I’m a little beet crazy, always have been. I love the way their vibrant rich colour and sweet earthy taste can be added to a mixture of grains forming the perfect base for a variety of salads. Beets not only look pretty, they are also packed with blood building nutrients, bonus!
This recipe is a simplified version of the salad, I often throw in smashed chickpeas, other root veg, millet and loads of fresh herbs. You may also like to accompany it with a few chunks of pan- seared wild trout or salmon.
2-3 large- medium or 4 small red beets
1 cup + 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons unpasterised apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon sea salt
Filtered water to cover
1 cup short grain brown rice, cooled
2 cups quinoa, cooled (I prefer mixed colours)
2 slices of dried Kombu (kelp seaweed)
1 bunch of chard- rainbow or red
4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
2 fresh long red chilies, thinly sliced
2 shallot stems, thinly sliced
Sheep’s milk feta cheese
COOK THEN COOL THE GRAIN:
PHYTIC ACID: Phytic acid is naturally present in the bran and hulls of whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds to protect them from sprouting. This natural protective toxin also interferes with absorption of zinc, magnesium, iron and calcium and inhibits enzyme function. Presoaking grains sparks the sprouting process, neutralizing the phytic acid. When cooking, I like to add a couple of pieces of Kombu seaweed to beef up the mineral content of my grains and legumes.
Place the rice in a medium pot and rinse several times then cover with filtered water to your second finer joint. Bring to boil on a high heat then reduce to a simmer until water is nearly evaporated (15-20 mins). Rinse and add quinoa to the pot with another cup of water, allow the liquid to evaporate (10-15 mins). Keep an eye on the pot and be sure not to over do it here, you want the grain to be slightly crunchy. Once the grain is ready, add 1 more tablespoon of water then cover and set aside for about 10 minutes. Uncover and transfer into a medium sized bowl, cool to room temp.
PREPARE THE BEETS:
Place the beets in a medium pot and add vinegar and then just enough water to cover.
Bring to the boil over a high heat, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 30 minutes or until just tender.
Drain beets, slip off skins under cold running water. Cut beets in half, thinly slice and place in a medium bowl. Add the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar and sea salt. Toss gently and set aside.
MAKE THE SALAD:
Transfer the cooled quinoa to a large bowl and fluff it up with a fork. Add marinated beets, mixing until combined.
Warm a splash of olive oil in a skillet over a medium heat. Add shallots and a pinch of sea salt; sautee for 5 minutes until golden brown. Remove from pan and toss with beets and quinoa. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Wipe out skillet and warm another splash of olive oil over a medium heat. Add chilies, garlic and a pinch of sea salt, sautee for 2 minutes until garlic is golden. Remove from heat and transfer to a small bowl, set aside.
MAKE THE CHARD:
With remnants of chili garlic oil, add a splash of water then put the chard in the skillet. Sautee until wilted.
GARNISH TO SERVE