Back when the world was green, I really loved a little joint in Greenside called Wild Olive. I discovered it doing a story and then tried to go back there as often as possible. Sadly it closed down because the owner moved and it was replaced by Dukes. Thankfully Dukes is kind to vegetarians (although the service comes and goes), but I miss Wild Olive.
Lunch at Wild Olive consisted of a harvest table groaning under fresh dishes, ranging from delectable savoury tarts with a crispy crust to organic, fresh veggies. The thing that always had me going back for more was the butternut and beetroot salad. It’s an amazing combination, with the crunchy earthiness of the beetroot and the gooey sweetness of the butternut, with salty, firm pieces of feta and peppery rocket to tie it all together.
Tonight I made my own version and I was so chuffed at how it worked out. Here’s what you need:
- Half a butternut, cubed
- Two beetroots, cubed – I used half a giant golden beet. The flavour is milder than normal beetroot, but either works
- Feta cheese
- Asian leaf salad, rocket, or any other peppery leaf you like
- Spring onion
- A quarter of an onion, finely chopped
What made mine even more amazing was the dressing. It came from a recipe book called The Cake the Buddha Ate. In the recipe book the dressing was for a couscous salad, but it worked amazingly well for this. You’ll need:
- 100ml olive oil
- 50ml apple cider vinegar
- A quarter of a teaspoon of cinnamon
- Half a teaspoon or one clove of crushed garlic
- Salt and pepper to taste
Combine the butternut cubes and the beetroot cubes and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pop in a 200 degree oven until the butternut is cooked. Once the butternut and beetroot are cooked, take it out of the oven and allow to cool slightly. Drizzle half the dressing over the slightly warm butternut and beetroot and put it in the fridge to cool down slightly. It doesn’t have to be cold at all, but it can’t be hot either or the salad will wilt. Next chop up the rest of the ingredients and combine with the cooled butternut and beetroot. Mix well and add the rest of the dressing. Now stop reading and gorge yourself!