Beetroot is one of our favourite vegetables and roasted with a bit of olive oil, sea salt, black pepper, and fresh thyme is hands down my favourite way to eat it. Once so roasted, it finds its way into all kinds of delicious salads, such as this Salad of Roasted Beetroot, Pink Grapefruit & Pumpkin, or this Ruby Salad, or this Salad of Asparagus with Artichokes, Arugula, Pomegranate & Beetroot.
Roasted beetroot also often finds its way into a warm salad with lentils and walnuts, with a red wine vinaigrette dressing - a great accompaniment to good sausages. But one of our favourites is my recreation of a salad we often used to enjoy when we lived in Christchurch at a cafe called Holy Smoke. I never seem to get around to photographing this salad when I make it, so I don't have a picture to show you, but it's pretty simple and is best composed as individual servings - strategically place a few dollops of beetroot pesto and a few dollops of ricotta around each plate; artistically arrange florets of steamed broccoli, wedges of roasted beetroot, wedges of sweet potato and shards of crispy bacon atop and around the pesto and ricotta; drizzle over a simple vinaigrette sweetened with honey, and sprinkle over some pine nuts toasted in butter. So good!
To make up for the fact that I don't have a photo of this salad to show you, I am going to share my recipe for beetroot pesto. Not only is it great in this salad, its also a wonderful spread to add to an antipasto platter, and the best part of all is that you can pretty much make it all year round.
Beetroot Pesto Recipe
Click here for a printable copy of this recipe
Note - quantities given here are approximate - you can adjust everything to suit your taste
4x medium sized beetroot
6x cloves garlic, unpeeled
generous handful walnuts, roasted
1 cup Pecorino cheese, freshly grated
(substitute with Parmesan if Pecorino is not available)
flaky sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 200 degrees C (390 degrees F).
Wash beetroot, top and tail them, and cut into eighths. Place a sheet of tinfoil on a baking sheet, and place the beetroot in a single layer on the foil. Scatter over the whole garlic cloves, season generously with flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, and drizzle with olive oil. Close up foil around the beetroot to make a package, and place it on the baking sheet into the preheated oven. Cook until the beetroot is tender - will take around 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow beetroot and garlic to cool to room temperature.
Squeeze cooled garlic cloves out of their skins, and put the garlic and beetroot into the bowl of your food processor. Add toasted walnuts and Pecorino cheese, and blitz up until a rough paste begins to form. Now, with the motor running, pour olive oil through the tube until you reach a fairly smooth, spreadable consistency. Give it a taste and then add salt and pepper to your liking, also adding more cheese or oil according to your taste.
I'll be sharing this post at See Ya In the Gumbo hosted by the lovely, and very amusing, Michelle at Ms. enPlace, at Weekend Cooking hosted by Beth Fish Reads, at Foodie Friday hosted by Designs by Gollam, at Hearth & Soul Blog Hop hosted by April at 21st Century Housewife, at My Meatless Mondays hosted by Chaya at My Sweet and Savory and at Food on Friday:Beetroot hosted by Carole at Carole's Chatter.