For the salt crust:
For the whipped goat’s curd:
For the walnut and date purée:
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6. Wash, gently scrub and clean all the vegetables with a small knife; do not peel them.
Mix all the salt crust ingredients together in a large bowl to form a paste or soft dough. Roll this paste out on a floured surface. Then wrap each vegetable up in some of the paste; push the edges together to seal it. Lay the wrapped vegetables on a baking tray, and bake for 45 minutes–1 hour until they are cooked. Take them out and set them aside to cool.
Make the walnut and date purée while the vegetables are cooking. Toast the walnuts in a dry frying pan over a medium heat and set them to one side. Crush all the spices in a pestle and mortar and toast them in the warm dry pan for a couple of minutes too. When the scent begins to rise, pour on the balsamic vinegar and heat it through. Add the sugar and the orange peel and allow them to infuse for a few minutes. Put the dates and walnuts in a bowl, then pass the orange-infused vinegar through a sieve onto them – reserve the orange peel. Transfer the date and walnut mixture to a blender and blend to a fine purée. Chop the reserved orange peel very finely and stir it through the date purée. Set it aside at room temperature.
When the vegetables are cool to the touch, break all the paste open and take them out; they should be cooked but still firm to your touch. Scrape off the skins carefully. Cut the vegetables into various slices and shapes to present nicely on the plate; try to keep them small and elegant. Set them aside.
Whip all the goat’s curd ingredients together in a large bowl until they are smooth, Carefully transfer them to a piping bag with a 1cm plain nozzle, put the bag in a dish and chill it in the fridge.
Now take the cut vegetables and warm them very gently in a low oven; warm the serving plates too. Put the vegetables into a bowl and dress them with a few drops of olive oil and a few pinches of Maldon salt. Using a small palette knife, spread a little date purée across each plate and dress the vegetables elegantly across the purée. Pipe small domes of goats curd around the salad – we allow five per plate – drop a few rocket leaves over it, and drizzle with a little more olive oil. Serve immediately.