Using the best of seasonal flavours, these recipes transform delicious salads from simple side dishes into main meals to satisfy all appetites
Using the best of seasonal flavours, salads can be transformed from simple side dishes into main meals
PEPPERED BEEF AND BEETROOT WITH CAPER DRESSING
Preparation 15 minutes Cooking 25 minutes Serves 4-6 From the earthy beetroot and spicy leaves to the peppery tender beef and piquant dressing, this salad is full of punchy flavours. If you can, use different colours and varieties of beetroot to add visual interest.
3 tbsp mixed peppercorns, roughly crushed 1kg fillet of beef 1 tbsp rapeseed oil 300g young beetroot, peeled and trimmed 2 handfuls of watercress, rocket or beetroot leaves
FOR THE DRESSING
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 1 tbsp lemon juice ½ tsp Dijon mustard 1 tbsp capers, drained, rinsed and chopped 1 tbsp gherkins, finely chopped 1 shallot, finely chopped
1 Heat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan oven) gas mark 6. Scatter the peppercorns onto a chopping board and roll the beef in them, pressing down so they stick to the meat.
2 Put a frying pan over a medium heat until hot. Add the oil, then brown the beef on all sides. Transfer to a small roasting pan and cook for 15-20 minutes for rare. To check it’s cooked, insert a skewer into the centre of the meat for 10 seconds – it should feel piping hot to the touch. Remove to a warm dish, loosely covered with foil, and leave to rest.
3 Thinly slice the beetroot, using a mandolin if you have one.
4 Put all the dressing ingredients in a screwtop jar. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and shake to emulsify.
5 Slice the beef and arrange down one side of a serving platter. Arrange the beetroot and salad leaves alongside. Spoon over a little of the dressing and serve the rest separately in a bowl. Take to the table and let everyone dig in.