VegetablesAlison Lambert

GARDEN CRISPS WITH SPICED SALT

VegetablesAlison Lambert
These wonderfully vibrant and wickedly spiced crisps are a great pre-dinner snack. Ideal for the masses celebrating the rugby world cup!
Makes enough for 4-8

2 beetroot, washed
2 parsnips, peeled
2-4 agria, desiree or whites potatoes, washed
2-4 carrots, peeled

Method
Firstly prepare your spiced salts. These of course are optional as are the spices used. I like adding a little twist to my garden crisps but sea salt flakes work beautifully as well.

To make spiced salts

Caraway salt – heat 1 Tbsp caraway seeds in a dry fry pan and toast gently until you smell their wonderful aroma and see the seeds turn slightly darker in colour. Remove from the heat and add to your mortar and pestle let cool and add 2 Tbsp salt (I like to use sea salt flakes) pound until you have a medium-fine powder which has turned brown. Set aside.

Chilli salt – ¼ tsp chilli flakes or chilli powder (smoked paprika is also fantastic) add these to a mortar and pestle along with 2 Tbsp salt and pound once again until you get a reddish salt. Set aside.

Herb salt – 1 Tbsp fresh thyme or sage leaves pound with 2 Tbsp salt until you get a wonderful green powder (this is also great added to roast chicken or sprinkled over potatoes for roasting).

Now you need to prepare your vegetables. You want to have these cut or peeled, paper thin so they will cook crispy and they will stay fresh. I find using a potato peeler works really well a mandolin will do the trick also. Peel the potatoes and parsnip directly into a bowl of cold water to prevent going brown. Peel the carrots and beetroot but do keep separate as the colours will bleed.

Now fill a large deep-side pot half fill with vegetable oil. Heat to 190C. To check when the temperature is ready place a few slices of your vegetables carefully into the oil. If it bubbles instantly and it is crisp in about 2 minutes then it is ready. If not continue to heat until ready.

Cook your vegetable separately as they will take different times to cook. It is very important not to overcrowd the pot as you are best off doing smaller batches with greater results.

When you go to cook your vegetables please take extra care as hot oil is so dangerous. Make sure you drain your potatoes and parsnips well and pat dry. I also move the vegetables around in the pot with a metal spoon or tongs to keep them separated. When golden brown and crispy remove from the oil, drain well and cool on kitchen paper. Sprinkle immediately with your spiced salt – beetroot with caraway - potatoes with herb salt etc.

Serve in bowls and enjoy their wonderful fresh and interesting flavours.