Yotam Ottolenghi’s beetroot & avocado salad
“This nourishing creation can probably be dubbed a superfood salad, a term I try not to use much, mainly because I am not sure what it actually means. Still, there is so much good stuff in here that it makes you feel very healthy and conscientious indeed. Served as it is, it can be a very substantial meal – just scatter a few roasted hazelnuts and/or chunks of creamy goat’s cheese over the top, and you need nothing else. Serves four to six.”
- 4 medium raw beetroots (around 350g in total)
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 3 tbsp sherry vinegar
- 4 tbsp olive oil, plus a little extra to finish
- ½ tsp caster sugar
- 1-3 tsp savoury chilli sauce or paste (Tabasco or Mexican Cholula hot sauce, for instance)
- 1 tsp salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 medium avocados, peeled and thinly sliced
- 10g coriander leaves
- 10g mint leaves
- 20g pea shoots (or, failing that, lamb’s lettuce)
- 150g broad beans, blanched, refreshed and skinned (or frozen soya beans, quickly blanched and refreshed)
Peel the beetroots and slice them very thinly, around 2-3mm thick – if you have one, use a mandolin. (If your beets are large, halve them after peeling, then cut into slices.) Put the beetroot in a pot with plenty of boiling water and simmer for three to five minutes, until semi-cooked; it should still be crunchy. Drain and put in a large bowl.
Add the red onion, vinegar, oil, sugar, chilli sauce, salt and pepper to the beetroot bowl and toss everything together gently – your hands are the best tool for this. Leave to one side for 10-15 minutes, then taste and see if you want to add more sugar, salt or vinegar – it needs to be sharp and sweetish.
When you’re ready to serve, spread half the beetroot mixture on a large platter or in a shallow bowl. Top with half the avocado, coriander, mint, pea shoots and broad beans. Add the rest of the beetroot and arrange the remaining ingredients on top. Drizzle with a little oil and serve.