Vegetarian Butternut, Ginger And Beetroot Salad

by | Nov 28, 2014 | Recipes

By Amy Rankin
For a good old-fashioned South African meat-eater, I was a little doubtful of how much I’d enjoy a cooking course entitled, ‘Versatile Vegetarian’. I have one vegetarian friend who’d reap the benefits of these newly acquired skills, but how would I entice the rest?
The truth is that vegetables are actually a lot more versatile than I’d initially thought. All you need is a passionate chef like Pieter de Jager of Leopard’s Leap Family Vineyards to show you how to put interesting (and assumingly contradictory) ingredients together. Take ginger and butternut for example. When I read that on the menu I was a bit skeptical. The result: a riot of colour, a variety of texture and a balancing act of flavours that were fresh, earthy, bright and all-round tantalising. Serve with a beetroot-yoghurt dressing and you’ve got yourself a dinner-party winner.
But you don’t have to take my word for it. Try the recipe for yourself. And, if you really must, de Jager recommends serving this salad with baked salmon. Otherwise, keep it meat-free!
My favourite part of the course? Once you’ve eaten to your heart’s content (and drunk fab Leopard’s Leap wine) with your fellow classmates, you get to take all the recipes from the course home with you.
Butternut, Ginger And Coriander Salad
Serves 4
1 medium butternut
Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 Tbs sumac
2 Tbs pickled ginger, chopped
Squeeze of lemon juice
½ bunch fresh coriander
½ red onion, thinly sliced
Malden sea salt
2 Tbs flaked almonds, toasted
1 Tbs mixed sesame seeds, toasted
Japanese mayonnaise (optional)
Beetroot-and-yoghurt dressing (recipe to follow)
1/ Preheat oven to 200°C.
2/ Cut the butternut in half down the length and scoop out the seeds. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and sumac. Place in the oven and roast for 20 to 30 minutes or until the flesh becomes tender. Once cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool.
3/ Keeping the skin on, cut the butternut into rough chunks and dress with the pickled ginger, lemon juice, coriander, red onion and Malden salt.
4/ Arrange the butternut on a platter and garnish with the almonds, sesame seeds and Japanese mayonnaise. Serve with dollops of the vibrant beetroot dressing.
Beetroot And Yoghurt Dressing
3 large beetroot
2cm fresh ginger
500ml plain yoghurt
Juice of one lemon
Salt and pepper
Fresh coriander, finely chopped
1/ Bring a pot of water to the boil and cook the beetroot until tender. Remove from the hot water, transfer into ice water to cool down and then remove the skins.
2/ Grate the beetroot and ginger into a blender, then add the yoghurt. Blend together until a purée consistency is formed. Add the lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper.
3/ Pour into a large bowl and fold in the chopped coriander.
*Recipes courtesy of Leopard’s Leap
Book your class: Festive Fun on 9 and 17 December, Seamless Sushi on 6 and 21 January and Meat Magic on 18 February. For more information on upcoming classes visit

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