Salsify, Somerset pecorino, hazelnut

This delicate side dish from Nicholas Balfe uses salsify, a crunchy root vegetable that can be found in markets and greengrocers between October and January. It's finished with a hazelnut dressing and deeply savoury pecorino sauce. Balfe recommends using the creamy, semi-hard Somerset pecorino made by the White Lake Cheese Company.

First published in 2023
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Ingredients

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Imperial

Glazed salsify

  • 2l water
  • 500ml of white wine
  • 500ml of white wine vinegar
  • 50g of cane sugar
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 bunch of thyme
  • 3 garlic cloves, bashed with a knife
  • 3 shallots, peeled and sliced
  • 3kg salsify root, peeled and sliced into 10cm lengths
  • vegetable oil
  • butter

Hazelnut vinaigrette

Pecorino Sauce

  • 280g of pecorino, grated, ideally Somerset pecorino
  • 100g of butter
  • 5g of xanthan gum
  • 1 pinch of sea salt

To serve

Method

1

First, bring together all the ingredients for the glazed salsify, apart from the salsify, butter and oil, in a large pan. Cook over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved

  • 2l water
  • 500ml of white wine
  • 500ml of white wine vinegar
  • 50g of cane sugar
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 bunch of thyme
  • 3 garlic cloves, bashed with a knife
  • 3 shallots, peeled and sliced
2

Add the salsify, then turn up the heat to medium or until the liquid is just simmering. Cover with a cartouche and poach for 1 hour or until tender

3

Meanwhile, make the hazelnut vinaigrette. Pulse the hazelnuts in a food processor to achieve a coarse crumb

4

Melt the butter in a large pan, add the hazelnuts and gently toast until golden brown

5

Remove from the heat, season with sherry vinegar and salt and set aside in a warm place

6

Strain the liquid from the salsify and reserve 500ml for later. Set aside the salsify

7

Reduce the rest of the liquid until a syrup consistency is reached. You should have around 300ml left. Set aside

8

To make the pecorino sauce, heat the 500ml reserved poaching liquor, pecorino and butter in a medium saucepan until the pecorino melts. Blend in a powerful blender with the xanthan gum. Season with salt. Transfer to a squeeze bottle and keep in a warm place

  • 280g of pecorino, grated
  • 100g of butter
  • 5g of xanthan gum
  • 1 pinch of sea salt
9

Next, heat a sauté pan over a medium heat with a little oil and a knob of butter. Add three sticks of salsify per serving, and toast them in the butter, rolling continuously to achieve a golden brown colour

10

Add around 50ml of the reduced poaching liquor to the pan. Toss the salsify in the reduction until glazed even more

11

Blanch three kalettes per serving in salted water and add to the pan with the salsify so that everything is coated in the glaze

12

For each servings, pour 60ml pecorino sauce into the bottom of a bowl, arrange the salsify on top, then add the kalettes. Finally drizzle over a heaped tablespoon of the hazelnut vinaigrette. Repeat for the other servings

First published in 2023
share recipe:

Following the huge success of his trio of London restaurants Salon, Levan and Larry’s, Nicholas Balfe relocated to Somerset in 2021 to open his newest venture Holm, where provenance and seasonality play a larger role in his food than ever before.

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