Beets & Beans Salad

2017-10-03 18.10.52
This recipe was partly inspired by a recipe for a beetroot, carrot and bean slow cooker casserole from Sara Lewis’ Ultimate Slow Cooker cookbook. The remaining “inspiration” was more like desperation when I needed to come up with some sort of dish to take to a pot luck dinner and the fridge was fairly bare apart from plenty of beetroot and carrots.  A salad was thrown together and turned out to be one that the family voted a ‘make again’.  It has been through several tweaks and trials and each has been a success with a different member of the family.  So it can be changed according to what you have available: use brown onions instead of red and green or savoy instead of red cabbage.  The cabbage can be lightly steamed instead of raw and the green beans left out completely or swapped for another green vegetable such as broad beans or broccoli.  The amount of dressing is enough to coat the vegetables and it can be incorporated before serving. Omit the garlic aioli if desired (or use mayonnaise instead) although I like the slight tang it adds to the dressing.  The salad is filling enough to be served as a main course and any left overs are perfect for lunch the next day.
2017-10-03 18.10.03

Beets & Beans Salad

Yield: 4-6

Ingredients

  • Salad
  • 1 x large red onion
  • 6 x medium beetroot
  • 6 x medium carrots
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ of a red cabbage
  • 2 x 425 g tins mixed beans
  • 2 cups frozen green beans
  • 2 spring onions
  • ¼ cup fresh mint leaves
  • Dressing:
  • 75 g goat feta
  • 65g natural unsweetened yoghurt
  • 100g cucumber and mint yoghurt dip
  • 2 T garlic aioli (optional)

Instructions

  • Peel the red onion and cut in half width-wise, then cut each half into 8 wedges. Peel or scrub the beetroot and cut into bite sized pieces. Peel or scrub the carrots and cut into bite sized pieces (the cut vegetables should all roughly be the same size). There should be about 3 cups of beetroot and 3 cups of carrot.
  • Place the prepared vegetables into a large roasting dish – to keep the beetroot from colouring all the carrots, place the beetroot at one end, the carrots at the other and the red onion in between. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper then drizzle over the olive oil. Give the pan a shake to settle the vegetables into an even layer then roast at 200C for 30 minutes. Stir (adding a little more oil if required), then roast again for a further 15-20 minutes until the vegetables are cooked.
  • While the vegetables are roasting, prepare the remaining ingredients. Finely slice the cabbage, as if cutting for coleslaw (there should be about 3 cups). Rinse the tinned beans and drain well. Lightly steam the green beans until just cooked. Slice the spring onions and mint leaves finely.
  • To make the dressing: mash the feta with a fork. Scrape it into a bowl, add the yoghurt and whip the ingredients together with a fork. Add the dip and aioli (if using) and stir to mix the ingredients together well.
  • Pile the cabbage and beans onto a large serving platter. Add the roasted vegetables and lightly toss the ingredients together. Sprinkle with the spring onions and mint leaves. Serve the dressing alongside.
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Lunch Time: Pasta Salad with Gusto Tart Apple Syrup, Almonds, Chorizo & Goat Feta

Gusto’s Chorizo & Feta Pasta Salad
Running around town picking up supplies, I sneaked in a visit to our local Vetro (a Mediterranean food shop) to pick up a bottle of Gusto tart apple syrup.  I always have their sweet apple syrup in the pantry but I wanted the tart syrup to make a caramel slice with an apple enhancement.  As caramel slice is already very sweet, the tart syrup is a better option than the sweet syrup, hence my dash into the shop.  I had to dash for if I linger, I end up with a basket full of other goodies and that is a killer for my grocery budget (not because they are expensive but rather than I am spending my grocery budget on food we don’t need leaving less (mmm, more like no) money for food we do need.

Each bottle of Gusto syrup comes with a teeny tiny leaflet of recipes and ideas on how to use the apple syrup.  Among the recipes included is an Apple Syrup Cake – the recipe can also be found here and here (Bachology Lynda has made the cake and included a glowing review and a lovely picture).  It sounds and looks like a great cake and I am interested in trying to make a dairy free version. Continue reading

Red Rice Spring Salad with Sweet Delicate Broad Beans

Red Rice Spring Salad
This is a beautiful fresh tasting salad that I make every spring when broad beans and asparagus are brand new for the season.  Broad beans are loved by few and detested by many due to memories of overcooked tasteless rubbery grey globules.  I know of keen vegetable gardeners that grow broad beans and then give them away to the neighbour across the fence.  They don’t know what they are missing out on…… as broad beans don’t have to be rubbery or tasteless.  Along with Brussels sprouts, it is all in the preparation and cooking.  Treated right, broad beans are sweet, delicate morsels tasting of peas and cucumbers. Continue reading

Potato & Apple Salad: the best potato salad

Potato and Apple Salad

Potato & Apple Salad
Apples in a potato salad sounded so intriguing I had to try it.  This recipe is an adaptation from The Dutch Table Aardappelsalade. I have used chillioli (aioli with chilli) instead of mayonnaise and altered the ratio of dill to potatoes slightly to suit our kiwi taste buds.  The resulting potato salad is the nicest the Anster has ever tasted.   The salad has been made three times now in the space of about one month – so it is definitely a “make again” recipe in our house. Continue reading