In this recipe series, we bring you recipes by Julia Toon, culinary motivator and author of the book ‘Good Eating: A Taste of Qatar’. New recipes every week, straight from Jules of the Kitchen.
Whole Roasted Beets
I have an intense passion for this dark red root vegetable. I love their intense, unique flavour and of course the abundance of nutrients they naturally provide. What I do not like is the mess they can make when peeled, etc., so, to make life easy (and this is a very important factor to me) I have perfected what I believe to be the perfect, ‘everso easy’ way to handle raw beetroot, without too much mess or colour staining. I also find that when oven roasted with the skins on, they retain not only their amazing colour but their distinctive flavour certainly intensifies.
In the mediterranean, they enjoy beetroot with the stalks and leaves, so if you are lucky enough to be able to source these additions, do not discard them but add them to the pan and roast for at least 10-15 minutes alongside the whole beetroot at the final stage of cooking.
Seasoning is important, so do not forget a touch of sea salt, extra olive oil and of course a heavy splash of vinegar to really enhance the beautiful natural flavours. Roasted beetroot is certainly one of my top five favourite vegetables – truly delicious.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: Approximately 45 minutes to roast
Oven temperature: 180ºC
1 kilo fresh beetroot – preferably with stalks and leaves, washed well
Oodles of extra virgin olive oil
Red grape or cider vinegar – splash for roasting & lots after cooking
Sea salt – to taste
Freshly ground black pepper – to taste
Remove leaves and stalks from beetroot. Select the best looking leaves and keep to one side.
Scrub well the beetroot in clean water. Do not peel. Trim away any excess roots.
Place beetroot in a large roasting tin, give a heavy glug of extra virgin olive oil. Season lightly with sea salt and black pepper and a heavy splash of grape or cider vinegar.
Cover well with tin foil and place in a hot oven and bake until tender.
Just before the final stage of cooking, check the beetroot with a sharp knife and if tender ADD leaves and stalks (if you have any) and cook for approximately 10-15 minutes (the stalks need to be soft and the leaves wilted).
Leave ALL to cool in the tin before adding the final marinade.
Oil and vinegar marinade (final stage)
When cool enough to handle remove beetroot from the tin. Again NO need to remove the skin. Cut into quarters or halves depending on the size, add enough seasoning to suit your taste and splash well with extra vinegar and more olive oil (this is basically the oil and vinegar marinade).
Jules tips Try to select the small sized beetroots, as they tend to be naturally sweeter to the tastebuds than the larger ones. If you are lucky enough to buy beetroot with the stalks and green leaves still attached, definitely go for it and do not discard as this part of the vegetable taste simply delicious when baked with the whole beetroot, but if you cannot find them just omit from the recipe.
Contributed by: Julia Toon, Jules of the Kitchen
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