Today is possibly the foggiest day in the history of London. Being someone who loves any excuse to have a lazy day, I have spent most of the day bing-watching Friends and eating leftovers. If it’s just as gloomy where you are, you’re probably looking for something vibrant and tasty to brighten your day. This Beetroot & Apple salad is just the thing.
Growing up in a South African family, I am accustomed to a very specific type of beetroot salad. You know, the funeral-slash-wedding beetroot salad. For most of my life I though beetroot salad consisted of beetroot that had been boiled within an inch of its life and slathered in mayonnaise. As appetising as that family staple sounds, I was very happy to discover that not all beetroot salads are created equal.
I’ve always found beetroot to be a vegetable that’s a little bit of a labour of love. It’s a little nightmarish to deal with in the kitchen since preparing them usually results in a veggie blood bath. If you can’t cook beetroot without staining everything in sight, pre-cooked vacuum-packed beetroot will be your saviour. I buy the Tesco cooked beetroot, this way I can have beetroot whenever I want without the hassle.
300g Beetroot (cubed)
200g Green apples (cubed)
4 tablespoons sesame seeds
30g whole parsley leaves
2-3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons dill (fresh or dry)
6 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon brown sugar
Pinch of sea salt
Place all the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl and whisk together until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside whilst you prepare the salad. I prefer to use fresh dill as I can prepare the dressing right before I need to use it. If you are using dry dill you will need prepare the dressing a couple of hours in advance.
Begin by cubing the beetroot and placing in a large bowl. Chop the apple and add to the beetroot. Sprinkle in sesame seeds and parsley leaves, and then toss the ingredients gently. Shake the dressing and pour generously over the salad before tossing again. Chill for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavours to mingle.
My favourite thing about this salad is the sweet earthly flavour of the beetroot against the tart crispness of the green apple. The dill dressing may sound like an unusual combination, but I found that it brings a lovely herby flavour to the salad. This salad makes a great accompaniment to a lunch spread.