I am a self-professed beetroot hater. Over and over again to anyone who will listen. Despite the beautiful colour, both the taste (dirt) and the texture (slimy) have not endeared me to it in any way. I have avoided it diligently and with commitment throughout the years.
And then a while ago I was at Moro and sampled a friends fried beetroot and realised it was pretty good. Basically a rooty, posh crisp. The dirt became earthy sweetness, slime a distant memory.
I had a conversation with another friend where it was established that actually most of the time, it is the way that an ingredient is cooked that poses the problem
I then had a conversation with someone, along the lines of; stop being a child Tamara, it’s the way things are cooked most often and not the thing itself that’s the problem.
Then beetroot crisps were eaten. Quite a few times.
Inevitably, beetroot arrived inside my vegetable box. So I came up with something I would like based on former knowledge a beetroot roasted with balsamic vinegar and honey with a rich Dijon vinaigrette. I am a convert. It was added to my next box.
I am still avoiding that horrible pickled supermarket stuff.
Serves 2 as a light dinner
3 large beetroot
3 tbsp apple cider / red wine vinegar
2 tsp of runny honey, maple syrup or other sweetener
1 heaped tsp of salt crystals
1 heaped tsp of black pepper
Mixed seasonal leafy greens (spinach, watercress, spinach, kale etc)
1 tbsp chopped dill
1 tbsp chopped tarragon
Juice from half an orange
2 tsp pumpkin seeds
1/2 red onion thinly sliced and marinated in 1 tbsp of red wine vinegar
For the Vinaigrette
100 ml of olive oil
1 finely chopped clove of garlic
1 cap full of red wine vinegar
1 heaped tsp of Dijon mustard
Juice of ½ a lemon
Big pinch of salt
Big pinch of pepper
Half fill a saucepan with water and 3 tsp salt and boil the beetroot in its skin for approximately 45 minutes / until you can pierce it with a fork. When it cools down, pull of the skins. They should pull off very easily.
Preheat the oven to 200 C with fan for ten minutes.
Slice the beetroot in to 1cm thick discs, then slice the discs in to half circles.
Combine the Balsamic vinegar, honey, 1 tsp of salt crystals and 1 tsp of black pepper and whisk together. Toss the Beetroot in the mixture, lay in a tray and roast for approx 20 minutes / until the edges start to become golden.
Meanwhile, toast the pumpkin seeds in a pan on a medium heat keeping an eye on them (they can catch easily) and move them around. It should take approximately 5 minutes. Set aside.
Roughly chop the cavalo nero, other greens you are using (watercress is a good one as it has a peppery kick to offset the sweetness ) with the dill and tarragon.
Combine the ingredients for the vinaigrette. It should have the consistency of cream (velvety with a shiny tint). Olive oil, then mustard, lemon and the vinegar and seasonings. if you don’t want to whisk then put it all in a water tight jar and shake vigorously. Pour on to the greens and mix with your hands until the greens are wilted.
Place the beetroot, onions and pumpkin seeds in the salad, toss together, crack a generous amount of black pepper and sea salt on top of the salad and serve.