Research shows that beetroot improves your running performance – it’s the nitrates that do it. For obvious reasons then, most runners love beetroot. But even if your main priority as a runner is simply putting one foot in front of the other, beetroot has a lot of other things going for it. It’s a good source of folic acid and iron, reduces blood pressure and the risk of strokes and heart attacks, has anti-oxidant properties, stabilises blood sugars and on and on. Beetroot is great. Tastes fab too.
This simple salad is summery and light, great served with omelettes, frittatas and quiches. It goes really well with cheeses and it’s perfect for picnic too.
Beetroot Salad with Yoghurt and Mint Dressing
2-3 raw beetroot, scrubbed but not cut
2 spring onions (green onions to our North American friends), finely sliced
1 clove garlic, finely sliced
Zest of half a lemon
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2ooml natural yoghurt
Half a dozen fresh mint leaves, finely chopped or half a teaspoon dried mint
1/4 teaspoon each of salt and black pepper
1 Put the beetroot in a large pan and cover it with water (about 2cm above the beets). Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer for 30-40 minutes until the beetroot is easily pierced with a sharp knife. Set aside to cool.
2 To make the dressing, mix all of the other ingredients in a jar and shake well to blend.
3 When the beetroot is cool, peel and dice it.
4 Pour half of the dressing over the beetroot and blend well. You might not need all of it – depends on the size of your beets! – so just keep adding until everything is well-coated. The extra can be used with salad leaves or in sandwiches.