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Alice is

cooking crazy beets

June 18, 2013

This beetroot dish is a bit over the top, but quite fun to put together. I’m using golden and candy stripe beetroot because they are the more unusual and they don’t leave your chopping board looking like a crime scene.

final

Strip away the earthy knobbly outer edge and inside you normally have a whole lotta physcadelic shit going on…

raw beets

Just look at that…

candy stripe

However, I open my candy stripe beetroot, that I brought home from a specialist greengrocers, tongue hanging out with anticipation and…

light

…oh the disappointment. You can barely make out the stripe, let alone a candy coloured one.

However… the show must go on.

To make my not-so-crazy beets — aka ‘Pickled Beetroot, Goats Curd, Hazelnuts’ — as a starter for 2 people you’ll need:

  • 50ml sherry vinegar (you could use rice vinegar or any other nice tasting)

  • 50ml good olive oil

  • smoked salt (Maldon have brought it out)

  • 3 different kinds of beetroot: candy stripe, golden and purple

  • a small tub of goats curd or soft rindless goats cheese

  • hazelnut butter (you can get it in wholefoods)

  • a handful of hazelnuts

  • basil

  • about 5 pink peppercorns

This dish is so easy to make and assemble but does require one key tool, the Japanese mandolin, in order to get the beetroot slices super thin.

I would strongly recommend buying one of these, it’s not your usual faddy gadget. A mandolin — without being too dramatic — will change your life.

mandolin

First, make your dressing that will pickle the beetroot. Essentially this is just a simple vinegarette.

dressing ingredients

Get an empty jam jar, add the vinegar with a tablespoon of caster sugar, the olive oil and about 1 tsp of salt. Give it a shake up and set aside.

Cut the rough outer skin from the beetroot and, using a mandolin, slice it as fine as possible. For the love of God though, watch those fingers.

mandolin pink mandolin

If your beetroot are massive like mine, trim them down, so that you have discs about 2 inches across.

Leave the discs to marinate for at least 3 hours. You can leave them to pickle in the vinegar for over a week. Make sure if using different coloured beetroot that you keep them in separate containers or the purple ones will stain the others.

containers

After an adequate time pickling, remove the discs, pat dry and plate.

dics

Now for the curd. I got mine fresh. It’s nice to have goat’s cheese that isn’t too strong, so I’d recommend curd, or flavoured ricotta.

curd

curd close

Make pebble size balls and sandwich them between the beetroot discs.

balls

hats

Use either pre-bought cooked beetroot, or roasted beetroots (mine are just cooked low ‘n slow for 3 hours with plenty of salt).

roast beets

Chop them up and add to the plate with some basil.

basil leaves

The hazelnut bit is a bit of a cheat, but you can get hazelnut butter in a jar these days, and it’s nice.

spread

adding

Toast your hazelnuts in a dry pan.

nuts

And add.

nuts

Lastly, sprinkle with smoked salt (thanks Maldon)

salt

…and toasted pink peppercorns (this brings out the flavour).

pink pepper

finished

Now beet it.

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