This is a simple salad that works well as a side dish or as a starter, the beetroot itself, especially when it is freshly boiled, has a full sweetish flavour that is fulfilling, with no fat content. It has many other benefits, for example, it is a rich source of fibres and carbohydrates. In fact the pigment that gives the beetroot its red colour, possesses antioxidant properties which can help to fight some diseases. If you can, try to buy small bunches that have small tender leaves, because the leaves are also edible, in addition, they provide iron, foliate and beta-carotene.
At home, we used to combine vinegar with olive oil to make the dressing. In this recipe, I substituted the vinegar with the balsamic one and added a ½ tsp of sugar.
If you like to know more about beetroot, here are two useful websites:
- 2 small bunches of beetroot with leaves
- A pinch of salt
For the dressing
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ½ tsp sugar (optional)
Cut off the beetroot leaves, discarding any that are discoloured or tough, then wash thoroughly, drain excess water and dry.
Wash beetroots then transfer to a pan, wide enough to fit them, cover with plenty of water, add a pinch of salt and boil for about 30 minutes or until tender.
Once cooked, peel off the skin in a bowl of cool water, placing them as you finish on the cutting board. Slice the way you like, I normally quarter them, tip in a large salad bowl, then thinly shred the leaves. Add to the beetroot.
Whisk thoroughly all the dressing ingredients and mix well with the beetroot mixture. Serve at once.
NB. If you think that the leaves are not as tender as you would like them to be, and you still want to add them to the beetroot, this is my suggestion: heat up about 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large frying pan, add the leaves as whole tossing frequently until they have just wilted. Divide between four serving plates and top with the dressed beetroot.