Today is the last day to enter the March Recipes for Life challenge. So if you’re sitting on a delicious dish featuring beetroot, carrot and cheese – well, I hope not literally as that could get a little messy – then today is the day to let me know about it! Details of how to enter this month’s challenge are here.
For my last-minute entry, I bring you a fresh and zingy salad – one that we eat regularly in the Bangers & Mash house, or variations of it at least. It’s a surprisingly summery salad considering its winter root vegetable ingredients. This version uses of course beetroot and carrot, but you could also try it with turnip, swede, celeriac or any kind of red or green cabbage. It’s based on an Ottolenghi recipe and I love it for its versatility and its slightly sweet and sour dressing which is just mouth-wateringly tasty.
As I made it at the weekend for Recipes for Life, I tried it with some feta cheese this time. It worked extremely well – the soft tanginess of the feta is a perfect contrast to the earthiness of the beetroot and parsley. You can use whichever herbs take your fancy. The original recipe used parsley and dill but I went with parsley and coriander, simply because those are what I had in the fridge. It also features capers but you could leave these out if you don’t have or like them, or perhaps use olives or chopped gherkins instead. I left out the dried sour cherries from Ottolenghi’s version; sometimes I’ll use another dried fruit instead or chopped apple. But not this time, as I thought there was probably enough going on. Go experiment!
By the way, I use organic vegetables so I don’t bother to peel them for salads like these. But if you’re not sure what your veggies have been grown in, it might be best to peel them first.
Beetroot, carrot and feta cheese salad
Serves 4 to 6
3-4 medium beetroots, scrubbed and grated
3 large carrots, scrubbed and grated
large handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
large handful of fresh parsley, roughly chopped
200g feta cheese, cut into small cubes
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp cider vinegar
2 tbsp sunflower oil
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp wholegrain mustard
1 tsp sugar
1 clove garlic, crushed
salt and pepper to taste
This is so simple. Place the grated beetroot and carrot in a large mixing bowl with all the other ingredients (keep back a few pieces of cheese to place on top at the end) and mix together well using your hands. Ottolenghi describes it as ‘massaging’ the ingredients, so that the vegetables get the chance to absorb all the delicious flavours.
Leave the salad in the fridge for at least an hour before serving, when you can throw in the last few pieces of brilliantly white feta, which I think look fabulous alongside the pink pieces.
This salad will keep in the fridge for a couple of days. I think it tastes even better the next day. I like to eat mine in a tortilla wrap with hummus and cold meats. How will you eat yours?