Thursday, 23 October 2008

Beet & Apricot Salad with Sunflower Seeds

I'm saying two to six servings, because it depends how you eat it. The two of us had it for lunch, with a little bread and butter (and gingerbread pear pudding too if the truth be told) and were sufficiently fed. However, it would also make a perfectly reasonable side salad to a meal, and as such would probably serve six.

Our beets were nice ones, about the size of golf balls, and we used eight. If yours are larger, use fewer; as few as four if they are really big ones. I have to say the carrots kind of disappeared. Once they were soaked in the beet juice they looked like beets, and pretty much tasted like them too. Oh well. But I guess they diluted the beetiness somewhat. We had one chioggia beet and one golden beet in the mix which, with the carrots, accounts for the two-toned effect of the salad. Next time I would be inclined to use them in the reverse proportion as they are a little milder than the dark red beets.

2 to 6 servings
1 hour - of which 40 minutes goes to cooking the beets, leaving 20 minutes prep time.

Beet and Dried Apricot Salad with Sunflower Seeds
Salad:
6 to 8 smallish beets
2 medium carrots
8 dried apricots
1/2 cup hulled raw sunflower seeds
lettuce, some

Put the beets on to boil, and boil them until tender, about 40 minutes. Run them under cold water until cool enough to handle, and peel them and cut them into bite-sized pieces.

Meanwhile, peel the carrots, cut them into bite-sized pieces and cook them until tender, probably more like 10 to 15 minutes. You can put them into a steamer on top of the beets if you like. Cool them under cold water and add them to the beets.

Cut the dried apricots into quarters, and add them to the vegetables. Toss the salad with about two-thirds of the vinaigrette (see below.)

Wash and cut or tear up some lettuce, however much you think you are going to eat, and dry it well. Arrange it in your salad bowl. Drizzle the remaining vinaigrette over the lettuce, and arrange the beets, carrots and apricots over it.

Toast the sunflower seeds in a dry skillet, stirring often, until lightly browned. Sprinkle them over the salad, and serve.

Vinaigrette:
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons hazelnut or walnut oil
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
salt & pepper

Whisk together these ingredients, or shake them together in a jar. Apply as directed.

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