Middle Eastern-Inspired Summer Salad
'Candy beetroots are one of my favourite summer veg – I love their pretty pink and white stripes and sweet, mild taste. They're not as juicy as red beetroot (so much easier to prepare raw) and their taste reminds me of a cross between beetroot and radish. If you can't get hold of them, substitute with radishes or red or golden beetroot. I like to serve this with a fragrant Moroccan dressing and a sprinkling of rose petals.' –Amber Locke
For the Salad:
2 crisp lettuces, such as Romaine
1–3 raw candy beetroots, scrubbed or peeled
1 handful of pistachio nuts, shelled
1 handful of pomegranate seeds
Ras-el-hanout and edible rose petals, to garnish
For the Moroccan dressing:
1.5 teaspoons of ras-el-hanout
3 tablespoons of walnut or pistachio oil
Juice of 1 lemon
1–2 teaspoons of date paste
1 red chilli, deseeded (optional)
Salt and Pepper
1. Start by making the dressing. Blend together all the appropriate ingredients in a high-speed blender or food processor, or whisk them by hand. If you trickle the oil in slowly as you blend, it will help the dressing emulsify and thicken. Season to taste, then cover and store in the fridge until needed (it will happily keep for up to 1 week).
2. Tear the lettuce leaves into bite-sized pieces.
3. Slice the beetroots very thinly using a mandolin or vegetable peeler, or carefully cut into wafer-thin slices with a small, sharp knife.
4. Roughly chop the pistachios and then gently combine all the salad ingredients together in a large bowl.
5. Pour the Moroccan dressing over the salad and sprinkle a little ras-el-hanout and fresh rose petals over the top to garnish.
Recipe kindly contributed by Amber Locke, from her book Nourish.