Sunday, September 4, 2011

A striped beetroot and apple salad

We’ve had some strange weather over here in Holland; it’s gone from autumn rain and cold to summer sun and heat. This confuses me a bit, especially in the kitchen. On Monday I was in the mood for ‘stamppot’, a typical Dutch autumn/winter dish and yesterday it was 25°C again, which made me crave something crisp and fresh like this salad.

I think it is a perfect salad in between the seasons.
The vinaigrette is sweet and slightly tart, which combines well with the earthy beetroot and crisp Delcorf apples. Which are the first apples of the season and also my favourite. The almonds give it a nice crunch, while the feta cheese balances out the dish with it’s saltiness.

3 medium striped beetroot, peeled
2 small apples, preferably Delcorf or Elstar, cored
100 gram feta cheese, crumbled
Small handful maple almonds, finely chopped
2 tsp raspberry vinegar
3 tbsp lemon oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
A small handful of basil leaves
For the maple almonds:
1 cup raw almonds
2 tbsp maple syrup
For the lemon oil:
Peel of half an organic lemon
250 ml olive oil
Start by making the maple syrup glazed almonds.
Preheat the oven to 150°C.
Mix the almonds with the maple syrup, making sure all the almonds are covered with a thin layer of syrup. Spread on a baking sheet, lined with parchment paper, and place into the oven. Bake the almonds during 20 minutes until they are nicely golden and crunchy. Cool.
For the lemon oil; put the oil and lemon peel in a small saucepan and heat on a low heat for 10 minutes. Strain out the peel and leave to cool.
To make the vinaigrette pour the oil, vinegar and some salt and pepper to taste into an empty jar and shake well.
Thinly slice the apple and beetroot with a mandoline.
Place the slices of apple and beetroot with half the amount of vinaigrette in a large bowl and carefully toss with your hands. Every slice should be covered with a nice thin layer of dressing. Transfer to a nice serving platter and sprinkle over the feta cheese and almonds. To finish of the dish, sprinkle over the basil leaves and the remaining vinaigrette.

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