Christmas – charred nectarine, fennel, radish salad

by Leah Halmagyi


  • 2 Tbsp poppy seeds
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp tarragon vinegar
  • 2 tsp fig vino cotto
  • sea salt flakes and freshly-ground black pepper
  • 2 small heads fennel
  • 1 head golden beetroot, cut into fine batons
  • 8 French breakfast radishes, finely sliced
  • ½ cup broccoli sprouts
  • ½ cup mixed herb shoots
  • 6 nectarines, halved and stoned
  • cooking oil spray
  • 1 Tbsp dark honey


Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Serves: 4

1 Place poppy seeds in a nonstick pan and set over a high heat. Cook until the seeds are smoking, then immediately add to the olive oil and set aside to cool completely. Add the vinegar and vino cotto, transfer to a blender and puree until very smooth. Strain through a fine sieve then season with salt.
2 Shave the fennel heads finely on a mandolin slicer, then place in iced water until the slices curl, dry thoroughly. Mix with the beetroot, radishes, broccoli sprouts and herb shoots.
3 Sprinkle the nectarine halves with cooking oil spray and arrange on a hot barbecue grill for 2 minutes until lightly blackened. Transfer to a tray charred side up, drizzle with honey, then cook under a hot grill for 2 minutes until caramelised. Serve with the fennel mixture, and a drizzle of poppy seed dressing.