In my opinion, you can't have too many artichokes in your life. Particularly if you don't eat meat, they provide a really satisfying chewy texture, that's both delicate and hearty. I love them, and buy jars/tins of them regularly to use in whatever I'm concocting in the kitchen. Their texture is unusual compared to most vegetables - they're not crunchy, and have more of a soft, aubergine-like feel. I highly encourage you to try adding them to salads, grain bowls and stews for extra texture and flavour.
Today however, I'm using them in this simple Winter Beet & Artichoke Salad. Combining the flavours of roasted beets and soft artichokes with toasted hazelnuts and fresh arugula, this salad is simple, easy to prepare and tastes really delicious. Beets are one of my favourite vegetables to create recipes around because I love their earthy taste. They're one of the best to photograph due to their gorgeous colour! (Top tip: mixing pink and green always seems to work well in food photography.)
This Winter Beet & Artichoke Salad works really well as a starter or side dish to a protein-rich meal. It's great to prepare when you're having friends over because it looks fancy, but really isn't hard to make! You can impress without being stressed here.
The dressing is a simple one of olive oil and lemon. If you find you prefer a tangier, richer dressing, feel free to use the vinaigrette dressing from my Spring Colours Salad recipe. As always, feel free to adapt this Winter Beet & Artichoke Salad recipe in any way you choose by adding herbs, other vegetables and nuts, - just be aware that by adapting it you will be altering the flavour pairings and could affect the taste quite a lot. Have fun and get creative!
Winter Beet & Artichoke Salad (vegan & gluten-free)
- 2 medium beets
- ¼ cup toasted hazelnuts
- 2 artichoke hearts, quartered
- ¼ cup arugula
- 2 tbsp olive oil (a smooth tasting oil works really well here)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 small clove garlic, crushed
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400°F/205°C.
- Put the beets onto a baking tray and roast in the oven for approximately 45 minutes, until they are just tender to the touch. (You do not need to peel or trim them, or use any oil for this.)
- While the beets are roasting, make the dressing. Add all ingredients to a small mason or jam jar, put the lid on and shake it vigorously for 10 seconds. Set aside.
- When the beets are cooked, remove from the oven. Place them under gently running cold water as you peel the skin off them with your fingers. (You don't need to run them under cold water if they're cool enough for you to handle, but it does help making the peeling easier.)
- Trim the ends of the beets, and using a mandoline or sharp knife, slice them into 3mm discs.
- Arrange the slices on two plates in a scattered pattern, adding the artichoke hearts and arugula. Sprinkle with the toasted hazelnuts.
- Gently drizzle the dressing over the top of the salad, and serve.