Beetroot, shallot and thyme salad with raspberry dressing and toasted walnuts

Beetroot, shallot and thyme, with raspberry dressing and toasted walnuts


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Beetroot has a wonderfully long growing season here in the UK, stretching from mid/late summer, all through the autumn, and even into the winter months. Nutritionally beetroot is an absolute powerhouse (it’s one of the most powerful antioxidants we can eat!), with the added bonus of being cheap as chips, especially if you’re buying from a local farmers’ market.

Here I’ve paired roasted beetroot and shallots – both naturally sweet – with the sharp tang of a crushed raspberry and sherry vinegar dressing. Raspberries are coming to the end of their season in September, so try this savoury twist as a final hurrah! Walnuts add texture and ‘meatiness’, and thyme is a nod to the autumn and winter flavours, just around the corner.

This recipe serves 4 people as lunch if accompanied with a green salad, and I suggest the peppery notes of some late season watercress. If you are not fully vegan perhaps add some crumbled feta – the salty ‘pop’ is a beautiful contrast to the sweet beetroot and the sharp tang of raspberries.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Line a large baking tray with some parchment paper
In a mixing bowl, toss the beetroot and shallot with the thyme, olive oil and seasoning; mix well to coat evenly. Spread onto the baking tray and roast for 35 minutes
Simultaneously, toast the walnuts for 6 minutes on a separate baking tray
For the dressing, weigh the dressing ingredients together in a small mixing bowl. Crush the raspberries with fork and mix well
Allow the beetroot and shallot to cool before dressing and serving; this salad can be served warm or at room temperature. Spoon the roasted vegetables onto your serving dish, spoon over the dressing, and crumble over the walnuts
Assemble the salad in two layers to ensure an even distribution of ingredients and flavours
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