Roasted Beetroot Salad, Spring Tabbouleh and Lemon Dressed Radish

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Ah, salads. They bring me great joy. I can’t imagine a single day going by without munching on something crisp and lemony. I’ve decided to share some of my favorite salads, the crave-worthy ones, that are twists on old favorites.

Every household has their own version of beetroot salad. Some people dress the beets with lemon, others with vinegar, some add scallions, others garlic, I’ve even heard of a pickled beet salad, you get the picture, the list just rolls on. For as long as I can remember, we made our beetroot salad from freshly boiled beets that we tossed with a lemon vinaigrette along with fresh scallions, green bell peppers and fresh parsley leaves. I loved that salad, but I felt like something just wasn’t right.

I experimented a few times, adding and removing ingredients until I figured it out. Beets should be given their justice and boiling them just left them soft and tender, with nothing else to offer. I decided to roast them, and I realized just how much of a difference that made. Roasting locked the flavor into the beets, and charred them, only slightly, to give them a subtle nutty flavor that gave them so much depth. I could finally taste the beets.

I’m trying something new this year, spring is just around the corner and everything green is just starting to sprout, and I thought I could educate myself and do a little bit of foraging in the countryside. I have absolutely no knowledge of our indigenous herbs so it’s been a long (albeit an educational) process and I’ve come across so many edible plants that I’m excited to incorporate into my salads and other dishes.

A few days ago I found some wild parsley and rocket growing in an area just outside of Amman and I was so excited to use them in my spring tabbouleh. Every time I make it someone points out that I forgot to add the tomatoes, onions and bulgur until they take a bite and realize that what they thought was just parsley is so much more. With coriander, dill and basil to name a few herbs, my spring tabbouleh, which was inspired by the herb salad in the Ottolenghi cookbook is an aromatic feast of flavors.

The last salad I want to share is Auntie Nadia’s Radish salad, I tried it for the first time last week and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since. I never paid much attention to radishes, but this salad was a showstopper and it would be a crime not to share it with you.

Roasted Beetroot Salad


For the salad:

1 kg fresh beets, washed and peeled

1 bunch parsley, finely chopped

2 scallions, sliced

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt

Black pepper


For the dressing:

2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

¼ cup olive oil

Sea salt

Black pepper



Preheat oven to 180C.

Slice the beetroot into circles, or cut up into small bite sized pieces.

In a bowl, place beetroot and drizzle with olive oil.

Add a sprinkle of sea salt and a pinch of black pepper.

Toss in bowl and let sit for 5 minutes.

Line a baking tray with foil and place beetroot and marinade on it.

Roast beetroot in the oven for 30 minutes or until tender and the edges only slightly charred.

Cool for 10 – 15 minutes.

In a bowl, whisk dressing ingredients.

Place beets (and their juices), scallions and parsley in a bowl and drizzle with dressing.

Toss and serve.


Spring Herb Tabbouleh

Inspired by the Herb Salad in Ottolenghi’s cookbook, here is my version of tabbouleh made with a mix of herbs and crisp cucumbers.


For the salad:

2 bunches rocket

2 bunches parsley

1 bunch coriander

4 handfuls dill

1 handful basil

1 handful mint

1 handful chives

For the dressing:

1 cup olive oil

½ cup lemon juice

1 tsp honey

¼ tsp crushed garlic

Salt and pepper to taste


Wash and dry the herbs carefully.

Finely chop all herbs.

In a bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients.

Place herbs in a bowl and pour the dressing over them.

Toss and serve.


Auntie Nadia’s Radish Salad


For the Salad:

15 radishes, very thinly sliced

2 scallions

½ cup chopped parsley

For the Dressing:

¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

½ cup olive oil

Sea salt and pepper



  1. Slice beets into paper-thin slices, you can use a mandolin; or you can also grate them if you prefer.
  2. Slice scallions into small circles.
  3. Whisk lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper.
  4. Place radish, scallions and parsley in a bowl and add dressing.
  5. Toss and serve immediately (the radish will release a lot of water once dressed).
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