ITALY: The World Vegetarian by Christine Smallwood. Published by Bloomsbury Absolute.
Ingredients - Serves: 4
200g butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and very thinly sliced with a mandolin or vegetable peeler
at least 300ml red wine vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
1 crisp dessert apple
500g mixed winter leaves
FOR THE SPICY WALNUTS
1 tablespoon runny honey
160g walnut halves
smoked paprika, for sprinkling
FOR THE HORSERADISH DRESSING
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon runny honey
20g white miso
½ garlic clove, crushed
20g vegetarian Italian hard cheese, grated
80ml mild olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
a pinch of chilli powder or hot paprika
2 tablespoons freshly grated horseradish
Place the squash slices in a flat dish and cover fully with abundant amounts of vinegar and salt. Place in the fridge for 5–6 hours.
Prepare the spicy walnuts. Melt the butter and honey together in a small pan over a medium heat. Add the walnut halves, coat with the butter and honey mixture and leave on the heat until golden, stirring to prevent them sticking. Spoon onto a sheet of baking paper. Sprinkle with paprika, season generously with salt and then set aside to cool.
Prepare the dressing. Put all the ingredients in a blender and blitz to combine. Set aside.
Core and thinly slice the apple. Arrange the leaves and apple on a serving platter. Drain the squash, discarding the vinegar, then place it on top of the leaves along with the toasted walnuts. Drizzle over the dressing as liberally as you wish. Serve immediately.