My key ingredient: Beetroot

Chef Salvatore Barcelona, who leads culinary operations at Manzil Downtown hotel in Dubai, overseeing dining venues such as The Courtyard, Nezesaussi Grill and Boulevard Kitchen on why the humble beetroot should not be underestimated

A beetroot salad by chef Salvatore Barcelona
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“Beetroot is a wonderfully complex ingredient that adds immense flavour when used. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that it is also healthy. Whether served cooked or raw, or whether you use them in salads, meat or poultry dishes, I always love the rich flavour that beets add to my cooking, as well as a touch of sweetness. As much as beetroot stains, so the flavour is rich and flavoursome.”

Beetroot salad

Serves 4

Prep time: 15 minutes  

Cooking time: 1 hour


3 beetroots (medium size)

75g rock salt

1 lemon

40ml olive oil

10ml lemon juice

½ tsp cinnamon powder (optional)

5 lettuce leaves

5 rocca leaves

2 cups cauliflower

1 avocado

Pinch of salt

Pinch of black pepper


Pre-heat your oven to 2000C. Create a double layer of aluminum foil, large enough to cover the beetroots.

Put the rock salt on the aluminum foil and place the beets on top of the salt.

Pull the sides of the foil up around the beets. Like a bag, it should be loose but sealed. Place in the oven.

Cook the beets for 50 to 60 minutes. Use a skewer or knife to check if they are done. The skewer should slide easily into the beet. If firm, continue cooking for a little longer.

After roasting the beets, leave to cool. Ensure that you are wearing gloves when handling beets, so your hands don't turn purple. Peel the beets and cut into strips of about 1x1cm.

Remove the skin of the avocado with a knife. Cut the avocado into segments and remove the seed.

Cut the cauliflower heads into four parts. In a bowl, mix all the ingredients together, except for the lemon juice, cauliflower and avocado.

Place the salad on a plate, pour over the lemon juice, and add avocado and cauliflower on top.


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