Full Recipe

Roasted Asparagus and Beetroot Salad and Raw Artichoke Salad

Asparagus Salad

We spent our weekend (Monday and Tuesday) out of Auckland. Without thinking too much about what I’d cook, I quickly bought a variety of fruit and vegetables from several stallholders during the weekend. I ended up with fresh artichokes, asparagus, beetroot, basil, watercress and more. As well I bought boccincini from Marina of Italian Cheeses. Monday was a beautifully sunny day so I decided to make two salads for lunch to go with cold chicken and enjoy while sitting outside with a glass of rosé. The following easy salads are the result. There’s no need to be precise with quantities.

  • Ingredients
  • Roasted Asparagus and Beetroot Salad
  • 1-2 bunches of asparagus, ends snapped
  • 2-3 beetroot, scrubbed clean and individually wrapped in tinfoil
  • Small handful of toasted pinenuts
  • 5-6 boccincini cut in half
  • Seeds from a pomegranate
  • Fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • Olive oil
  • Dressing
  • Olive oil (4 parts)
  • Sherry vinegar (1 part)
  • Tsp pomegranate molasses
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • Good pinch of chili flakes
  • Salt and pepper

Method

Roast the beetroot in a moderate oven till soft (about 1 hour). Once cooked, remove the skins when the beetroot are cool enough to handle. Cut them into cubes.

Toss the asparagus in a little oil and grill or roast till just soft and a little browned.

Make the dressing and leave it to sit for at least 10 minutes.

Assemble the salad in layers starting with the roasted asparagus. Then add the beetroot following by the boccincini, sprinkle with pomegranate seeds, pinenuts and basil. Drizzle over the dressing.

  • Raw Artichoke Heart Salad with Parmesan
  • 1-2 artichokes per person
  • Watercress or rocket
  • Mint or basil leaves
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper

Method

Hearts of raw artichokes discolour quickly so have a bowl of acidulated water ready. I used juice of 2 lemons in a bowl of water.

Preparing one at a time, cut off most of the stalk. Then pull off the leaves until you reach the hairy choke. To get that out I used a knife to cut around the edges and scrapped out the last bits with a teaspoon. Work quickly as each artichoke heart will start to discolour immediately. Splash it with some of the lemony water if necessary. Place the hearts in the water till ready to slice.

Into another bowl squeeze the juice of 2 lemons and add a generous amount of good quality extra virgin olive oil. Mix together. Using a mandolin, finely slice each heart into the dressing. Toss to coat well.

Set aside until ready to serve (preferably prepare these 1-2 hours ahead). Just before serving season with salt and pepper.

To serve, place rocket or cress on a plate, add the sliced artichoke and top with plenty of shaved parmesan and mint or basil.