Some ingredients can turn your dinner into a festive meal without any effort whatsoever. With their vibrant looks and fresh flavour, golden beetroots are one of them. Where I live, golden beetroots are much less commonly available than their red siblings, so when I do stumble upon them, I immediately buy lots of them and get cooking. They make a beautiful raw beetrout carpaccio or golden soup, but these past weeks, I’ve been preparing them on repeat in only one way: as the star in this gorgeous roasted beetroot salad.
Besides looking like little wedges of sunshine once cut, golden beetroots have a mild and friendly flavour; sweet like the red variety, but lacking the earthy, iron-rich tones some people object to in the former. And when it comes to that flavour, like in all beets, oven-roasting them brings out the best in them.
This beetroot salad combines different textures and bold flavours: fresh herbs and leafy greens, soft and sweet roasted beets, slightly sour dried cranberries and my favourite addition to any salad, crisp and spicy toasted pecan nuts. The lovely thing about it is that it’s completely prepare-ahead. The beetroots can be roasted and peeled up to two days in advance, as can the spiced pecans. If instead you prefer to add the pecans warm and straight from the oven, they take under ten minutes to prepare. Simply toss everything with the maple and sherry vinager dressing and prepare to wow your guests.
Whether you’re looking for a last-minute Thanksgiving dish, a Christmas side or a quick weekday meal, festive seasonal cooking was never more easy. Enjoy!
Golden beetroot salad with cranberries and spiced pecans – serves 4
- 1 kg medium-sized yellow beetroots, rinsed and unpeeled
- 100 g spicy toasted pecan nuts
- 4 tbsp. sherry vinegar
- 3 tbsp. rapeseed oil or olive oil
- 60 ml maple syrup
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 100 g mixed lettuce leaves
- 30 g flat-leaf parsley
- handful of dried cranberries
Heat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6.
Wrap the beetroots individually in aluminium foil and place them on a lined baking sheet. Depending on their size, roast the beets for 40-60 minutes until just tender. You may need to take the smaller ones out of the oven earlier than the bigger ones; they are cooked when you can easily prick them with a fork.
If the pecans aren’t toasted and spiced beforehand, add the untoasted pecans to the baking sheet for the last 5 minutes. When browned and fragrant, take the pecans out of the oven and coat them with the spice mix. Set aside and leave to cool.
When the beetroots are cool enough to handle, unwrap them and peel them. Cut into wedges.
Make a vinaigrette by mixing the oil, vinegar, maple syrup and chopped garlic. Whisk and season to taste with sea salt and black pepper.
In a large bowl, mix the lettuce leaves, the parsley, cranberries and beetroot wedges. Sprinkle over 4 tbsp. of the vinaigrette and toss to coat.
Top with the spiced pecans and serve with the remaining vinaigrette on the side.