I’ve recently been talking to chefs, cooks, and food writers who have been influenced in one way or another by Lois Daish. I’ve been particularly interested in how they characterise Lois’ approach to food and what sets her apart from other cooks and food writers. Ginny Grant sums it up very well:
Lois’s food [has] an honest simplicity where flavour is paramount. There are no unnecessary embellishments in her cooking, everything that is in a recipe is there because it is needed.
I had this in mind as I made Lois’ beetroot, yoghurt, mint, and walnut salad at the weekend. Less of a recipe and more of a combination of four ingredients that go well together, there was a temptation to add more; black pepper at least, but I also thought about adding feta. Instead I followed Lois’ instructions and ended up with a salad that was perfectly balanced and lovely, just the way Lois intended.
Beetroot, yoghurt, mint & walnut salad (Lois Daish, Listener, January 2 1999)
4 medium beetroot
1/2 cup plain yoghurt
chopped mint leaves
handful freshly cracked walnuts
Scrub the beetroot and boil whole until very tender. Cool, peel, and cut into wedges. Mix with the yoghurt, salt, mint, and walnuts. Serve.