For foodies like me the holiday season is truly a smorgasbord of culinary pleasures both to be cooked and to be enjoyed. So much so that while December is certainly a month when the foodlover in me revels in heavenly delight, it is also overwhelmingly easy to fill oneself with all the wonderful and sometimes fatty temptations that classic holiday cooking offers. This beetroot salad, however, is not only very tasty, it also counterbalances some of the very rich food you are, let’s face it, inevitably going to consume.
Beets are an awesome and really very versatile, but often overlooked, veggie, and they are not only rich in fibre and vitamin C but also very low in calories, leaving room to allow a little bacon (it is Christmas after all). The combination of the earthy beets, salty bacon and sweetness of the apples is actually not that far from the typical Christmas sides we would usually have when I grew up, and this beetroot salad goes really well with a roasted piece of duck breast, pork roast or roast chicken.
Beetroot salad with apple, crispy bacon and lots of parsley
2 lbs (1 kg) beets (red beets or a mix of different types)
2 red apples, thinly sliced
5 oz (150 g) thinly sliced bacon
3 tbsp canola (rapeseed) oil
2 tbsp clear honey or maple syrup
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3-4 pinches sea salt
1 organic lemon
1 large bunch of parsley, chopped
1. Start by heating up the oven to 385 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees celsius). While the oven is heating up, peel and cut up the beets into thin ‘sticks’ of about 1/4 inches.
2. Place the slices of bacon on baking parchment on a baking tray and put in the oven. Bake for about 15 min. or until crisp. Keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t burn. When done, take it out of the oven, and place the bacon slices on some paper towel to get rid of excess fat. Put aside till the rest of the salad is ready.
3. While the bacon is frying, heat up the canola oil in a large pan or wok. Throw in the beets and fry gently over medium heat for about 10 min. They should not brown but rather get a slightly glassy surface.
4. Then add the sliced apples, the syrup/honey and balsamic vinegar and season with sea salt and 4-5 churns of freshly ground pepper. Keep frying for about 5 more minutes while stirring. Finally, add zest of lemon as well as lemon juice to taste.
5. Take off the heat and add the chopped parsley and break up the crispy bacon into flakes and add it to the salad and toss and mix it all together. Drizzle with some olive oil and then serve the beetroot salad immediately.