I call this my Christmas salad, because it has all the right colours – red, white and green and really does look the picture on the Christmas table. Even the feta added before serving looks almost like snow, aw… It’s a great side for a warm Aussie Christmas and goes really well with the traditional turkey and ham, but would equally hold its own with fish, seafood, chicken, pork or red meat. I always make a double batch for Christmas Day and it’s great for a few days for leftovers when you cannot be bothered cooking another thing. Try to get the freshest possible beetroot (grow your own in an ideal world!?) and if you can get nice beets with leaves that aren’t scungey and wilted, that’s great because they go in the salad. If not, use baby spinach or rocket would be fine too. Be careful not to over salt this one. Another Karen Martini fave. She suggests serving it in rolls with pork sausages and lettuce – yummo!
5 medium to large beetroot, trimmed
¾ cup caster sugar
3 tbsp salt flakes
150ml red wine vinegar
1 red onion, finely sliced
6 sprigs mint, leaves picked
6 sprigs flat leaf parsley
150ml extra virgin olive oil
salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
100g baby chard (beetroot leaves) or baby spinach leaves (optional)
Place beetroot in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Add sugar, salt and half the vinegar and bring to the boil over medium heat. Simmer for 1 hour or until tender, then drain. Leave beetroot until cool enough to handle, then remove skins under cold running water.
Grate beetroot coarsely and place in a large bowl. Add onion, mint leaves, parsley leaves, remaining vinegar and olive oil. Turn gently to combine and season to taste. Place salad in a serving bowl and fold in charge or spinach leaves, if using. Break feta into small pieces and scatter over salad before serving.