Nobu Matsuhisa's new cookbook on vegetarian cooking is so gorgeous that we half wonder if it should be placed in the art rather than cooking section (its publisher is art heavyweight Rizzoli). The master of Japanese cuisine (and genius behind the Nobu restaurants) turns standard root vegetables into something magic with his refreshing take on salad.
Daikon and Turnip Slices with Chrysanthemum Petal Dressing
A dish of colourful, thin-sliced root vegetables, like daikon radishes, turnips, and carrots, drizzled with purple and yellow chrysanthemum petal dressing. I think this salad is simple and beautiful.
4 oz (120 g) in total various turnips and radishes, such as regular turnip, purple radish, and red radish
⅔ oz (20 g) carrot
⅔ oz (20 g) zucchini
2 tbsp Yellow Chrysanthemum Petal Dressing (recipe follows)
2 tbsp Purple Chrysanthemum Petal Dressing (recipe follows)
2 sprigs ice plant for topping
Cut the all turnips and radishes, carrot, and zucchini into thin slices. Spread 1 tbsp Purple Chrysanthemum Petal Dressing over each plate. Arrange the vegetable slices on the dressing, then top with the ice plant. Dot with the Yellow Chrysanthemum Petal Dressing (1 tbsp each).
Chrysanthemum Petal Dressing
Makes 1 cup (240 ml) each
8½ oz (250 g) edible yellow chrysanthemum flower
8½ oz (250 g) edible purple chrysanthemum flower
Vinegar water for blanching
5 qts.(5 L) water
2 tsp vinegar
About ½ cup (120 ml) grape seed oil
½ cup plus 3 tbsp (160 ml) rice vinegar
1 tbsp Yuzu Soy Sauce
2 tbsp yuzu citrus juice
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp salt
Pick yellow and purple petals from each chrysanthemum flower and keep separate. To make vinegar water, combine the water and vinegar in a non-reactive pan, bring to a boil, and turn off the heat. Plunge yellow petals in the hot vinegar water for 10 seconds until the color brightens, scoop up in a sieve, plunge in ice water to cool, and drain and squeeze out the excess water. Repeat with the purple petals, using the same vinegar water.
Place the yellow petals and 3⅓ tbsp grape seed oil in a food processor and purée until smooth. Repeat with the purple petals.
Combine Yuzu Soy Sauce, yuzu citrus and lemon juice, rice vinegar, sugar, grated ginger, and salt in a bowl and mix well. Add 5 tbsp grape seed oil and mix well. Add half of the mixture to the yellow petal purée. Add the rest of the mixture to the purple purée. Check the seasoning of each purée, and add more salt as needed.
(Recipe courtesy of Nobu’s Vegetarian Cookbook, published by Rizzoli)
Pair with this Road 13 sparkling.