Some things are just better together, like Sonny and Cher or basil and tomato. So too it is with butternut and beetroot. These two colourful vegetables have great texture and are especially good when roasted. Today’s recipe showcases the inseparable duo in this black rice salad with balsamic beets and butternut. To contrast the natural sweetness of the beets, we’re adding salty feta and toasted pumpkin seeds for textural crunch. The slightly tart dressing brings all the earthy flavours together. Made with honey, red wine vinegar and fresh herbs, it’s supreme deliciousness! Be kind to your body and make this salad.
More reasons to make this salad……
– Nutrient powerhouse
– Vibrant colours
– Insane flavour
– Meat-free, Happy Monday supporter!
– Black rice and black beans
– Salty and sweet
– Vamped-up herb dressing
– Lunch box potential (single job, double reward)
If you haven’t yet tried black rice, this is the time to give it a go. With its high levels of iron,vitamin E and antioxidants, it’s the new grain to follow. The flavour is mildly nutty with the black outer shell turning a dark, purplish colour when cooked. Very funky, for a salad. Black rice is also good for risottos and chocolate rice pudding – nero style.
Beetroot has steadily made its way up the ranks from the bottled, 70’s style vinegary variety that used to colour everything on your ‘braai’ plate a shade of disco fuchsia. It now sits comfortably on the menus of fashionable restaurants, loved for its subtle earthy charm, versatility and extraordinary colour. It lends itself easily to both savoury dishes and sweet bakes. Nutritionally it offers high levels folic acid, fibre, iron and vitmains, A and C.
This black rice salad is especially good served with marinated rib-eye steak or my paprika roast chicken. Any leftovers can be packed for lunch the next day. Remember to bring it up to room temperature before serving as refrigeration will mask the true flavours.
Black rice salad with balsamic beets and butternut
- 1/2 cup black rice
- 400g tinned black beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small butternut, peeled and cut into chunks
- 5-6 raw beets
- 1 tablespoon balsamic glaze (not the vinegar)
- 100g feta, crumbled
- 1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
For the dressing
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- black pepper
- a large handful of each, flat leaf parsley and basil, finely chopped
- Rinse the rise and drain. Place in a saucepan and cover with 2 cups of water and a pinch of salt. Boil for 20 minutes. Check that the rice is tender and then rinse under cold water. Drain well.
- Preheat the oven to 200º C. Place the butternut on a large, lined baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season well with salt and black pepper. Roast for 45 minutes until tender and nicely coloured.
- If you’re using fresh beetroot, wash to remove grit. Place in a saucepan, cover with water and simmer for 45 minutes until tender. Drain, cool and peel. Quarter the beets and toss in the balsamic glaze. Set aside.
- For the dressing, place all the ingredients in a jam jar and shake together.
- To assemble the salad, mix together the rice and black beans. Pour half the dressing over and toss to coat. Lay the beetroot and butternut on the rice, crumble over the feta and scatter with the pumpkin seeds. Drizzle the remaining dressing over and finish with black pepper.