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Information

Course: appetizer
Total time: under 30 minutes
Skill level: Easy
Cost: Inexpensive
Yield: Serves 4
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Notes

When most people think about beetroot in salads, they think of big vinegary crinkle-cut chunks from a jar and immediately say no! But remember, beetroots are only vinegary when they’re pickled. When simply boiled or roasted they are juicy and sweet as you like. Raw beetroot is amazing in salads, giving you a deep, earthy, minerally flavour, lots of crunch and, of course, incredible colours! Did you know you can get golden and stripy beetroot as well as purple? Have a look next time you’re at a farmers’ market or buy some seeds and grow a few yourself.

Remember to wear an apron when chopping beetroot, and wash your board and hands afterwards or you’ll get red fingerprints everywhere. If your knife skills aren’t up to speed yet, buy one of those matchstick peelers or matchstick mandolins in good cook shops. Then you’ll be really quick at it.

Ingredients

  • 4 good-sized beet roots, lovely different colours if possible, scrubbed, peeled and cut into fine matchsticks
  • 3 ripe pears (or you could use apples), peeled, cored and cut into matchsticks
  • 1 x lemon oil dressing recipe (see below)
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 200g/7oz feta cheese
  • A small bunch of fresh mint, smallest leaves picked
  • Optional: a large handful of sunflower seeds
  • 3 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice (the juice of approximately 1 lemon)
  • 10 tablespoons best-quality extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Dress the beetroot and pear matchsticks in a little of the lemon oil dressing and season with some salt and pepper. Taste to check that the flavours are balanced and lovely, and add a little more lemon juice to check the sweetness of the pears and beetroots if you need to.

Divide the salad between four plates or put it on a big platter, crumble over the creamy white feta, and sprinkle over the baby mint leaves and the sunflower seeds if you’re using them. Simple, but it’s a treat and a half.

For the Lemon Oil Dressing:

Put the lemon juice and oil into a jam jar and season. Tighten the lid and shake. Try out your dressing on a salad leaf and adjust the seasoning to taste.

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Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving

Nutritional information includes 1/8 teaspoon of added salt per serving, but does not include optional large handful of sunflower seeds.

548kcal (27%)
279mg (28%)
16mg (27%)
71mcg RAE (2%)
486mg
40mg
9g
21g
7g
32g
45mg (15%)
916mg (38%)
12g (61%)
45g (69%)
2mg (10%)