Being back in Sweden for a month with blizzards and temperatures reaching -5, making healthy salads to become beach fit has felt very far away. Instead I’ve been stuffing myself with hearty stews and kebabs (Malmö kebabs are legendary).
However, I found an interesting ingredient in my dad’s fridge: Sweet liquorice sirup. I have no idea what it is but think it’s meant to go on ice cream. However, I found out it also works as a great ingredient in salad dressings. With some inspiration from this dish, I decided to make a beetroot and liquorice salad, warm, weird and filling in the windy Swedish spring, but also very healthy.
Mixing beetroot with liquorice gives a very interesting flavour and it might not be to everyone’s liking, however it is definitely worth a try. I’ll be making this again.
- 5 beetroots
- The leaves of those beetroots, cleaned with the stems cut off
- Some salad leaves – I used some crispy iceberg.
- 2 eggs
- Bulgur or cous cous
- 2 tsp liquorice sirup
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil (I prefer rapeseed oil for Swedish cooking. Olive oil doesn’t go well with this, as the flavour is too strong)
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- some ground ginger
- the zest of half a lemon
Start with chopping off the leaves and ends of the beetroots, quarter them and then put in plenty of unsalted water to boil for about 40 minutes.
In the meantime, make your dressing by mixing everything that goes in it. The liquorice sirup is very sticky and can be difficult to mix with the rest. I solved this by putting the container I was making the dressing in in a hot water bath. So if you use a jam jar, Jamie Oliver-style, for making your dressing, just lower the bottom end into the boiling beetroot water for 20 seconds and then give everything a good shake. Cook your bulgur in some salted water and drain. When the beetroots are coming close to being done, blanche the leaves in some salted water so they soften. Then mix the beetroots, salad leaves, beets leaves, bulgur and dress it whilst it’s still warm. Fry two eggs in a pan and place on top of the salad. Done!