Whenever we talk about healthy food, salad is the first to come to mind. But, it’s more than just a bowl of greens, or merely an appetizer. If done right, it can be a moreish and anticipated dish – one you can enjoy without worrying about calorie guilt.
Cooking Time: 50 mins
- 1 large beetroot
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Salt, for seasoning
For salad dressing:
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1/2 tsp roasted cumin powder
- 2 tsp finely grated ginger
- Salt and pepper, for seasoning
- 1 small pack of any fresh salad leaves
- 100g fresh feta, crumbled
- Cherry tomatoes, halved
- Pink radish, thinly sliced
For candied pecans:
- 1 cup pecans
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Preheat oven to 180°C.
- Wash and dry the beetroot. Place beetroot on an aluminium foil along with peeled garlic and olive oil. Cover and secure beetroot with aluminium foil, ensuring it’s closed on all sides. Place it on a baking tray and bake at 175°C for about 40 mins.
- Peel skin off beetroot when it cools down, as it’ll come off easily at this stage.
- Using a mandolin slicer, gently slice beetroot into wafer-thin slices. Set aside.
For the dressing
- Pour all dressing ingredients into a jar. Shake well to combine with the lid tightly on, or, alternatively whisk all ingredients in a bowl.
For candied pecans
- Prepare a tray lined with baking sheet. In a pan, toss pecans and toast them lightly for about 2 to 3 minutes.
- In another heavy-bottom pot, add sugar into the centre of the pot. On medium flame, let sugar dissolve. When it starts to turn a light golden colour, add in toasted pecans. Stir well to coat pecans.
- Lay on a tray lined with a baking sheet. When it cools, the nuts get crunchy. Break them into small pieces.
- Cut feta into small cubes. Assemble salad leaves, place sliced beetroot over salad leaves along with Paneer cubes, crumbled feta and candied pecans.
- Stir dressing and drizzle over salad. Season with salt and pepper.
Tip: Beetroot can be roasted 2 days in advance. The dressing can be made 1 week in advance and chilled.
Find out more about Chef Sapna , who hails from India and brings with her delectable dishes from her homeland, in the December/January issue of The Malaysian Women’s Weekly.