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The Resilience Sessions: Fonio and Beet Salad

Each week, OmVed Gardens and Chefs Manifesto chef Arthur Potts-Dawson is joined by a guest chef to discuss a resilient ingredient within their particular food culture.

Each chef cooks with their chosen ingredient, connecting to their localised food systems, cultural food history and migration of food and people. In this instalment, Arthur is joined in the kitchen by Senegalese Chef, Pierre Thiam to talk about and cook with funio.

This event was hosted by the Chefs Manifesto London Action Hub, OmVed Gardens.

Beet & Fonio Salad

  • 3 1/2 pounds beets
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked fonio 
  • 1/2 c. spicy pickled carrots
  • 1 1/2 cups peanuts, toasted and roughly chopped
  • 1/4 c. chopped dill
  • 1 cup vinaigrette
  • kosher salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Wrap trimmed the beets in foil and roast until the beets are easily pierced by a fork or paring knife, about 1 hour. Let cool.
  2. Peel the beets, trim the ends, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Set aside or place in refrigerator.
  3. When ready to assemble, drain the pickled carrots.
  4. Combine cooked fonio, diced beets, pickled carrots and toasted peanuts (if using), and chopped dill in a large serving bowl. Toss well. Dress with enough vinaigrette to coat, drizzling on extra olive oil at any point to refresh salad if it appears dry. Season with salt and serve.

Spicy Pickled Carrots

  • 6 carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 c. light brown sugar
  • 2 cups rice vinegar
  1. In a large bowl, combine the carrots, scotch bonnet, onion, and salt and let sit for about 1 hour to draw out excess liquid.
  2. After an hour, drain the liquid from the carrot mixture by squeezing well.
  3. Place the carrot mixture in a pot with the sugar and vinegar. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat. Keep the pot covered, off the heat for about 15 minutes.
  4. Cool and refrigerate in an airtight container for 2 to 3 days.
  5. Drain before serving as a side condiment.