SALAD DAYS

Us­ing the best of sea­sonal flavours, th­ese recipes trans­form de­li­cious sal­ads from sim­ple side dishes into main meals to sat­isfy all ap­petites

Country Living (UK) - - Contents - recipes and food styling by ali­son walker pho­to­graphs by tara fisher styling by wei tang

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.

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