Pea Shoot & Roasted Beet Salad

A perfect marriage of textures and flavours in this salad

The first nasturtiums and pansies have started to bloom in my front yard. And I couldn’t wait to make this salad!
Ever since I started using edible blooms in my cooking, the sight of flowers immediately brings food visions in my mind. The first pansies had me thinking about candied flowers to decorate a cake but I think that will have to wait…
The sun was out yesterday and it was just right for┬ásnacking on a salad like this one. It’s a celebration of the season.

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium beetroots
  • 1 small apple
  • 2 cups of pea shoots, loosely packed
  • 1/3 cup pomegranate arils
  • A handful of walnuts
  • Edible flowers

Remove the leaf ends of the beets, cover with foil, and bake in a preheated oven at 180 C for about 30 minutes. Larger beets will need more time. I like to have a little bite to them. When they are done, set aside to cool down. Then peel off the skin and chop them lengthwise. Or into cubes.

Remove ends of the apple. Peel and core it. Then chop into small pieces. Take a teaspoon of lemon juice and mix the cut apple pieces so that they do not turn brown.

Wash the pea shoots and drain in a colander. I removed most of the tendrils as they tend to be hard. I used several pea flowers.

Cut one pomegranate and remove the arils till you have the desired amount.

Lightly toast the walnuts in a pan. Set aside as you prepare the dressing.

The dressing:

  • 2 cloves of garlic, roasted, peeled and chopped into small pieces
  • Freshly-ground black pepper, as per taste
  • Salt to taste
  • A dash of honey
  • Grated lemon rind
  • Lemon juice, about 2 teaspoons
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Put all ingredients listed above, leaving aside about a teaspoon of lemon juice, in a jar. Give the jar a vigorous shake so that the contents blend well.

Place all the salad components (except for the flowers) in a bowl. Pour the dressing and mix well. Transfer the salad to a serving platter and decorate with edible flowers.

Pea shoots taste much better if they are bathed in the dressing. For other ingredients, the usual pouring of the dressing would suffice.:)

Tip for leaf ends of beets.

I cut off a half-inch from the leaf ends. Then I plant them in soil. The leaves do quite well and I can use beet greens in other recipes.

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