Swedes are great lovers of salads and make a considerable use of beetroot (beets) as they grow well in Sweden. In recent years they have also started to use couscous a lot, something that goes well with beetroot, and which now often features in Swedish salads.
Another feature about Swedish salads is that they often use fruit, sometimes just for added colour, but here the figs are a key ingredient.
Preparation: 10 Minutes
Cooking: 40 Minutes
Based on a recipe published by ICA in Sweden
• Use pearl couscous if you can as it looks better and adds a bit of bite to the salad. Pearl couscous is sometimes referred to as jumbo couscous, Israeli couscous, mougrabieh, fregola or giant couscous, depending on where you live.
• I have increased the amount of salad from 70 g to 150 g and the quantity of raisins from 30 g to 75 g, but you may prefer the original quantities.
600 g (1 1/4 lb) beetroot (beets)
200 g (1 1/4 cups) couscous
1 small red onion
3 fresh figs
75 g (1/2 cup) raisins
150 g (5 oz) mixed salad leaves
3 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar, preferably white
1 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. Trim most of the stalk from the beetroot, scrub, put them in a pan, cover with water, add some salt and bring to boil. Simmer until tender, which can take anything from 10 to 50 minutes depending on their size. When cool, peel and cut into small wedge.
2. Meanwhile cook the couscous according to the instructions on the packet. Drain and loosen with a fork if it is too sticky.
3. Peel the onion and slice thinly.
4. Halve the figs and slice thinly.
5. Mix all the ingredients in a large dish, keeping back some couscous, fig slices and raisins.
6. Whisk the ingredients for the dressing together. Pour over the salad and toss.
7. Garnish with the remaining couscous, fig slices and raisins.
Recipe courtesy of John Duxbury, founder and editor of Swedish Food.