beetroot, yoghurt and hazelnut salad recipe

In this recipe tutorial, Sarah Raven shows you how she prepares and cooks fresh beetroot and then arranges a simple Greek salad with a tahini yoghurt dressing with toasted hazelnuts and wild oregano.

A simple Greek salad, which uses beetroot, boiled in their skins. Some of the nitrates will leach out in the boiling, but this makes sure the roots are truly tender. That’s important in this salad and a good contrast to the shards of crunchy hazelnut. In early summer – when beetroots are still small and the leaves young and tender, this is traditionally served with the beetroot and yoghurt salad in the centre of the plate, surrounded by a circle of boiled beetroot leaves dressed simply in lemon juice and olive oil.

for 6

For the leaves

  • Tender leaves from the beetroot
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Flaky salt and black pepper

For the salad

  • 1.2 kg small or medium sized beetroots

For the dressing

  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 100g whole hazelnuts, roasted or dry fried (keep a few back for serving)
  • ½ freshly grated nutmeg
  • 200g Greek yoghurt
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 20g fresh dill, finely chopped (keep a few back for serving)
  • 20g fresh chives, finely chopped (keep a few back for serving)
  • Flaky salt and black pepper

If the roots are small, remove the leaves, slicing just above the top of the root. Remove any coarser outer leaves, but keep the rosette whole. Cook in boiling water for about 5 minutes until soft. Remove from the pan, drain well, pushing the liquid out through a colander or sieve and dress immediately with olive oil, lemon juice and a little flaky salt.

Put the roots in a pan of boiling water and cook for 45-60 minutes (depending on size) until soft. Leave to cool until able to handle (ideally you want them still warm), rub off the skins and cut into decent sized chunks. Put the chunks into a bowl.

Pour over the oil, vinegar and garlic, stir well and allow to cool completely.

Put the hazelnuts into a plastic bag and bash with a rolling pin to break up roughly. Add the nuts (saving some to sprinkle on the top to garnish) to the beetroot along with the yoghurt, nutmeg, lemon zest, chopped dill and chives. Stir gently to combine.

Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Serve scattered with a few extra hazelnuts and herbs.

Surround with the dressed wilted leaves.

Don’t serve this fridge cold. It's better at room temperature or even warm, so you can heat the wilted leaves just quickly before you serve the plate.

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