Roast beetroot, butterbean + orzo salad with seed dressing

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Here’s a delishhh meat-free Monday meal for you – and another beetroot recipe, but I’ll hope you forgive me for buying a large bunch.

This is one of those meals that’s really composed of simple parts, but multiple parts. Two of the parts are dressings because salads with one dressing are so 2014. This is the year of twice dressed salads. If you like flavour you’ll approve I’m sure.

So the first dressing is inspired by a sort of dukkah dip I made the other day (see a few posts back). It’s a blend of sesame seeds, Nigella seeds and walnuts, flavoured with chilli and Rosemary. That all gets toasted, pounded and trickled with olive oil. The best thing is that everything in it is a store cupboard item, so you, like me, may need up making it rather a lot when the cupboards are bare. The second dressing is garlic lemon yoghurt because why not.


The actual salad bulk is bloody easy. You roast some beetroot. You cook some orzo with cherry tomatoes and stir in some butter beans. That’s. It. So don’t get all ‘but-this-recipe-has-four-parts’ on me.

You will need:

for the beetroot:

6 beetroot, halved and roots removed (skin on)
1 tbspn White balsamic
1 tbspn olive oil
Salt, pepper

for the orzo salad:

100g orzo
10 cherry tomatoes
400g tin butter beans, drained
1 tbspn White balsamic
Handful rocket, optional
Salt, pepper

for the seed dressing:

6 walnuts
Tspn White sesame seeds
Tspn black sesame seeds
Tspn Nigella seeds
Tspn chilli flakes
Tspn Za’atar
Tspn dried rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste
olive oil (maybe 4 tbspns)

for the yoghurt:

2 tbspns natural yoghurt
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Small crushed garlic clove
Pinch of salt


1 – Preheat the oven to 200deg. Toss the beetroot in the oil, vinegar and seasoning. Roast for 45 minutes until tender and crisp, turning a couple of times.
2 – Meanwhile make the orzo salad. Add the orzo and tomatoes to a pan of salted boiling water and cook until the orzo is al dente, about 7 mins (may vary according to your pasta variety). Drain and rinse with cold water careful so as to avoid bursting the softened tomatoes. Set aside to cool down.
3 – Make the seed dressing. Toast the walnuts in a dry frying pan for a minute before adding the seeds and spices. After a minute or so of frequent stirring tip the toasted seeds and nuts into a mortar and pestle and grind into a very rough powder.
4 – Season the seed mix and stir in enough olive oil to form a loose paste, maybe 4 tbspns. Stir into the cooled orzo along with the butter beans and vinegar.
5 – Make the yoghurt by combining it with the lemon juice, garlic and a pinch of salt.
6 – Just before serving stir the rocket into the orzo. Divide between two bowls and top with the roast beetroot, which you can cut into halves if liked. Drizzle with yoghurt and tuck in!

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