The rainy weather in Sydney recently has been a downer, but there is the occasional ray of light. As the sun peeked from behind the clouds one afternoon the city was greeted by a stunning double rainbow. Cellular networks immediately melted down as Instagram and Facebook feeds across the country where overwhelmed by colourful images.
As it happened on the very same day my kitchen was filled with a rainbow of the chard kind. This glorious vegetable always draws the eye at the market, and on this occasion I yielded and bought a bunch. With vibrant colour on my mind I choose a mix of red and golden beetroots too: appearing in both sweet (roasted) and sour (pickled) guises here. The resulting dish is an explosion of contrasting colours and flavours: even the staunchest salad hater would have to admit this catches your eye and tickles your palate! It can be served at room temperature but is even better if the roasted beets are still a little warm from the oven.
Note: the recipe requires pickled beets; you can make your own quickly and easily using my Quick-Pickled Beets method!
- 1 bunch rainbow chard
- 400g beetroot, diced (3-4 medium beets)
- 50g pickled beetroot slices (see previous recipe)
- 80g persian feta
- Small handful pine nuts, lightly toasted
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Pinch salt and pepper
- For the dressing:
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinger
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 150°C.
- Toss the diced beets in 2 tablespoons of oil and season well with salt and pepper. Wrap them tightly in an aluminium foil parcel, place in a baking dish and roast until just tender, about 1 hour.
- Prepare the chard by removing tough ends, washing, then separating the stems and leaves. Keep the colourful stems intact but chop the leaves into manageable pieces.
- Prepare a large bowl of ice water.
- Bring a large pot of water to a gentle boil and blanch the chard stems until just tender (still firm enough to keep some shape when held horizontally), this could take anything from 3-10 minutes. As soon as cooked remove from the pot and cool in the ice water.
- Next blanch the leaves, these will only required 1-2 minutes. Again cool in the ice bath immediately to keep the vibrant colour and avoid overcooking. Set the cooked steams and leaves aside in a colander to dry until ready to serve.
- To make the dressing whisk the cider vinegar and olive oil well with a pinch of salt.
- To serve: arrange the chard in a large bowl and dress well, tossing to coat. Cover with layers of roasted and pickled beets, then top with hunks of feta and a scattering of pine nuts. Finish with cracked black pepper.