Colour and crunch – such a lovely way to eat your daily vege!
2 bunches baby beetroot (about 500g/1 pound) ½ cup walnut halves or pieces 2 just-ripe pears ½ lemon 3 cups baby salad leaves ½ cup edible flowers 2 radishes, thinly sliced 1 Tbsp snipped chives 100g (3-4 ounces) feta or creamy blue cheese 4 Tbps extra virgin olive oil 1 Tbsp tarragon vinegar (or lemon juice) 1 tsp salt Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Wash beetroot and trim stalks, but don’t nick the skin. Wrap beetroot in tin foil and transfer to a shallow dish. Bake for about 45 minutes, until tender. Unwrap beetroot and cool. Rub each one with paper towels to remove skin and stems then cut in half.
2 Put walnuts in a shallow ovenproof dish and bake for about 7 minutes, or until lightly golden. Cool then flick off as much of the skin as you can with a toothpick. *Cook walnuts along with the beetroot for economy of fuel.
3 Slice pears, cut in half and remove seeds. Rub with lemon juice then slice. Arrange salad leaves, edible flowers, sliced pear, beetroot, radish and walnuts on individual plates. Scatter with chives and dot with a little crumbled feta or blue cheese.
4 Whisk oil, vinegar and salt together, adding freshly ground lack pepper to taste. Spoon over salads then serve.