• 4 good-sized beetroots, different colours if possible, scrubbed, peeled and cut into fine matchsticks
• 3 ripe pears, peeled, cored and cut into matchsticks
• 1 lemon oil dressing recipe / 3 T oil, 1 T lemon juice / 1 garlic clove
• sea salt
• freshly ground black pepper
• 200 g feta cheese
• 1 small bunch fresh mint, smallest leaves picked
• 1 large handful sunflower seeds, optional
Raw beetroot is amazing in salads, giving you a deep, earthy, minerally flavour, lots of crunch and, of course, incredible colours! Did you know you can get golden and stripy beetroot as well as purple? Have a look next time you're at a farmers' market or buy some seeds and grow a few yourself.
Dress the beetroot and pear matchsticks in a little of the lemon oil dressing and season with some salt and pepper.
Taste to check that the flavours are balanced and lovely, and add a little more lemon juice to check the sweetness of the pears and beetroots if you need to.
Divide the salad between four plates or put it on a big platter, crumble over the creamy white feta, and sprinkle over the baby mint leaves and the sunflower seeds if you're using them. Simple, but it's a treat and a half.
(I found the recipe on the internet, but can't give you the name of the author here, even though I have searched to find the recipe and her name again. At any rate, I have done this recipe twice now, each time just leaving out the ingredients I don't have. I am waiting until the farmer's market has fresh mint available or until I am at the lake, for example. The first time I prepared this dish, I just didn't have pears in the house but the salad was still good. Last night I put in a large apple pear and halved the recipe. The salad is amazing -- a gourmet addition to my salad notebook.)