of the whites gently into the corn mixture – you don’t want to overwork it – and then, once it has incorporated, continue with the next third and then the next
9
Once fully incorporated, divide the mixture between the moulds and then insert a chunk of feta into each. Push it halfway down the corn mixture – the cakes will puff up around the cheese when they cook
10
Bake for 25–40 minutes, depending on the size of your moulds, until the cakes have risen and are golden and fluffy – the mixture will still be a bit wet at this point. Remove from the oven and set aside for 10 minutes before lifting them out of the tray
11
Add the beetroot and apple to the salad dressing just before serving and mix together gently. Serve the warm cakes with the salad alongside, sprinkled with the remaining fennel seeds and the basil leaves
First published in 2015

Yotam Ottolenghi is a cookery writer and chef-patron of the Ottolenghi delis and NOPI restaurant. Ramael Scully moved to NOPI as head chef when the restaurant opened in 2011.

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