White beetroot and red onion salad

Serves 4
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Indy Lifestyle Online

Beetroot is back in vogue in all colours, shapes and sizes and what's more it's up there with pomegranate juice as a "super food" that's incredibly healthy, too.

I often serve white and yellow beetroot for dinner parties, which turn into a bit of a pre-mouthful quiz as to what it is. At a recent dinner I did for Nigel Howarth's food festival at Northcote Manor, I served Peter Ashcroft's candy and white beetroot. He hadn't grown any red beetroot so I had to buy it elsewhere. The taste of the white and candy beets left the red - which I later discovered was Dutch - standing. It certainly showed how our farmers are getting on top of their game. Have this as a starter, a side salad or as one of several buffet - nasty word that, let's say antipasti - dishes.

3-4 heads of white beetroot, weighing about 500g
4 medium-sized red onions

for the dressing

3-4tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1tbsp good quality white wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1tbsp freshly grated horseradish
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Put the beetroot in a pan of cold water with a couple of teaspoons of salt, bring to the boil and simmer for about 1 hour, or until it's tender to the point of a knife. Remove from the water and leave to cool - you can speed up the process by running under cold water.

Meanwhile pre-heat the oven to 180C/gas mark 5. Wrap the onions individually in foil and bake for 1 12 hours. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.

While the beetroot and onions are cooking, mix together all the ingredients for the dressing and season.

Once the beetroots have cooled enough to handle, remove the skins by rubbing them off with your hands, or scraping with a small knife, and cut the peeled beets into wedges. Remove the foil from the onions and remove the skins, then cut into six wedges and separate the layers of flesh. Mix the onions and beetroot together, season, and pour over some of the dressing. Arrange on plates or in a serving dish and spoon over the rest of the dressing.

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