Crispy Saltbush, Orange, Pickled Beetroot
& Radicchio Salad
THis is nO MERE SALAD, IT’S A MEAL ALL ON ITS OWN.
This November it is all about Australian native ingredients. These recipes are designed to encourage the use of native ingredients in a way that is a bit more user-friendly and fun than restaurant applications. This salad is bitter, sour, sweet and crispy, with beautiful colours that scream ‘Australia’ for me. The crispy saltbush adds a toasty popcorn crunch that is delicious even as a snack on its own. I find myself munching most of the salty leaves before they even make it to the plate!
Cook time: 15 minutes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
2 orange, segmented
2 small radicchio, or 1 large
1 can of chickpeas, washed and drained
Small handful of saltbush leaves
Small handful of raisins
½ cup toasted almonds
Good splash of Australian extra-virgin olive oil
Squeeze of lemon or splash of white wine vinegar
Salt and Pepper
Crispy Salt Bush
2 free-range egg whites, cold from the fridge
½ cup rice flour,
Oil, for shallow frying
Large handful of saltbush leaves
1 large Beetroot finely sliced
400ml red wine vinegar
3 bay leaves
4 tbs raw sugar or white sugar
- Place pickling ingredients (minus the beetroot) into a saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce by one third of the original volume. Place the sliced beetroot into the pickling liquid and place in fridge to cool.
- Next break off the radicchio leaves individually and place in a bowl. Lightly dress with olive oil and season with salt. In a medium to hot fry plan gently sauté the leaves until they break down slightly, but still maintain their shape. Place in the bowl with the pickling beetroot and allow to cool.
- For the crispy saltbush; Heat oil in fry pan (I use the same pan I use for the radicchio). Place rice flour in a bowl, and in a separate bowl whisk the egg whites for about 30 seconds to break them up thoroughly. Dip the saltbush leaves in the egg, then the rice flour, shaking of any excess flour before placing in the hot oil to shallow fry. Cook for about 30 seconds on each side. Remove and place on cooling rack to drain and crisp up. If the leaves aren’t crispy, place them back into the oil for a touch longer. They’ll look lightly golden when cooked. The leaves can be done a few hours before serving, just be sure to keep them in a dry place to stop them from losing their crisp.
- Combine all the ingredients except the crispy saltbush in a large bowl. Add olive oil and lemon juice to dress the salad, the pickled beetroot and radicchio will help dress the salad. Toss and check seasoning, keeping in mind that the saltbush will add saltiness. Serve salad into four bowls and top with crispy saltbush – enjoy!
Saltbush is a blue-grey shrub found in dry inland regions. You can get your hands on saltbush at Something Wild in the Adelaide Central Market. If you are an overseas reader or having trouble sourcing saltbush, try spinach or kale leaves instead and season with salt. It’s not the same, but it’ll do!