Carrot, Bean and Tapenade salad

A raw root vegetable salad is one of my winter staples. In this particular one, the sweetness of grated parsnips and carrots is counterbalanced with a potent tapenade.

In the darkest depth of winter, you sometimes need a little reminder that summer is only a few months away. Sharp lemon, piquant capers, fragrant parsley and olives made into this tapenade salad can bring back the taste of August sunshine.

Tapenade Salad

Serves 2

Ingredients

lemon
a large handful of parsley
about 100g olives
about twenty capers
generous twist of black pepper
a little salt
extra virgin olive oil
2 large carrots
2 small young parsnips
a tin of cannelini beans

Method

Start by making the tapenade in a small bowl. Use a fine grater to zest around a third of the lemon and then juice one half. Whenever you’re adding lemon juice into a recipe, it’s good to start by juicing it so that you can easily pick out any pesky pips.

Next, finely chop the parsley, olives and the capers and add these to the lemon juice and zest. Season and feel free to adjust the quantity of any of the ingredients to your taste. Finally, add enough olive oil to form a thick paste. The tapenade needs to sit for a while so that all the flavours can mingle together. It can be kept for several days in a sealed container in the fridge, however, it’s best served at room temperature and you may need another good glug of olive oil.

Just before serving the salad, peel and coarsely grate the carrots and parsnips and drain the cannelini beans. Mix all the ingredients together, using just enough tapenade to lightly coat the vegetables without making them claggy and adding a little more olive oil if required. Enjoy this tapenade salad with a some thick slices of toast.

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