Bright, lively and above all nutritious my beet salad is based around 4 simple ingredients; beetroot, walnuts, pumpkin seeds and pomegranate. These ingredients are packed with essential vitamins and minerals to give you the energy to get the most out of life. The addition of labne, fresh mint and sumac gives the dish a Middle Eastern flavour, perfect for lifting the spirits in the cold winter months.
For this dish you’ll need to source young beetroots with the leaves still intact. Although some decent greengrocers may stock these your best bet is your local farmers market. Choose a selection of candy, golden and red as the bright colours will look stunning together.
The texture in this dish comes from the walnuts and the pumpkin seed. Toast them first in dry pan to intensify the crunch and the flavour. The mint and dill add an aromatic freshness. There is no need to chop them, just tear a few fresh leaves and fronds and toss in at the last minute.
Labne is thickened yoghurt that has been strained to remove the whey. To make it yourself place the yoghurt in a bowl and stir in a little salt. Line a small bowl with several layers of muslin and pour the yoghurt into this. Draw the muslin in, using the shape of the bowl to help form a ball. Twist the gathered muslin to form a tight ball, then tie this off with kitchen twine. Suspend this over a deep bowl and place in the fridge overnight.
Beet Salad with Walnuts, Pumpkin Seeds, Pomegranate & Labne
600g of young mixed beetroot with leaves attached – red, candy and golden
30g toasted walnuts
20g toasted pumpkin seeds
4 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
100g roughly torn dill & mint
4 tablespoons rapeseed oil
1 tablespoon Pomegranate molasses
100g labne – or thickened yoghurt
- Wash the beetroot thoroughly & then snip off their leaves.
- Toss them in seasoned oil, place in a baking tray, covered tightly with foil and bake at 190C for 40 minutes or until tender.
- Allow to cool a little then rub off the skins & cut the larger ones into wedges.
- Whisk the rapeseed oil with the pomegranate molasses & season to taste.
- Arrange the leaves & beets in a large serving dish. Drizzle over the dressing and scatter over the herbs, nuts & the seeds. Toss together.
- Dollop on a few spoonfuls of labne.
- Finally sprinkle over a generous pinch of sumac.