Cooked simply and cleanly, this dish elevates vegetables to the starring role. A punchy mayonnaise flecked with parsley, lemon and cornichons are the hidden base of this veggie delight. Potato and leek that have been cooked and caramalised in a little olive oil and butter are arranged on top, along with wafer thin slices of raw beetroot and baby carrots. The dish is finished with a scattering of toasted walnuts and quinoa. It looks a little posh, but trust me, it’s a diddle.
3 x waxy potatoes, such as dutch creams
2 x beetroots
2 x leeks
Small bunch of baby carrots
½ cup cooked quinoa
¼ cup walnuts
1 cup good quality whole egg mayonnaise
¼ cup cornichons, finely sliced
¼ cup finely chopped parsley
Juice and zest of ½ lemon
Freshly ground black pepper
Place the potatoes in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a simmer and cook until they are slightly tender, as they will be pan-fried later. Drain.
Prepare a bowl of cold water with a few drops of lemon juice. Using a mandolin, finely shave the beetroots into the bowl, then do the same for the carrots. Set aside both bowls until ready to serve.
For the mayonnaise, combine the mayonnaise, finely sliced cornichons, parsley, lemon juice and zest in a bowl. Season and mix well. Set aside.
Slice the leeks into 3 equal lengths then slice in half so you end up with 6 half-moon shaped batons. Repeat with other leek.
Heat some olive oil in a pan along with a little butter. Place the leek in the pan, cut side down along with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat for 3 minutes until golden. Turn over the leeks and continue to cook for a further 2 minutes. Add ½ cup water. Gently simmer for 20 minutes until tender. Remove from pan and keep warm.
Peel the boiled potatoes and cut into thick rounds. Heat a little more olive oil in the pan you cooked the leeks in and add the potatoes. Fry on each side until golden and crisp. Add a small knob of butter in the last minute of cooking to caramalise the potatoes. Remove from pan and keep warm.
In the pan the potatoes were cooked in add the walnuts. Cook gently until fragrant, glazed and lightly toasted. Remove from the pan.
Season the quinoa with a little extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and pepper.
To serve, dollop some on the mayonnaise on the plate, using the back of a spoon smear the dollop across the plate. Lay some potato rounds on top then position three pieces of leek. Layer with wafers of raw beetroot and carrot, a few little teaspoons of quinoa and scatter with toasted nuts.