A beautifully balanced salad to see you into autumn
Beetroot marries beautifully with warm spices such as cumin, cinnamon and cayenne, while salty olives and feta balance its inherent sweetness.
This salad is wonderful piled on top of sourdough toast or on a bed of warm freekeh. It also makes a glorious foil for roast or barbecued lamb.
For more on cooking with beetroot, read Jenny’s latest blog
450g cooked, peeled beetroot (golden and traditional pink, if possible)
½ red onion, finely sliced
75g good black olives such as kalamata or niçoise, pitted or not, that’s up to you
½ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
A large pinch of cayenne pepper
Leaves from 6 sprigs of parsley
Leaves from 6 sprigs of coriander
100g feta cheese
For the dressing:
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
6 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
Chop the beetroot into good-sized chunks, putting any traditional pink pieces into a small bowl, apart from the rest of the salad (otherwise the entire dish will turn a lurid fuchsia).
Divide the tomatoes into halves or quarters and place in a large bowl. Any golden beets can go in too. Add the sliced onion, olives, spices and the herbs, keeping the leaves whole.
Shake the dressing ingredients together in a jar and then pour half over the ruby beetroot and the rest over the salad mixture, tossing gently.
Now spoon the salad into a wide bowl or onto individual plates: place half the red beets on the plate followed by the main salad and then dot with the remaining beets, retaining the stunning colour contrasts.
Crumble over the feta just before serving. Taste—if you’re using particularly salty feta or olives you may require no seasoning at all.
Recipe: Jenny Chandler