I have a friend who says, “Bring a sexy salad!” to a potluck, meaning one that grabs attention. This one fits the bill, redolent with herbs and spices that give it a taste evocative of the Mediterranean and North Africa. The lemon and cilantro provide a fresh contrast to the earthiness of the beetroot.
Use the bounty from your survival garden for this salad sensation, which is anything but bland! Freshly pulled beetroot, cilantro from the herb garden, a lemon from your tree and you’re almost good to go.
Beetroot and cilantro are packed with healthy goodness. Beetroot contains 11% of your recommended daily intake of fiber in a 3.5ounce (100g) portion. It has manganese, iron, potassium, folate (vitamin B9), and vitamin C.
Beetroot is also a high calorie vegetable keeping you full for longer and the benefits include improved blood flow, assistance in lowering blood pressure, and better exercise performance.
Cilantro is also reported to assist in lowering blood pressure, is filled with anti-oxidants and by using cilantro to flavor dishes it means you can reduce the amount of salt used.
We are constantly being warned by health experts, that sugar and salt in excess are not good for health! Add in the benefits of lemon juice and olive oil and this salad has it pretty much wrapped up in terms of health, plus it is delicious!
This recipe is vegan if you exclude the feta. People who are Paleo purists won’t add dairy but some followers of the Paleo way of eating will include organic feta.
We use Himalayan salt as it was created thousands of years ago long before the oceans were infected with microplastics, which a study has shown are present in our sea salt.
- 8 medium size beetroots
- ¾ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- ¾ cup chopped red onion (it’s gentler on the palate than the more pungent white onion)
- 1 teaspoon Himalayan salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons cumin seed or ground cumin
- 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
- 1 ½ tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 sticks feta cheese (optional)
- Choose 8 beetroot that are roughly the same size so some aren't over cooked while others are still hard.
- Wash the beetroot thoroughly to remove any soil.
- Make sure the tops are cut about 2 inches from the top so the color doesn't bleed out too much when boiled.
- Place beet in a pot and add in enough tap water to cover them by around 2 inches.
- Set the pot on the stove and bring to the boil on a medium to high setting.
- Reduce to a simmer and allow beets to cook for around 45 minutes or until a fork inserted indicates they are soft.
- Allow beets to cool off then cut of the top and tail and slip them out of their skins.
- Rinse and cut each beet into 3 slices, then use this tool to conveniently chop beetroot into blocks.
- Now chop your onion fine.
- Chop cilantro roughly - not too fine as you want to see the green bits in the salad.
- Grind cumin in a mortar and pestle after toasting the seeds in a dry pan for a couple of minutes, or use ready ground cumin, which isn’t quite as fragrant.
- Mix onion and beetroot together with the salt, pepper, and cumin.
- Add chopped cilantro.
- Lastly add the lemon juice and olive oil.
- Arrange on your serving platter or bowl.
- Decorate with small blocks of the feta cheese, or crumble it in.
- Stir lightly with a fork, as you want to maintain the contrast between the colors with the feta showing up white with a pinkish tinge.
As a child I wanted to grow up and marry a farmer… simply because it was so different from my life right on the shores of the ocean. Well, I didn’t marry a farmer but a surfer instead. The urge, however, to grow stuff and make great food for a big family never left. We are on acreage with a sea view and easy access to fresh caught crayfish and other seafood – the best of both worlds. As an artist and writer I enjoy creating new recipes, tweaking traditional ones, and sharing the results not only with family and friends, but online.