I want to share one of my favourite salads of the moment made form roasted beetroot, ripe autumn figs, baby spinach and smashed raspberry dressing scented with pomegranate. I love roasting large bunches of beetroot over a weekend, it provides a lovely base for salads during the week when I’m pressed for time. Roasted beetroot lasts about 4 days in the fridge and I love it with my smashed raspberry dressing that allows all the flavours to dance on your taste buds. The fig is optional – but a great addition when they are in season – you can also use roasted cinnamon pumpkin if figs are unavailable. I love to eat it simply as is or topped with creamy white goats cheese or Persian feta that rounds out the flavour.
What’s good about it:
Beetroots are packed with phytonutrients called betalains that provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory support to the body. They are also high in minerals such as calcium and magnesium that help with bone mineralization and muscle contraction. Figs are low GI and high in fibre to help keep you full and support healthy digestion. Raspberries are antioxidant rich super berries high in anti inflammatory nutrients to promote optimum health and vitality. Spinach is high in phyto-nutrients to nourish your immune system. Black pepper contains an active ingredient called piperline that is known to enhance digestion and work as an anti-inflammatory.
ingredients (Serves 4)
800 g (28 oz) whole fresh beetroot
100 g (3 1/2 oz) baby spinach leaves or rocket (arugula)
2 fresh figs, ripe
180 g (6 oz) raspberries
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
ground black pepper and a pinch of sea salt
PREHEAT your oven to 180°C (360°F).
CUT off the leaves from the beetroot and wash well with the skin still on.
WRAP each whole beetroot in foil and place onto a baking tray. Roast for about 45 minutes (large beetroot) or 30 minutes (small beetroot) or until a skewer can easily be inserted through the core.
REMOVE from the oven and allow to rest in the foil for about 1 hour – this process allows the skin to be removed easily.
REMOVE the foil and peel the skin off the beetroot with your fingers. (It’s a good idea is to wear disposable gloves, and the beetroot skin should slip off very easily when rubbed gently.)
CUT beetroot into quarters if large or leave a few whole if small.
ARRANGE onto a serving platter or large bowl along with baby spinach leaves.
TOP with fresh figs.
SMASH raspberries with a fork, setting aside a few whole berries for decoration.
COMBINE pomegranate molasses, olive oil, sea salt and black pepper. Spoon the dressing over the salad and enjoy.
Pomegranate molasses is available from all good grocers and supermarkets. Aged balsamic can be used in it’s place.
Top with soft goats feta or Persian feta.