Mother nature can be o so creative… Beautiful bright green leaves covered with pink veins that spring from a sturdy bulb. The beetroot an old-fashioned veggie? No way! Raw and grated in a salad, cooked and pureed as a bright red soup, steamed or roasted for a pure earthy flavor. You name it!
From Dutch soil
You can enjoy beets all year round without any worries. From June to November you can pull it by his hair, uhm leaves, from Dutch soil. The rest of the year they are kept in a cool storage with few transport and relatively little energy necessary. This sturdy fella does not need much.
The deep earthy and sweet flavor of the beetroot is wonderful in contrast with the salty and sour taste of goat cheese, a classic combination. A splash of balsamic vinegar makes all the flavors pop out.
Did you know?
Although the red one is the most used in Dutch cuisine, there are also pink-and-white striped, yellow and purple beets.
If the leaves of the beetroot are still young and fresh you can use them in salads or cook them like spinach.
Watch out: There is a reason that beetroot is used to dye fabrics and food. One drop on your shirt and you will have something to remember this recipe by forever. Which, when I think about it, is not too bad actually…
Recipe beetroot salad
Ingredients ( 4 persons )
600 g fresh red beetroots (you can also use a mix of beets and carrots )
4 cloves of garlic
400 g lentils
75 g hazelnuts (walnuts are also delicious)
200 g soft goat cheese
splash of milk or yogurt
handful of basil leaves
olive oil and optionally some hazelnut oil
Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C. Wash and peel the beets (and carrots) and remove any gnarly bits. Cut the beets into chunks. If you add carrots, use them whole and cut into slices after baking. That way they keep their bright natural color.
Put the vegetables in a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper and sea salt and mix together. Put some unpeeled garlic cloves and half a lemon (with the sliced side up) in between the vegetables. Roast for about 45 minutes in the oven until you can easily prick the beets with a fork.
Meanwhile, cook the lentils with some salt according to the directions on the package. Chop and roast the nuts in a frying pan. Put the goat cheese in a small bowl and mix with a splash of milk or yogurt until you have a smooth fluffy cream.
Remove the beets from the oven. Squeeze the caramelized lemon half over the beets and crush the garlic cloves with a fork. Discard the skin. Mix together.
Scoop the cooked lentils onto plates and place the beets on top. Pour the remaining beet juice from the baking tray in a bowl, add a splash of balsamic vinegar until you have a slightly sour dressing. Put a scoop of goat cheese cream on top of the beets, sprinkle with the toasted nuts and fresh basil. Sprinkle with some hazelnut or olive oil. Serve with dressing.