Thursday, August 30, 2012

Beetroot and Blackberry salad

This time of year in Connemara, the hedgerow briars come forward with a luscious crop of blackberries - but blackcurrants work equally well.

We see fig, orange and pomegranate based salads on TV but our own homegrown earthy sweet of beetroot and the zesty sweetness of foraged fruit sing of late summer and early autumn.

It is a great seasonal treat, and you really don't have to forage all that many - its only 200 grams, about a tea mug full.

As an unusual but the delicious combo I would go so far as to call it an almost exotic dish from a small garden plot.

and yet the food miles are minimal for most home gardeners as most of us have a few beets and an onion somewhere in the beet patch.

Great as an appetizer but really, really, really good with cold roast duck, pork or game.
Also, if you freeze a few blackberries now and store some beets, its great with cold turkey just after Christmas.
Iphone pic - slight variation using strawberries and loganberry-applevinegar

1 bunch baby beetroot.
About 200 grams of blackberries or blackcurrants.
Half a small red onion, diced or very finely sliced.
Tablespoon honey - local if you can find it (or caster sugar if you like)
Beet leaves, Bay leaf or mint to garnish

Lightly scrub the beets, remove the leaves - they can be used as a garnish
Boil the beets in lightly salted water

Rinse your blackberries
Melt the honey down in about a tablespoon of water
Gently warm the blackberries in the warmed honey-water until they start to release their colour and soften.

Don't stir the pan, just shake it to avoid crushing the fruit.

Add a little more water by the tablespoon if required, you are looking to create a very light syrup.

When the beets are cooked, drain them and slip the skins off as soon as they are cool enough to handle.

Slice into the beets into rings and arrange on a shallow plat.
Sprinkle over the onions and season to taste.

Spoon over the fruits with a slotted spoon and reduce the syrup a little further.

Pour over the syrup and leave the  dish to cool

Serve with cold game or pork, and maybe use the beet leaves as a garnish.
And as I said before, it makes a great post Christmas accompaniment to turkey or ham

Comments are, as always, most welcome - photos will follow, but it may take a while, left camera with pics at home without downloading them - if someone wants to send some in please feel free to do so.

These pictures were taken in Holland, a slight variation on the original. I used strawberries - and instead of water, I used a lovely Swedish vinegar - lingonberry and apple cider vinegar - available at Ikea - but it does demonstrate the colours you can expect. There are other fruit vinegars more available in Ireland. Experiment with what fruit you can grow or forage.


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  1. I would never have thought of this combo. It must look spectacular toomwith sucg strong colours. Shame you don't have a photo. Have a great week!

  2. Beetroot and Blackberry salad sounds gorgeous! I just copied the recipe and will venture into the garden to pick the ingredients once the lastest shower of rain blows away. I have been using raw, grated beetroot a lot recently in salads - lovely with rocket. Kay - Living Gardens

  3. The blaberry and beet root salad looks very light and refreshing, the perfect counterpart to some of these overly heavy winter dishes that are popping up at the moment. Lovely!

  4. Simon I remembered this dish - a great salad. Please drop me a line on if it is ok with you if I link to it on my blog, Carole's Chatter. Cheers


Thanks for commenting - its cool that you took the time