Lemony Raw Beetroot and Quinoa SALAD

We love the stunning new cookbook, Naturally Nourished, from Sarah Britton with fresh and exciting recipe ideas. And we are delighted to share this recipe with you especially as we are big beetroot fans here at VV TV. The downside is yes they can be a little messy however beetroot is a great source of iron and is said to improve exercise performance and lower blood pressure. 
“Raw beetroot is one of my favourite foods. They are crisp yet tender, earthy and sweet. If you are one of the many people who have only tried cooked beetroot, be prepared to fall in love.
The secret to the tastiest raw beetroot is to cut them very thinly. A mandoline is the best tool to create paper-thin slivers, but if you are confident with your knife skills, you can go the old-fashioned route.”
SERVES 4 AS A MAIN, 6 AS A SIDE
190 g quinoa, soaked if possible
415 ml water
¾ tsp fine sea salt
1 medium beetroot
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
Lemon Garlic Dressing (see below)
Zest of 1 lemon
50 g raw, unsalted pistachios
1 shallot, sliced
55 g chopped fresh dill
130 g mixed green olives, with stones
 
LEMON GARLIC DRESSING
1 small garlic clove, very finely chopped
2 tbsp cold-pressed olive oil
Zest of 1 lemon
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
Pinch of fine sea salt
¼- ½ tsp pure maple syrup 
 
How to make the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, olive oil, lemon zest and juice, salt and maple syrup.
1 Rinse the quinoa well. In a small saucepan, combine the quinoa, water and salt. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to low and cook, covered, for about 20 minutes until all the water has been absorbed and the grains are tender. Fluff with a fork.
2 While the quinoa is cooking, peel the beetroot and thinly slice them with a mandoline. In a medium bowl, toss the beetroot slices with the freshly squeezed lemon juice. Set aside.
3 Pour half of the dressing and sprinkle the lemon zest over the cooked quinoa while it is still warm; toss to coat.
4 Preheat a small dry frying pan over a medium heat. When hot, toast the pistachios for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until fragrant. Immediately remove the pan from the heat, leave the nuts to cool and then roughly chop them.
5 Transfer the quinoa to a large bowl or serving platter. Add the sliced shallot and dill to the quinoa; fold to combine. Tuck the beetroot slices into the quinoa (if you toss them in, the quinoa will turn pink!), then add the olives and chopped pistachios. Drizzle the remaining dressing over the salad and season with salt. 
Recipe extracted from Naturally Nourished by Sarah Britton, published by Jacqui Small, an imprint of The Quarto Group. Available to buy now.