Roasted Beetroot Salad

  • 1kg beetroot
  • 80g sunflower seeds
  • 90ml maple syrup
  • 4tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 4tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 20g chervil leaves, and more to garnish
  • 60g baby chard leaves, or other salad leaves
  • Sea salt and black pepper
Preheat the oven to 200c/gas 4.  Wash the beetroot well, wrap in foil individually. Bake in the oven until tender, for anything from 40-90 mins depending on size, (if you’re in a hurry you can par boil them).
Spread the sunflower seeds out in an oven proof dish and toast and toast in the oven, for about 8 mins, or until golden, (set timer so you don’t forget and burn them!)
Once beetroot are ready unwrap and cut up.  They look prettier if you peel them, I never do as it seems a waste of lovely beetroot.
Mix the beetroot with the rest of the ingredients, toss well and taste: there should be a clear sweetness balanced by enough salt.  Adjust seasoning if necessary, plate and sprinkle with more chervil.
Don’t worry if you don’t have the exact ingredients, I often make this with several variations and it always tastes great.

Beetroot fritters with lemon and saffron yoghurt recipe

Beetroot fritters with lemon and saffron yoghurt

250g cooked beetroot, grated
100g cooked chickpeas (tinned are fine), roughly chopped
2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill, plus a few picked leaves to garnish
2 spring onions, chopped
Grated zest of ½ lemon
½ tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp tahini paste
1 free-range egg
½ tsp salt and some black pepper
Vegetable oil, for frying
For the yoghurt sauce
1 big pinch saffron threads
250g Greek yoghurt
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp lemon juice 

First make the sauce. Soak the saffron in two teaspoons of hot water for five minutes. Transfer this to a bowl, add the yoghurt, oil, lemon juice and salt to taste, and stir to combine. The sauce will keep well in the fridge for a few days.

Squeeze the beetroot to remove excess liquid and transfer to a bowl. Add the other fritter ingredients save for the oil, and mix well. Pour enough oil into a large frying pan to come 1cm up the sides, and heat. Take care, though: the oil has to be hot, but not so hot as to burn the fritters.

Using the palms of your hands, roll pieces of the beetroot mixture into compact balls, then flatten them into patties of around 7cm in diameter and 1cm thick. Fry in the hot oil for two to three minutes on each side, until they’ve turned a nice dark golden colour. Transfer to paper towel, and repeat with the remaining fritters.

To serve, arrange the warm fritters on serving plates, spoon cold yoghurt sauce on top and garnish with sprigs of dill.

Roasted Beet Salad with Oranges and Walnuts

  • 6 medium beets with beet greens attachedFOOD 064
  • 2 large oranges
  • 1 small sweet red onion, cut into small cubes
  • 1/3 cup balzamic vinegar (approx)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 big tsp whole grain mustard
  • 2tsp runny honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel
  • Chopped walnuts to taste

Preheat oven to 400°F. Trim greens from beets. Cut off and discard. Cut beets in half or quarter depending on size – toss with a little olive oil put in a casserole dish cover with foil and bake – makes it easier to peel when ready – cook about 1 hour 30 minutes. Cool. Peel beets, then cut each into 8 wedges or slice. Place beets in medium bowl.

Cut peel and white pith from one orange – cut into pces or segments and add to the beets. Second orange squeeze the juice and mix with the balsamic, orange peel, garlic, salt & pepper, mustard & honey – whisk lightly. Add onion & walnuts to bowl with beet mixture – add dressing to beet mixture and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour. Serve.

This keeps for a week in the fridge no problem.

Ps – can use less or no onion if you like.

Pps – if in a hurry can cook the beets in microwave – but not as tasty as oven roasted!!!


Choc Beetroot Brownies

Boil 250g beetroot till tender then cool, peel & grate. Melt 250g cubed butter with 250g dark chocolate in a bowl over a pan of hot water, whisk together 3 eggs with 250g caster sugar & beat in melted choc mixture. Combine pinch of salt with 150g s/raising flour then sift into choc mixture, fold in with a metal spoon then fold in grated beetroot, but do not over-mix. Pour mix into a greased shallow baking tin (approx 20x25cm) which has been lined with baking parchment. Bake for 20-25 mins till still slightly moist. Remove from oven & cool on a rack before cutting into squares.

Roast Beetroot

Peel beetroot & cut into thick wedges. Put into roasting tin, add sprigs of rosemary and 4-5 squashed garlic cloves (skins left on) trickle over olive or rapeseed oil  & toss everything together. Cover with foil and roast in preheated oven 190c/gas 5 for 40 mins till tender. Remove foil, trickle over 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, stir & return to oven uncovered for further 30 mins till caramelised. Delicious served with some watercress or rocket leaves and a few knobs of goats cheese.


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