By Magdalena Skalkowska
While it’s nice to cook with – and for – the kids, sometimes your adult palate might crave something that little bit more ‘sophisticated’. You know, the sorts of flavor profiles and tastes that most kids will never go near. And while such chances might be few and far between, when you do get a little extra time to cook something that you want, you need to make the most of it.
Beetroot, for instance, is a nutritional wonder. Naturally low in fat, full of fiber and folic acid, it has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties – in particular, to help stimulate the liver.
Pair its earthy, sweet flavor with fluffy couscous and nutty chickpeas, add fresh herbs and a zesty dressing and you have something that even the most discerning palate will enjoy during Shanghai’s long, hot summer months.
Ingredients (serves 2 for a light lunch)
1 medium size beetroot
½ cup of dried couscous (or 1½ cups of already prepared couscous)
½ can of chickpeas
A bunch of fresh cilantro (also known as coriander leaves), chopped
For the dressing
1 teaspoon of mustard (we used Dijon, but other varieties will also work)
1 teaspoon of honey
1 teaspoon of olive oil
Salt & pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Wash the beetroot and pat it dry with kitchen paper. Now wrap it in aluminum foil and bake until it softens. Depending on its size, this should take 45-60 minutes – you can check by inserting a large knife.
2. As the beet is baking, prepare the salad dressing by whisking the mustard, honey and olive oil together. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Once the beetroot has cooked and cooled, rub the skin away using kitchen towel. Cut it into bite-sized pieces, either slices or cubes.
5. Transfer the prepared couscous to a salad bowl, adding the chickpeas and beetroot on top. Scatter the cilantro then drizzle over the dressing. Carefully bring everything together by slowly mixing with salad tongs. Serve and enjoy!
// Recipe and photos by Magdalena Skalkowska. Magdalena works at FIELDS (www.fieldschina.com), the popular expat online grocery store that delivers safe, tasty and fresh food directly to your doorstep. She is a keen amateur food photographer and believes that dining is about more than eating – it’s also about the visual satisfaction.