This salad uses the entire beetroot: root, stems and leaves. The earthy beetroot and sweet apple pairs beautifully with the creamy lemon and tahini dressing, which brightens up the flavours.
My garden has two large apple trees: one sweet, one tart. They grow rather wild and I probably should have pruned them by now. Like spindly fingers they reach higher and higher, their apples hanging ever more perilously far from the firm ground that eventually beckons them.
My gardening skills are rather lacking, but the trees don’t seem to mind. They flower, they fruit, they produce a seemingly endless bounty of organic apples regardless of how much I ignore them. Undeterred by my mistreatment, the trees give me far more apples than we could ever use.
We make crumbles and salad, cakes and juice. My freezer heaves with bags of homemade applesauce. I have dreams of pressing our apples into cider and if we can’t get our hands on a press, we can take them to a local cider maker who can press them for us. Like many of our neighbours, we also leave a box of them out for anyone passing to help themselves to. My street is like a free apple buffet some days.
Apple cores and peelings (preferably from organic apples) don’t need to be binned or composted. Apple peelings can be roasted in the oven with a little cinnamon for an easy snack, and they can be added to smoothies. Cores and peelings can also be turned into jam/jelly with only water, sugar and lemon juice. You can even use the peelings to infuse vodka or rum.
This year, I’ll be able to donate some of my apples to my local Community Fridge. It’s a fantastic scheme where anyone can leave excess food, whether from gluts, overbuying or if they’re going away, and those who need it can help themselves. It’s such a simple idea and I hope that by the time this goes to print that there are many more community fridges across the country.
Save our Scraps
– Beetroot greens (try to choose organic) are perfect for pesto, salad, or sauteed with oil and garlic as a quick side dish.
– Save the root ends of the spring onions with half an inch of the greens still attached and place them in a cup of water in a sunny windowsill and top up the water as necessary. They will regrow in about two weeks.
– Apple cores can be turned into apple cider vinegar with only sugar and water. Have a search online as there are loads of recipes. It’s easy but takes a few weeks.
– After you’ve foraged for blackberries, freeze any extras that won’t be eaten fresh. Place them in the freezer on a baking sheet in a single layer until frozen solid, then transfer to jars or bags to store more easily.
– Blackberries will last longer in the fridge if you don’t wash them until they’re about to be eaten.
This salad uses the entire beetroot: root, stems and leaves. Many supermarkets remove the stems and leaves of the beetroots, so if you can’t find beetroots with stems attached, substitute the greens in the salad for two large handfuls of spinach.
In this vibrant vegan salad, the earthy beetroot and sweet apple pairs beautifully with the creamy lemon and tahini dressing, which brightens up the flavours.
- 2 medium-sized raw beetroots with stems and leaves attached (approx 500g)
- 1 eating apple
- 2 spring onions, chopped
- 1 handful blackberries (fresh or thawed)
- 75g (½ cup) unsalted walnuts
- 75g (⅓ cup) goat’s cheese (optional)
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 ½ tablespoons tahini
- 3 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
- Cut the beetroots away from the stems and wash the roots, stems and leaves well. Cut off any long root tails, then without peeling, grate the beetroot into a large bowl.
- Wash and grate the unpeeled apple into the bowl. Slice the purple beet stems, chop the green beet leaves and them, along with the spring onions, to the bowl. Toss gently and set aside.
- In a frying pan, dry toast the walnuts over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes until fragrant but not dark. Set aside.
- To make the dressing, mix all ingredients in a blender or shake in a jar until well combined.
- To serve, pile the salad on plates, top with the blackberries and toasted walnuts, then drizzle lightly with the dressing.