Published as part of a restaurant food feature in one of my favourite food magazines, Bon Appetit, this is an adaptation of a recipe by Joshua McFadden, Chef and partner at Ava Gene’s, Portland, Ohio. A wonderfully colourful salad with lots of gutsy flavours; the soft sweetness of the raisins and carrot contrast against the slight acidity of the beets, the crunch of toasted nuts and finally, the tang of chilli flakes.

The original recipe may be viewed here but it is adaptable. Hazelnuts, walnuts or pine nuts are good substitute for Pistachio and handfuls of quinoa and rocket (arugula) considerably changes the feel of the dish and likewise, bunches of multicoloured carrots set against a range of jewel coloured beets. Portion wise, I gauge as I prepare and normally much too much which isn’t a catastrophe as it is a great ‘ready made’ to find in the fridge.


Combine 2 crushed garlic cloves with 120ml white wine vinegar and a handful of golden raisins; macerate for an hour before discarding the garlic.

Toast a handful of nuts in a frying pan over a medium heat. Don’t be tempted to walk away as they will burn. Once they begin to colour, remove from the pan and allow them to cool before roughly chopping.

In a large bowl combine grated carrots, grated (colourful-heirloom) beets and the raisins. To this add, a handful of chopped parsley, chopped mint, a pinch of chilli flakes, the nuts and seasoning before tossing well. Sprinkle over the juice of a lemon and a slug of a soft, fruity olive oil. Gently toss once more and serve.