A lovely autumnal salad that works as a starter or a main course, this combines roasted beetroot and blackberries with walnuts and feta, dressed in a pomegranate vinaigrette.
I’m in love with this mixture of flavours and textures: sweet, earthy beetroot, tangy blackberries, the soft crunch of walnuts, salty feta and peppery rocket, with the additional pop of pomegranate seeds. The sweet and sour vinaigrette, made with pomegranate syrup and blackberry vinegar, brings it harmoniously together.
And don’t worry, if you haven’t got any blackberry vinegar, I’ve provided substitutes in the recipe below. If you have the time and wherewithal to make it, though, it adds an extra dimension.
Beetroot & Blackberry Salad with a Pomegranate Vinaigrette
2 or 3 medium beetroot (about cricket ball sized), preferably in a variety of colours
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp coriander seeds, roughly crushed (optional)
120g blackberries (defrosted if frozen)
A big handful of rocket spinach or other robust salad leaves
2 or 3 tbsp walnuts
1 or 2 wheat tortillas
Pomegranate seeds to garnish (optional)
For the pomegranate vinaigrette
2 tbsp pomegranate syrup/molasses
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp blackberry vinegar + 1 tsp red wine vinegar
OR 4 tsp red wine vinegar and 1 tsp runny honey
50ml olive oil (or more, to taste)
Salt & pepper
You can save time here by using ready-cooked beetroot but roasting them fresh concentrates their flavour. Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan. Peel the beetroot and cut into large bite-sized chunks. Toss with the olive oil and crushed coriander seeds (use separate bowls if using beetroot of different colours) and place in a roasting tin. Cook for 25-30 minutes or until tender. Remove and set aside.
While they’re cooking, make the vinaigrette by combining all the ingredients in a jar and shaking well. Cut the tortillas into quarters then halve each quarter into triangles and toast under the grill, turning once. Watch carefully as they burn easily. Roughly chop the walnuts.
Assemble the salad – arrange the beetroot, rocket and blackberries in a wide, shallow bowl and drizzle with the dressing. Scatter in the walnuts and crumble over the feta. Serve with the toasted tortilla chips tucked around the sides. (If you remember. I didn’t.)