After the holidays most of us are looking for ways to lose a few pounds so I wanted to create a lighter dish, that is easy to make but still full of flavour.
I managed to buy some wonderful organic raw beetroot from my local supermarket, which was surprising since it is January. The quality looked good (no cuts or scars) and the leaves and stalks were still fresh.
Roasting is my favourite way to cook beetroot because it is such a simple method that captures the earthy sweetness and depth of flavour, that steaming or boiling can not.
If you have already tried black garlic, then you’ll know that is has a balsamic kind of note in the taste, so I’ve been thinking combining these two ingredients for some time in a salad dressing. This recipe can make a great starter to a meal or a delicious low-calorie lunch.
Ingredients (serves 4)
700 g raw beetroot (minus the leaves)
1 bag of mix leaves that includes rocket (arugula)
24 Good quality walnut halves
1teaspoon Extra Virgin olive oil
Balsamic and Black Garlic dressing
3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
150ml Balsamic Vinegar
8 Black Garlic cloves finely diced
1/4 teaspoon very finely chopped rosemary
salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 180 C gas mark 4 (with the fan on).
- Wash the trimmed beetroot and dry with paper towel.
- Place each beetroot on a square of aluminium foil and then drizzle with olive oil and then season with salt and pepper.
- Cook the beetroot until they feel firm soft (have some give in them), then allow them to cool down still wrapped.
- Put the balsamic vinegar into a small nonstick saucepan and simmer until it has reduced by half and is slightly syrupy. Remove from the heat and add the diced black garlic and allow the flavours to marry.
- When the beetroot is still warm you can easily rub the skins off (this is because the steam during the cool down has gotten under
the skins). If any of the skins resist then a quick rinse should expedite things, then rewrap the skinned beetroot to retain some warmth.
- Wash and spin the salad leaves and drain well.
- Pour the reduced balsamic into a small food processor, add the rosemary and olive oil and blend well, then season with salt and pepper.
- Toss the walnut halves into a hot non-stick frying pan with a teaspoon of olive oil and season lightly and “toast” for a couple minutes then remove from the heat.
Make a mound of salad leaves in the centre of each plate.
Cut the beetroot in half if they are small or wedges if they are larger.
Arrange and then add the walnut halves and few small pieces of Dolcelatte.
Finally, spoon a little of the dressing on each wedge of beetroot and serve.
The reason I chose Dolcelatte (a sweet and mild Italian blue cheese) was because I didn’t want the cheese to overpower the beetroot.
Remember that rosemary is a strong herb so less is more and it must be chopped very finely.
©Kevin Ashton 2017