in the raw


Raw Beet Salad

Well there’s no secret around here that I love beetroot. A quick scroll through the stonesoup recipe index bears testament to that: From roast beet soup with dukkah and yoghurt, to a beetroot puree to accompany a salt baked leg of lamb, to the ever versatile beetroot pesto which to my mind is a strong rival to the traditional basil based version, to a simpler spiced beet puree this time partner to crispy skinned duck, to a shaved beet and pear salad, to a warm salad of golden beets pancetta and pecans, to roast baby beets with yoghurt, I’m definitely a beetroot girl.

This weeks recipe was one of those surprise wonders that I was pretty sure I was going to like before I made it, but didn’t have any plans to share with you, gentle reader. But let me tell you, this salad was so so good that even my dear mate Missy Helgs who is not a fan of beets at all, was reaching for seconds and had my dear old Dad actually asking for the recipe. Which got me thinking that a) I needed to make this salad again and soon and b) that I really needed to tell you guys about it.

Last weekend I had made my raw beet salad as an accompaniment to a slow roasted leg of home grown lamb when I was at my Dad’s farm with some mates from Melbourne town. Something colourful to serve on the side of cut-it-with-a-spoon, tender tender lamb sitting atop a bed of sweet, nutty celeriac puree. And as I mentioned above, the salad was so good, it really stole the show.

This weekend my original thought was to serve my new favourite winter salad as an accompaniment to BBQ dry aged rib eye steak, but alas my butcher had already pre-sold all this dry aged meat, so I had to come up with plan B. Feeling like something classic, roast chook was the winner with a lovely bread sauce and not one but two types of crispy roast spuds (sebago and nicola if you’re wondering and the jury is still out on which was the best), kindly provided by my favourite Irishman (more to come on that). The salad again worked a treat bringing the twist of a fresh earthy crunch to our classic Sunday roast. So while the photos here haven’t done it justice, and I’m blaming the poor winter light, if you’re at all a fan of beetroot, I urge you to give this salad a go all good things.

raw beet salad
serves 8
Inspired by Maggie Beer in Maggie’s Harvest.

This salad has a lovely earthy flavour and crunch texture and actually improves with a few hours standing, making it a great prepare ahead dish. It is a lovely accompaniment to slow roasted lamb or your classic roast chook or even to serve as a bed for crispy skinned pan fried salmon. Or if you wanted to turn it into the main event, you could toss in an extra handful of nuts and serve with goats cheese crumbled over.

zest of half an orange
2T lemon juice
2T red wine vinegar
1t wholegrain mustard
8T extra virgin olive oil
1 bunch medium beets (3-4)
½ bunch flat leaf parsley, leaves picked
large handful toasted walnuts, chopped

In a large bowl combine zest, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, and oil and season well. Scrub beets and remove tops. Peel beets and cut in half. Grate finely using the attachment on a food processor. Toss grated beets in about half of the dressing then taste and add extra dressing as you think is required. Allow to stand for at least 15mins or up to 4 hours.

When ready to serve, toss through parsley and scatter over walnuts.

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