Tag Archives: beets

Warm Roasted Beetroot, Carrot, Lentil and Goats Cheese Salad with Dill Hazelnut Pesto

25 Oct sm-91

This salad started with these beautiful organic beetroot & carrots from the market.

It’s the colours that I love, and their rusticness or is that rusticity? I couldn’t resist them anyway and wanted them both to star in something lovely. Something where they were roasted to bring out their natural sweetness.

The warm mellow sweetness of beetroot is always perfectly enhanced by the cool sharpness of a mature goat’s cheese. Enter an extremely mature goats cheese that a friend of mine Jeanne bought when we went to the Luna Mora festival in Guaro this September.

She very kindly gave me a huge wedge of it to try a few days later. I think she just wanted to get it out of her fridge to be honest, it is very stinky, but very good.

Luna Mora is held every September in the small Andalucian village of Guaro.

The festival of Luna Mora which translates as The Festival of the Moorish Moon is a celebration of Andalucia’s Muslim, Christian and Jewish history. There are colourful performance artists and hundreds of stalls line the narrow streets giving it a souk vibe. Tourists and locals flock to enjoy the spectacle and ambience.

The festival is held over two weekends and when night falls, the streets are illuminated by over 20,00 candles and lantern. It really is an unforgettable sight that creates an extremely special atmosphere and explains why nearly 50,000 people visit this festival every year.

For more information on The Festival of Luna Mora, and other things to do and places to visit in the spectacular province of Andalucia have a look at The Andalucia Diary. Andrew knows all there is to know about what to do and where to stay as well as having a beautiful holiday cottage to rent in the village of Guaro itself with breathtaking views of the Sierra de las Nieves.

So back to the food and the smelly goats cheese. This is actually two recipes merged together. Warm Roasted Vegetable & Lentil Salad from Alli at Pease Pudding and Puy Lentil Salad with Goats Cheese, Beetroot & Dill Vinaigrette from My Little Paris Kitchen.

Dill and beetroot are another classic combination that works so well. Even if you think you don’t like dill you have to try this. Dill is now my new favourite herb. I used to loathe it. But since working over the summer with an Iranian family I learnt a lot of new Persian dishes that I will be sharing shortly. And they put dill in everything, I love it.

I changed the dill vinaigrette to a pesto to make it a bit more robust and less of a salad really. It’s beautiful with hazelnuts, quite sweet but you could use walnuts or almonds, whatever you like.

Warm Roasted Beetroot & Lentil Salad with Goats Cheese & Dill Hazelnut Pesto

Serves 2-3, vegetarian, gluten-free.

  • 200 g beetroot, peeled & cut into small wedges
  • 200 g carrots, peeled & cut into batons/wedges
  • olive oil
  • salt & black pepper
  • fresh thyme leaves

Preheat the oven to 180C. Place the prepared vegetables on two lined baking sheets (keep the carrots separate from the beetroot or they will turn pink too) drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper & thyme leaves, toss to coat and roast for about 25 minutes or until soft to the point of a knife. Depending on the size, the carrots may be cooked before the beetroot.

  • 250 g dried Puy lentils (they hold their shape when cooked and taste delicious)
  • 1 bay leaf
  •  1 sprig of thyme
  • 500 ml veg stock
  • salt & black pepper

Wash the lentils under cold water then put them in a sauce pan with the stock, bay leaf, thyme, salt & black pepper.  Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, partially covered, or until tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed. Then drain and discard the bay leaf & thyme. Meanwhile make the dill pesto.

  • a handful of fresh dill, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • a small handful of toasted hazelnuts, chopped
  • a squeeze of honey (1 /2 tsp to start with)
  •  a squeeze of lemon
  • salt & black pepper
  • olive oil
  • about 150 g goats cheese

Blend the  dill, vinegar, hazelnuts, lemon juice, honey, salt & pepper with a good glug of olive oil until you get a chunky pesto consistency. Taste and add more salt, honey, lemon juice as required. I like it quite sweet , it works nicely with the dill.

Pile some warm lentils on a plate and top with the warm roasted vegetables, pieces of goats cheese and drizzle over the dill pesto. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and a few sprigs of dill.

Buen Provecho!!

Pretty In Pink Beetroot Souffles

26 Oct DCIM100MEDIA

We went to see The Psychedelic Furs in Malaga on Friday night, they were really good live even though I had only heard of one song (Pretty in Pink obviously). Most of it was before my time………ha! The Washer Up enjoyed himself though, something about reliving his youth I think.

Any way the whole Pretty In Pink thing got me thinking about doing a pink souffle with the beetroot I have in the fridge,what could be prettier than a bright pink souffle…

I decided to roast the beetroot instead of boiling it to intensify the flavour and keep as much of the colour as possible. I added the feta cheese for that classic flavour combination (sweet beetroot & sour cheese) and also because adding white to red should make a fantastic deep pink colour.

Roasted Beetroot & Feta Souffle Recipe

Makes 2 or 3 individual souffles Vegetarian

  •  2 small beetroot cut the roots off and quarter
  • a few sprigs of thyme leaves
  • olive oil, salt & pepper
  • 2 tbsp veg stock
  • 25 gr butter
  • 40 gr flour
  • 110 ml milk (I use goat’s milk)
  • freshly grated nutmeg, salt & black pepper
  • 75 gr feta cheese
  • 2 tbsp grated parmesan
  •  3 eggs separated

First roast the beets, preheat the oven to 190 degrees, then put the quartered beets in a roasting tin drizzle with the olive oil, salt, pepper & thyme leaves and toss to coat evenly. Roast for 45 – 50 minutes until slightly charred and tender.

Leave the beets to cool slightly and remove any tough skin before blitzing them in a blender with the veg stock.  (I didn’t use all the beetroot, I saved a handful for lunch tomorrow).Meanwhile melt the butter in a sauce pan over a medium heat before adding the flour. Stir to cook flour for about a minute then remove from the heat and add the milk gradually. Stir over a medium high heat until thickened. Add grated nutmeg, salt & pepper. Preheat oven to 180 degrees.

Transfer the butter/flour/milk mixture to a large bowl with the beetroot, beaten egg yolks, crumbled feta & grated parmesan. Stir well to combine. Butter your (1 cup) ramekins, dust with flour and shake out the excess. Now whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks and gently fold them into the beetroot mixture in 2 or 3 batches.

You should end up with this fabulous bright magenta pink colour. Now pour the mixture into the prepared ramekins, trying not to get any around the rim, and bake for 25 minutes. Do not open the oven door while they are cooking.

 Serve immediately with a sprig of thyme and some broccoli which goes really well both as a flavour combination and colour contrast. These souffles look amazing, there’s something really exciting and maybe childish about eating bright pink food, but they also taste fantastic the feta works really well with the beetroot.

With the leftover roasted beetroot I made a salad for lunch with tomatoes, mozzarella, parmesan & basil oil

The colour combinations of the beetroot & tomato juices in the bottom of the dish where beautiful and seemed to compliment my view on our terrace..

Through the staircase I could see the two-tone bouganvilla matching my two-tone salad perfectly. Or is it just me…

Pretty in Pink ………

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