Thursday, August 7, 2008

Winter Beetroot Salads

I am in love.

My love is sweet as can be, tasty, versatile and knows how to make me feel better when winter is getting me down.

My love does have one fault though...

Purple stains.

Not that that is so much of a problem. Unless you want to go out after dinner and have to explain to people why your hands have strange purple stains all over them.

I cannot believe that up until about 2 years ago, my only real exposure to beetroot had been of the canned variety. Not that the tinned beetroot doesnt still have its place on the salad sandwich, but I didn't know how much better it could be.

My beetroot education started off with roasting it along with other tubers for roast dinners. It then grew to beetroot curries (is there anything more dramatic than a very purple curry?). Then I discovered salads, and I havent looked back. Until I also discovered that the leaves of the beetroot were also edible and tasted great in salads.

This one is simple. Roast baby beets covered in foil for about 20 minutes or until soft. Peel off skin with fingers (I suggest gloves at this point). Cut in half, and add to the leaves of the beetroot if they were in good condition (or else use other salad leaves such as rocket). Add sliced red onion, raosted walnuts and goats cheese or fetta. The salty cheese works very well with the sweet beetroot. Dress with a vinegar/ oil combo. I love macadamia oil and red wine vinegar at the moment.

Apologies for this terrible photo. I would never have attempted grated raw beetroot if it was not for my food processor. Basically, grate beetroot (sans skin) and then add to a bowl with olive oil, red wine vinegar, and the rind of an orange. Sit for 20 minutes for the flavours to develop. I then add chopped parsley, any type of roasted nut, salt and pepper and often a cheese of some sort too, though it doesnt really need any of these additions. Goes great with roast chook or fish and well, anything actually.

I have been treating myself to organic beetroots lately - I figure I can get two uses out of them (leaves and bulb) so really it is worth it to get the best looking stuff I can, right?

SO what do you guys out there use beetroot for? I have not been brave enough to try the soup version yet.


Cindy said...

Oh yeah, I didn't graduate from canned to fresh beetroot until a couple of years ago. Fresh is so much better!

Soup is good, but when you're feeling really brave try brownies! :-D

Anonymous said...

Hi Ran,
I grew up in a household where beetroot soup (Borcht) was a staple and tinned stuff wasn't all that common. It is a great hot winter soup or cold in summer. Thanks for reminding me of it. Think I'll have to buy a Tajine soon too.
ALSO I love your personal blog style. Tx

Elliot said...

I ain't ananymous

Ran said...

soup seems to be my next mission. i will have to walk down by the organic store and hope they are on special!

most non-aussies think it is so gross we put tinned stuff on our salad sandwhiches and burgers. To be honest I dont mind them in some situations!

Thermomixer said...

Good work. Love beetroot - made a curry 2 nights ago after seeing Stonesoup's version with curry leaves. Try beetroot & chocolate cake - different but nice.