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Beetroot Salad with Tarragon Vinegar, Parsley and Chives

This salad is one of my favourites – tasty, healthy and easy to prepare. There is no comparing freshly cooked beetroot with the tinned stuff, and simmering beetroots with vinegar really brings out their earthy, sweet flavour. The first time you try this dish you’ll see what I mean.


  • 1kg large beetroots, roots and tops trimmed

  • 500ml white vinegar

  • 200g sugar

  • 2 tablespoons salt

  • Dressing

  • 125ml extra-virgin olive oil

  • 3 tablespoons Tarragon Vinegar (see below)

  • ½ cup roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley

  • ½ cup chives snipped in 1cm lengths

  • Salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • Tarragon Vinegar

  • 750ml good-quality white wine vinegar, plus extra to top up the bottle

  • 2 bunches tarragon


  • 1.

    Put the beetroots in a large saucepan and add the vinegar, sugar and salt. Cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 1-1 ½ hours, or until the beetroots are tender. Allow to cool in the liquid.

  • 2.

    When completely cold, peel the beetroots and trim away any stalky bits. Cut into fairly small dice and place in a mixing bowl.

  • Dressing:

  • 1.

    Whisk all the dressing ingredients together. Pour onto the beetroot and toss to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning and serve straight away.

  • Tarragon Vinegar :

  • 1.

    Combine the vinegar and tarragon in a wide-necked bottle. Place in a microwave and heat in 20-second bursts on full power for up to 60 seconds, or until the vinegar reaches 35-38C on a thermometer. Cap with the lid and store in a cool, dark place for a week.

  • 2.

    Strain the vinegar, discarding the tarragon, then pour back into a clean bottle. Top up with extra vinegar to fill the bottle if needed, then replace the lid and continue to store in a cool, dark place.

  • 3.

    - Makes 750ml


Extracted from The Good Life by Adrian Richardson, published by Pan Macmillan/Plum RRP $59.99.

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