Next time you are making your favourite green salad, why not switch your spinach or rocket for watercress?
Watercress has a wonderfully peppery and slightly bitter taste which is a match made in heaven for naturally sweet beetroot and the saltiness of feta cheese. The avocado and pecan add a subtle creaminess, which round out the flavours. This recipe ticks many energising boxes, as well as being a totally delicious salad which is perfect for lunch or a light evening meal. If you are not a fan of chickpeas, you can replace these with smoked mackerel. Add a simple balsamic dressing and you are good to go.
Roasted beetroot, feta, avocado and pecan salad with chickpeas
Two handfuls of watercress
1/4 an avocado, sliced
2 small beetroot (or 1 large), peeled and chopped into 2cm chunks (or for a quicker option, you can use cooked beetroot)
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
30 grams of feta cheese, chopped into small cubes
4 pecan halves (or walnuts)
¼ cup tinned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1.5 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon dried mixed herbs or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
To roast the beetroot, pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees celsuis. Place the chopped beetroot on to a baking tray. Mix together 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the cumin seeds and then drizzle over the beetroot. Season with salt and pepper. Mix well to ensure the beetroot is fully coated with the oil and cumin seeds. Place the tray in the oven and roast for 25 minutes. Remove the tray from the oven and leave it to cool. If you are going for the quick option and using cooked beetroot, then all you need to do is chop these into chunks, drizzle over a bit olive oil and put to one side until you are ready to assemble your salad.
Make your balsamic dressing by whisking a tablespoon of olive oil with 1.5 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and the herbs.
Place the watercress on a plate, scatter over the sliced avocado, the chopped feta, the pecan halves and the beetroot. Add the tinned chickpeas. Drizzle over the balsamic dressing and enjoy!
Tip: the leftover tinned chickpeas will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can also freeze chickpeas. For best results, spread them out on a baking sheet to freeze, then pop them in a freezer bag. Defrost thoroughly before using them.