Beetroot with horseradish cream dressing

    50 min

    With a vibrant, deep ruby-red colour and a fresh flavour and texture, raw beetroot is completely different from beetroot pickled in malt vinegar. It makes a spectacular and nutritious salad.

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    Serves: 4 

    • 675 g (1½ lb) raw beetroot, peeled
    • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
    • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
    • 2 tbsp orange juice
    • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
    • 150 g (5½ oz) small salad leaves, such as beetroot tops, baby chard, lamb's lettuce, red mustard, mizuna, baby spinach or sorrel
    • Horseradish dressing
    • 3 tbsp soured cream
    • 3 tbsp plain low-fat yogurt
    • 1 tsp grated fresh horseradish or 2 tsp horseradish sauce
    • 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
    • salt and pepper

    Prep:50min  ›  Ready in:50min 

    1. Grate the beetroot into a mixing bowl, keeping all the juices (this can also be done in a food processor with a coarse grating disc). Add the onion and stir to mix with the beetroot.
    2. Whisk together the oil, orange juice and vinegar in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour over the beetroot and onion and toss well. Cover and leave to marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes. (The salad can be prepared up to this stage and kept for up to 24 hours in the fridge.)
    3. Put the salad leaves in a serving bowl. Add the marinated beetroot and onion and toss together.
    4. For the dressing, stir the soured cream, yogurt, horseradish and dill together. Spoon the dressing on the salad and serve immediately.

    Some more ideas for beetroot salads

    For a beetroot, carrot and orange salad, first soak 55 g (2 oz) raisins in 3 tbsp orange juice for at least 1 hour. Cut 225 g (8 oz) peeled raw beetroot and 225 g (8 oz) carrots into fine matchstick strips. Gently heat 2 tbsp sunflower oil with 1 tsp caraway seeds in a small pan for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and whisk in 2 tsp lime juice. Pour over the raw vegetables, toss together and leave to cool. Meanwhile, peel and slice 4 oranges, and arrange on a serving platter with 75 g (2½ oz) watercress sprigs. Spoon the beetroot and carrots into the middle and scatter over the soaked raisins and 15 g (½ oz) toasted sunflower seeds. * For a beetroot slaw, grate 340 g (12 oz) peeled raw beetroot and mix with 225 g (8 oz) finely shredded red cabbage and 1 thinly sliced red onion. For the dressing, mix ¼ tsp mustard powder with 1 tbsp clear honey, then whisk in 1 tbsp orange juice, 1 tsp red wine vinegar, ¼ tsp paprika and seasoning to taste. Pour over the vegetables, toss well and leave to marinate for 30 minutes.

    Plus point

    In Chinese medicine, beetroot is said to strengthen the heart, sedate the spirit, purify the blood and treat a sluggish liver. Eaten raw or cooked, beetroot is a good source of folate and provides some iron; when pickled, most of the folate is destroyed. For some people, eating beetroot can cause their urine to turn pink. This is no cause for alarm, it simply indicates a genetically inherited inability to metabolise betacyanin, the red pigment that gives beetroot its characteristic colour. This harmless compound simply passes through the digestive system unchanged.

    Each serving provides

    B1, B6, C, E, folate, niacin * A, calcium

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