Roasted Beet & Plum Salad

I just got back from a two-day trip to the neighbouring state of Meghalaya. I went with my sister and her family to a place called Umden and then to Shillong. I might be posting about the trip later on but the fruits of Shillong and beautiful local produce from Umden came back with us. We gorged on peaches, pineapples and plums, sampled ethnic cuisine of the region, had some wonderful Chinese food and came back laden with produce. I couldn’t wait to start.

Plums sold in Police Bazar, Shillong. Shillong is only about 3 hours away but the winding uphill road leads to a beautiful place where the climate is mild and the landscape is filled with pine trees. For us from the plains, it’s the most popular getaway particularly from the heat and the humidity. One comes back rejuvenated!

Rather than use them in baking, I made a salad using two kinds of plums and some beets. The ingredients are given below:
3 small beets
4 plums (I used 2 of each…yellow and red)
A bunch of mint leaves
2 tbs toasted pine nuts
2tbs strained yoghurt

For the dressing:
1 quarter tsp freshly grated pepper+ extra for the yellow plums
Honey to taste
Salt, as per taste + extra to be added to the yellow plums
3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp white wine vinegar

  1. Wash and wipe the beets. Wrap them in foil and bake in a preheated oven at 180C for about 45 minutes. Remove and let them cool. Top and tail them then peel off the skin. Cut in half vertically and chop them. Set aside.
  2. Cut the plums in the centre. Twist and remove the seeds. Cut them like the beets. I kept the yellow ones separately so that the yellow would stand out in the salad.
  3. Mix the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl.
  4. Place the prepared beets and red plums in a large bowl. Add the mint leaves and pour the dressing on top. Mix well.
  5. Transfer the salad to a serving platter. Scatter the pine nuts all across. Season the yellow plums with a dash of salt and grated pepper. Add them to the salad by placing them in strategic points where the yellow stands out.
  6. Dot the salad with the strained yoghurt. Put a drop of the purple dressing juices on some of the white ‘dots’. Your salad is now ready.

I think this is one of the best salads I have tasted. The natural sweetness of the beets complemented the sweet and-a-hint-of- sour plums. It wasn’t just the taste….it looked very attractive too!

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