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Raw Beetroot, Dill and Mustard Seed Salad

by . Featured in NIGELLA SUMMER
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Introduction

I am convinced that it is when raw that beetroot is at its best, and this recipe offers the most persuasive evidence; I promise you that it is loved even by those who were traumatised by putridly sweet and vinegary school beetroot. The dill and mustard seed here resonate with Scandinavian flavours, but if you can't find fresh dill or just shudderingly abominate it, use flat-leaf parsley in its place.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

I am convinced that it is when raw that beetroot is at its best, and this recipe offers the most persuasive evidence; I promise you that it is loved even by those who were traumatised by putridly sweet and vinegary school beetroot. The dill and mustard seed here resonate with Scandinavian flavours, but if you can't find fresh dill or just shudderingly abominate it, use flat-leaf parsley in its place.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

Raw Beetroot, Dill and Mustard Seed Salad
Photo by Petrina Tinslay

Ingredients

Serves: 6

Metric Cups
  • 1 bunch fresh dill (chopped)
  • 500 grams raw beetroot (peeled weight)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flatleaf parsley (optional)
  • 1 bunch fresh dill (chopped)
  • 1 pound raw beets (peeled weight)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh italian parsley (optional)

Method

  1. I always make this in the food processor, not because it's necessary, but just because it makes life easier. Put quite a wodge of dill, without stalks, in the processor with the double-bladed knife fitted and blitz till finely chopped. About 6 tablespoons / one-third cup seems to me the right amount for this quantity of beetroot, but a bit here or there makes no difference.
  2. Scrape it out into a large bowl (keeping a small amount on one side for sprinkling later) and then fit, if you have one, the julienne disc, or if not, the grater disc. Peel the beetroot and chop it into chunks that will fit down the funnel; I use rubber gloves for this, so I'm not like Lady Macbeth with my incarnadined hands forever.
  3. When all the beetroot is grated, turn it into the bowl with the dill and toss so both are mixed well together. Squeeze the lemon juice over, drizzle in the olive oil and toss again. When everything is well but lightly combined, put a non-stick or heavy-based frying pan on the heat and toast the mustard seeds for a couple of minutes. Add to the beetroot and dill salad and, again, toss well. Turn out to a bowl or plate - I always prefer salads on a plate - and scatter your little bit of reserved dill over, adding a little chopped fresh parsley, if you have some to hand, for a final uplifting hit of more vibrant green.
  1. I always make this in the food processor, not because it's necessary, but just because it makes life easier. Put quite a wodge of dill, without stalks, in the processor with the double-bladed knife fitted and blitz till finely chopped. About 6 tablespoons / one-third cup seems to me the right amount for this quantity of beetroot, but a bit here or there makes no difference.
  2. Scrape it out into a large bowl (keeping a small amount on one side for sprinkling later) and then fit, if you have one, the julienne disc, or if not, the grater disc. Peel the beetroot and chop it into chunks that will fit down the funnel; I use rubber gloves for this, so I'm not like Lady Macbeth with my incarnadined hands forever.
  3. When all the beetroot is grated, turn it into the bowl with the dill and toss so both are mixed well together. Squeeze the lemon juice over, drizzle in the olive oil and toss again. When everything is well but lightly combined, put a non-stick or heavy-based frying pan on the heat and toast the mustard seeds for a couple of minutes. Add to the beetroot and dill salad and, again, toss well. Turn out to a bowl or plate - I always prefer salads on a plate - and scatter your little bit of reserved dill over, adding a little chopped fresh parsley, if you have some to hand, for a final uplifting hit of more vibrant green.

Tell us what you think

What 3 Others have said

  • My mother does a variation of this salad. She grates the beetroot adds salt and a tiny amount of sugar. She leaves it covered for an hour or two. She then squeezes the beetroot. She put oil in a small ladle like saucepan and when the oil is hot she adds mustard seeds, cumin, dry red chillies, and curry leaves. She pours the hot oil over the beetroot and mixes it well. She then blankets it with coriander leaves. She sometimes mixes the tempered, grated beetroot with yougurt. It is wonderfully cool in the hot summer

    Posted by luv2cook2eat on 31st August 2019
  • I've made this several times every summer and fall since I found it in Nigella Summer. It's robust, full-flavoured, and the pile of maroon slivers on a white or pastel plate really livens up a place setting.

    Posted by Montymiff on 25th June 2019
  • This salad is so delicious! So simple but you keep coming back for more. Beets are ready in our garden right now so I look forward to making this salad once again!

    Posted by chokky on 18th August 2011
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