Jamie Oliver’s Moorish Crunch Salad

Serve this Moorish Crunch Salad with tahini baked chicken, any of Jamie Olivers suggestions or with a barbecue, or even on its own or as part of a picnic. Whatever you choose to do, the veggies will crunch and the soft raisins will burst with macerated juice; this salad is refreshing, but the tahini and toasted sesame seeds bestow a richness that, I think, is what really makes this salad.

To serve 4.

JO Moorish Crunch Salad

The ingredients:

Carrots – about 4 (add a few more if they’re particularly small)
Radishes – 1 bunch/small pack (about 20 or so)
Crunchy eating apples of a variety of your choice (I use Royal Gala or Braeburn) – 2
Raisins, sultanas or a mixture of both – 2 handfuls
Fresh flat-leaf parsley – a small bunch
Fresh mint – ¾ of a small bunch
Sherry/red wine vinegar – 4 tbsp
Extra virgin olive oil – 8 tbsp
Tahini – 1 tbsp
Sesame seeds – 2 tbsp
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

The recipe:

  • Toast your sesame seeds in a hot oven for a couple of minutes. Keep an eye on them; one second they’ll be as fair as can be, and the next they’ll be sunburnt! Set aside.
  • Peel your carrots.
  • Chop your veggies; I usually quarter the radishes, slice the apples and cut the carrots into matchsticks. Add to bowl.
  • Chop your herbs and add to the veggies, along with the raisins.
  • Use a tiny whisk to make a dressing from the oil, vinegar and tahini; season to taste.
  • Toss the salad ingredients together, drizzle over the dressing and sprinkle over the sesame seeds. Serve.

My notes on this recipe:

  • Jamie Oliver is far more precise with his measurements, but I’m afraid I can’t be bothered weighing carrots and radishes, so I guess how many and can always add more later if need be.
  • I add at least double the amount of raisins that Jamie suggests. This is simply because the first time I made it I thought they were a really super-delicious part of the salad and wanted more of them. Maybe try a few versions until you get the balance you like.
  • As Jamie says, you could use the coarse side of a grater to make the chopping process quicker, or just chop it all up however you feel is best for you on the day. As Jamie says: “this really adds to the crunch”, but it won’t ruin the salad if you don’t.
  • Finally, Jamie offers up some suggestions of what you can eat this with, if not on its own; “pan-seared chicken, prawns or scallops … with a little paprika”, “halloumi … with some chopped fresh chilli” and “pitta bread … [and] feta”. I have tried all of these combinations and they are all fantabulous, but my favourite way of eating this salad is with my tahini baked chicken.

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