I still have Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s cookbook River Cottage Veg Everyday from the library, I’ve extended my loan and I just can’t seem to give it back. What relevance does that have to a raw beet salad you ask?
Well, the lovely Hugh has a raw beetroot and walnut salad which is where the inspiration for this recipe came from. I have been wanting to do a raw beet salad for ages to see if I could really get into them raw. And the answer is yes. Read more
This has quickly become my go-to winter salad. Around mid-morning I’m often wondering “what’s for lunch” and love remembering the beets in fridge I got at the markets on Friday will make a warming, filling and delicious salad.
I vary the use of greens, if I’ve got lots of kale I’ll chop that up and massage it in place of baby spinach, I’ve also made it with rocket/arugula and any lettuce I’ve got in the fridge. By far the spinach is best, although you’ll notice in the photo it’s rocket. That’s because my market man was out of spinach and had this super fresh rocket.
Oh, I forgot to mention the best of this salad is the creamy maple nut dressing. It tastes so mmmm and delicious it is hard to believe how healthy it is for you. No quilt required! I use this dressing on lots of things now like steamed veg (especially for the little man and husband who don’t need to know how healthy it is), wraps and other salads.
Whilst it looks like this takes a while to put together, each step just needs your attention for about a minute (like putting the beets in the oven and putting the brown rice on), so it only really takes about 10 minutes at the end to throw together.
about 1 cup of baby spinach washed (or other greens)
creamy maple dressing
Preheat oven to 175°C / 250°F
Wrap beetroot in foil and put in oven for an hour or until soft.
After 30 minutes, bring a full kettle to boil, add boiling water to pan and stir in brown rice on high. Turn heat down to medium/low (a good simmer) and cook for 20 - 25 mins (or according to instructions on packet).
When beetroot is ready take out of the oven and let cool with foil open for a few minutes.
When rice is cooked (test a bit on a spoon), drain and rinse in strainer.
Peel beetroot by cutting off skin - it should mostly come off with your knife, if not just cut it off.
Throw all the ingredients together and dress with creamy maple dressing.
After researching recipes for the wrap board in my last post I couldn’t wait to try nori instead of my usual rye or rice paper. And wait I did not. Last night the little man and I experimented with some roast vegetables and bits and bobs.
And I have to say, it was pretty tasty. You definitely need something a bit wet on the nori like hummus, or you could use some mashed avocado, or even some cooked quinoa. The little man refused hummus and his wraps were rather crunchy and didn’t hold together well.
The opportunities for gluten free wraps are endless with these. I was worried roasted vegetables might not taste right, given the fusion between Japanese and Mediterranean styles, but you kind of forget it’s nori and it doesn’t feel very Japanese at all.
You could add more colour with some pumpkin or sweet potato and next time, I think I’m going to roast some garlic with the vegetables to give them a bit more flavor.
Slice zucchini and eggplant by cutting in half, then in half and keep going until you have long chunks about 10 cm thick.
Drizzle with grapeseed these with grapeseed oil and put into a roasting pan in the oven. These should take about 40 minutes ~ 1 hour.
Whilst your vegetables are roasting make your hummus. Throw all ingredients for hummus in a blender and blitz. You might need to add a bit of water to smooth it out as you don't want it too thick. Taste and adjust olive oil/lemon juice seasoning.
When you vegetables are ready, pull everything out of the oven. Place eggplant and zucchini on a paper towel to absorb oil.
Peel your beetroot. Usually you can just start with a knife and it should come off like an onion skin. Slice beetroot into chunks.
Spread a thin layer of hummus over entire nori sheet (shiny side down), then place slices of eggplant and zucchini so they make a neat line, Then line up some beetroot beside them and line up some baby spinach leaves.
Roll over and hold tight. Keep wrapping and tightening each time. When you get to the end, put some water with your finger along the edge and then wrap it up. Cut as you see fit!
Can I really call this a cost cutting salad? My reason for doing is the salmon. I’m still working my way through the 24 cans of Wild Alaskan salmon we got at the cash’n’carry. Heavily discounted I might add, saving ourselves $3 a can from our local supermarket, that’s a total of $72! So yes, this will be a cost cutting salad. And it’s coming up to the end of the financial year in Australia so I’m starting to thinking about getting all of our paperwork ready for the accountant.
Anyway, onto the food. Did I happen to mention I am in love with beetroot? No, well I am. Baked beetroot is like a guilty pleasure, only – that’s right – there’s no guilt.
Fresh beets are great as they really don’t need much from you. Just wrap them in some foil and pop in a moderate oven for about an hour. Take them out to cool down for a few minutes then peel or slice the skin off. So all you need to remember is to put the oven on an hour before you want to eat (this is really the hardest part for me!).
Just a little note about fresh beets. When you get them from the market, pop the little darlings straight into the crisper in the fridge. I made the mistake of storing them with the potatoes in the larder only discover they went awfully soft awfully quickly.