during hols we need a light meal, too 😉
Coming so close to Christmas, there is an insane amount of present wrapping and organisation to do. Christmas cards come and go, phones buzz, bleep and ring to arrange meeting up with loved ones before, during and after the holidays. So many glittering lights around to gaze at, so much fuss around the Christmas table. I am sharing a festive beetroot salad, quick and easy to please and impress.
Head straight to the recipe.
The Greek Christmas table brings along many traditions. Baking is at the fore front, fresh butter is beaten with sugar for kourabiedes, icing sugar covering the counters and just about any surface to leave a trail of where you have eaten this scrumptious biscuit. Honey is warmed up and spiced for dipping in melomakarona, crumbly and delicious. The traditional sweets will decorate the counters and some serious preparations are going to start for the Christmas table.
Greek Christmas comes along with some typical dishes, be it stuffed turkey with raisins and pine nuts or a roast of pork. The most traditional of all are cabbage rolls, a pot stuffed with the winter versions of vine leaves, steaming under a delicious sauce of avgolemono. Some might also do roast lamb, although this dish is not as prominent. Colourful salads will complement the roasts and freshen up the colourful array of munching. You will find all the mastery of the home cook, the wisdom of older generations and a flair of new, modern tastes sitting next to each other.
This Christmas I chose to share a much quicker recipe. We all have a loved dish that has become the Christmas favourite. Beetroot salads for me were always a go-to. Especially the one with green apple and walnuts. This is a much lighter version, refreshing to savour, fancy to look at and so quick to prepare. This is what you will need to make your beetroot salad:
Ingredients(recipe adapted by chef Pericles Koskinas)
- 500 gr boiled beetroot
- 200 gr anthotiro, you can substitute with ricotta
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
For the sauce
- 80 gr of pistachios, unsalted
- 4-5 sprigs of fresh mint
- 1 lemon, for its rind
- 100 ml extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbspns of balsamic vinegar
- A pinch of sugar
How to make the beetroot salad:
- If you are boiling fresh beetroot, remove leaves and place in a pot with salted water. Bring to the boil and cook for about 30 minutes or until soft when pinched with a fork.
- Meanwhile prepare the pistachios, it’s best to have them slightly roasted. Put them on a frying pan and allow to roast for 3-4 minutes. Set aside when ready.
- Once the beetroot is cooked, let it drain in a strainer and peel when at room temperature. Slice, add some salt and freshly ground pepper and rest on your platter.
- For the sauce, add in a small bowl the olive oil, vinegar and sugar, beat to combine.
- Add the mint leaves, the lemon rind, salt and pepper and the roasted pistachios. You are ready to add it to the beetroot.
- Anthotiro, ricotta is a good substitute as well, will go on top last in small crumbly pieces.
If you are looking for more festive inspiration check out some of the Greek Christmas favourite recipes here.
Wishing you a great holiday with family and friends.
From Athens with love,