I always make this Beetroot, Maple Pecan Salad when I see beautiful beets with the tops attached. The stems and leaves are all part of this delicious and super nourishing salad. It truely is, food-as-medicine.
The flavours in this delicious dish are perfect to accompany Christmas meats this festive season. Enjoy!
Beetroot is a rich source of fibre and many valuable and protective nutrients. It is a unique source of betaine, a nutrient that is known to help protect against inflammation. It also supports liver detoxification, improves vascular risk factors, enhances energy and is likely to help prevent numerous chronic diseases. The watercress is another very nutrient dense food. With a high antioxidant content it is protective across a wide range of health conditions.
Remember to take a look at the variations (below the main recipe). Here, you’ll find suggestions to alter the recipe to suit your dietary goals (dairy-free, vegan and fructose friendly).
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Beetroot is my favourite vegetable to use root to stem. The whole plant is bursting with so much nourishment and it’s super delicious when combined with a tasty dressing and the sweet, protein-rich pecans.
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar (can sub red wine vinegar and a teaspoon of maple syrup)
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup currants
- 4 medium beetroot, washed & leaves trimmed
- 50 grams approx. beetroot leaves & stems (the inner, younger leaves are best)
- 1 cup pecan nuts
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 100 grams watercress
- 100 grams feta cheese, crumbled
- Begin by making the dressing. Combine all of the ingredients together in a jar and set aside for at least 1 hour (you could also make this a day ahead).
- Preheat your oven to 150℃.
- For the salad, cut the beetroot into quarters and steam for 15-20 mins or until tender enough for a knife or fork to slide in easily. Once cooked, remove from the basket and allow them to cool before removing the skin by rubbing with a cloth or peeling.
Set aside the young leaves (with the watercress) and finely dice the stems. Add them to the steamer basket to cook for 3-5 mins (or until just tender). Allow to cool fully.
Whilst the beetroot is cooking, toss the pecans with the maple syrup and put into the pre-heated oven to roast for 10 mins.
- Just before serving, assemble the salad by placing all the ingredients in a serving bowl and tossing through the dressing.
- Enjoy immediately.
Dairy-free and vegan
Replace the feta with a good quality vegan cheese or blobs of cashew cream.
Replace the maple syrup with rice malt syrup. Omit the currants.
Replace the pecans with pumpkin seeds. They are also very delicious roasted with the maple syrup.
You can always make the dressing and steam the beetroot and stems the day before. Also roast the pecans and store each part separately in airtight containers. Then simply allow to return to room temperature and assemble the salad before serving.
I hope you love this root to tip salad. Let me know if you try it by posting a comment below!