Saturday, November 8, 2014

Baby Beetroot and Hot Smoked Salmon Salad

A few months ago, a very well known company who sell pickled vegetables came to me and asked me to create a recipe using their beetroot.  When I mentioned this to The Hubs, he pulled a face and muttered "who eats that stuff".  Well, me for a start.  When I was a kid, a salad wasn't complete without some crinkle cut beetroot, pickled cauliflower and onions and perhaps the odd gherkin if I was really lucky.  I loved how the beetroot vinegar would stain the salad cream and the vegetable salad bright pink.  Mum wasn't as impressed if I managed to get it all over my clothes though...

I thought it was time to drag beetroot out of the '80's and into a modern dish full of delicious ingredients with fresh and bright flavours.  And so the thinking began. And continued. For weeks. As soon as I thought I had a recipe, I wanted to change it so after much faffing, I came up with the finished article: a salad which works equally well with summery salad leaves as sturdy winter ones, using ingredients that are easy to get hold of.  Behold the Baby Beetroot and Hot Smoked Salmon Salad, with Whipped Feta, if you don't mind.

Before you go all "oh, I hate lettuce" on me, you can play around with the ingredients.  Use chicory leaves or smoked trout,even smoked eel if you can get your hands on it.  Why not some walnuts instead of the toasted pine nuts if that's what you prefer.  This recipe is a guide, not the law, so mix and match to suit your tastes.  Oh, and tell me all about it.

Baby Beetroot and Hot Smoked Salmon Salad

8 Little Gem lettuce leaves
4 Haywards Baby Beetroot
100g Hot Smoked Salmon, flaked
100g Feta
2 tbsp Crème Fraiche
2 tbsp Pine Nuts, toasted
8 spears of Asparagus, roasted or pan fried

Arrange the lettuce on a serving platter.

Drain and pat dry the baby beetroot. Cut into thin slices and divide between the lettuce leaves. Top with the hot smoked salmon. 

Crumble the feta into a food processor fitted with a knife blade. Pulse for 10 seconds, add the crème fraiche and pulse again. 

Dollop the whipped feta liberally onto the salmon, scatter the pine nuts over the feta and place an asparagus spear on top.

Serve immediately.


  1. I like your way of thinking Aoife, but I have an unreasonable dislike of Feta, so I would mix the crime frat he with some horseradish for an alternative

    1. No feta? Ah sure, go on then... horseradish would be perfect with the salmon anyway

  2. I love pickled beetroot too! Seems to be very uncool to admit it though....

  3. ooh i totally agree, love anything beetroot and anything pickled actually. This looks amazing.

  4. Looks delicious, I'll have to try it!