I’ve always thought that beetroots are seasonal winter vegetables. Which is why they caught me by surprise at the local vegetable shop a few days ago! I’ve always loved them but dreaded the pink-ifying of my hand that goes with it. So I came up with a simple solution. Don’t make them – just visit mom’s house when the craving hits! She would boil/ steam/ roast them, peel and slice them up and hand it to us with a fork. No blood on my hands. How lovely.
But when I saw them recently, I just couldn’t resist. Nor did I have the time to carry them to mom’s and ask her to cook them up for me. So I bought a few and took the plunge! And since I was feeling daring, I decided to have them in a more “main-course” meal way rather than as a salad – which is how I always have them. Recipe inspired by a comment conversation with my cousin Gaurav over an Instagram photo.
Here’s what I used for 2 servings:
2 large beetroots (approx 400 gm)
4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
salt & freshly cracked pepper to taste
2 red onions, sliced thinly
7-8 walnuts, toasted and chopped
Here’s how I made them:
I preheated the oven to 200 C while I got everything else ready. Here are the cast of characters (lemon juice was forgotten about till the very last minute, so you’ll have to excuse me!)
Firstly, I washed, peeled and cut the beets into long, thick-ish pieces – first into horizontal slices and then each round slice into thick matchsticks.
I took a moment to admire my bloody hand!
Once I was over it, I moved on to slice the onions thinly into half moons.
Then I dunked everything into a greased loaf tin (9×5 inches) – the beets, onions, balsamic, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt & pepper.
Mixing it all up, I covered it loosely with foil and popped it in the oven for about 40 minutes. If you choose to slice the beets even thinner or use a larger-but-shallower dish like a cookie tray, then it could get done in 30 minutes too… The beets should be tender and cooked through. Some of the beets & onions may even caramelise a little and those are the best parts!
I served them up with some lemon-coriander steamed rice and garnished with toasted & chopped walnuts.
This was such a refreshing change from the way that I normally have beets, that I kept trying them in various ways! I had the beets with brown rice, with couscous, with some boiled noodles and lettuce tossed to make it a hearty salad. And here’s my favorite variation…
I boiled some spaghetti for 1 serving. Using the leftover 1 serving of beets, I pureed it in the processor, using a little olive oil, lemon juice and pasta water as required to help grind it into a puree. Checking for salt & pepper, I tossed this sauce with the spaghetti and added some fresh onion slices and basil leaves! I have it on good authority that some goat cheese crumbles on top would take the dish to a whole new level, but I didn’t have any to try for myself!