A beetroot salad is notoriously difficult to present because of the way the beetroot ‘bleeds’ into the other ingredients. The trick is to layer the ingredients rather than toss them together.
1½ kilograms beetroot
¼ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 red onion, finely sliced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 fresh dates, pitted and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons pistachios
2 tablespoons finely shredded mint
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 200˚C.
Peel the beetroot and cut into 2 cm thick slices then into thick batons. Place in a baking dish and toss with the olive oil and caraway seeds. Season generously. Cover tightly and cook for 30 minutes. Uncover and give them a good stir. Roast for a further 20-30 minutes or until tender when pierced with a skewer. Stir in the balsamic vinegar and cool.
Combine the red onion and lemon juice in a bowl and leave for 1 hour. The onion will turn bright pink. Drain off the lemon juice before using.
To serve: Spoon half the beetroot onto a serving dish and top with half the red onions, dates, pistachios and mint. Repeat the layers with the remaining ingredients.