Spotting some baby beets in the fruit and veg shop with the crisp leaves still attached, I knew I had to make myself a salad. Beetroot leaves are perfectly edible and buying a bunch with the leaves still attached gives you two vegetables for the price of one. The small, tender leaves can be eaten raw and the larger leaves can be sauteed or steamed like spinach or silverbeet (delicious with any leftover dressing below, drizzled over). This recipe combines roasted beetroot and raw leaves, with feta, raspberries and chickpeas for a perfect starter or light meal. If your beet leaves don’t look up to scratch or you don’t like the taste, feel free to use rocket, baby spinach or any other salad leaves for that matter.
- 1 bunch baby beetroot w/ leaves attached (pick small, tender leaves for salad, reserve larger leaves and stalks for another meal)
- 1/2 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 100-150g Danish feta
- 1/2 punnet raspberries
- 50-100g toasted seeds / nuts (I used pepitas)
- juice of one lemon
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds toasted and ground or 1/4 tsp cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp coriander seeds toasted and ground or 1/4 tsp coriander powder
- olive oil – enough to make a 1/3 lemon juice 2/3 olive oil mix
- 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp honey
- salt & pepper to taste
Start by preheating your oven to 200°C.
Chop the beetroot from the stems leaving a cm or two of stem near the base, rinse clean. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt, pepper and roast in the oven for approximately 45 minutes, more time is required if larger beets are used. Remove from the oven and set aside for 15 minutes to cool.
Use rubber gloves if you are afraid of staining your hands, peel beetroot and cut into chunks. While the beetroot is roasting you can make the dressing. Combine lemon juice, cumin, coriander, olive oil, mustard, honey, salt and pepper in a bowl. Whisk with a fork until well combined, adjusting seasoning to taste. Another addition to this dressing can be made, a few dollops of plain yoghurt, which goes great with the wilted larger leaves or some pan seared fish.
Pick and clean thoroughly the small beetroot leaves from the bunch. The best way to clean is to fill your sink with fresh, cold water and soak, jigging the leaves about to remove all grit and sand, drain thoroughly once clean.
warning! – may cause red pee.. no joke