Lockdown Recipe of the Day: Asparagus and Beetroot Salad

Lockdown Recipe of the Day: Asparagus and Beetroot Salad
Asparagus and baby beetroot salad. (Photo: Louis Pieterse, Kudu Studio, Cradock [email protected])

Here’s something light and crisp for an early Spring lunch or starter. A brightly hued salad of young beetroot and asparagus spears, dressed with a cheeky beetroot mayo.

The salad gets its vivid hues from nature. The mayo is cheeky because it’s the store-bought favourite in your fridge tarted up with whizzed beetroot and mustard.

Everything can be prepared in advance and refrigerated, to be plated when needed.

(Serves 2)


8 to 10 asparagus spears

2 or 3 baby beetroot, peeled and sliced into 0.5 cm rounds

Small beetroot leaves and stems

90 ml mayonnaise

1 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup sugar

2 bay leaves

6 cardamom pods

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1/2 tsp coriander seeds

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

1 scant tsp Dijon mustard

Salt and pepper to taste


Pick the smallest leaves from the beetroot to set aside for garnishing the salad. 

Peel the beetroot. Cut one into quarters and boil until just soft but still retaining its colour. Blanche in iced water, drain and pat dry with paper towel. 

Peel the other two beetroot and slice thinly.

Make a pickling solution of the apple cider vinegar, sugar, bay leaves, cardamom pods and the seeds. Add the beetroot slices. Bring to a boil and simmer for 2 minutes. Scoop out the beetroot with a slotted spoon and set aside to cool, then refrigerate. Pickle the beetroot stems in the same pickling liquid for a few seconds. Blanche in iced water, drain and set aside.

Make a beetroot mayo of whatever mayonnaise is in your fridge with the single cooked beetroot, Dijon mustard and salt and pepper. Whizz them until smoothly blended.

Snap off the woody ends of the asparagus spears; they should break at the tenderest point. Trim them and blanche in lightly salted simmering (not briskly boiling) water for no more than 2 minutes. Drain, cool, and set aside in the fridge.

To serve, fan asparagus spears on plates, arrange the beetroot slices and stems, season lightly with salt and pepper, and drizzle over the mayo. DM/TGIFood

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Send your Lockdown Recipes to [email protected] with a hi-resolution horizontal (landscape) photo.

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