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Salad of roasted baby beets with balsamic dressing

message posted 02-Jul-08 20:16:07
Serves four as an accompaniment

Sweet, tender baby beetroot have a wonderful earthy taste. Cook them my way to bring out their full flavour - bake whole (unpeeled) on a bed of rock salt in a foil parcel, then peel, sauté in butter to glaze and dress in good aged balsamic vinegar. I serve them with lamb or oily fish.

500g baby beetroot
200g rock salt
2-3 thyme sprigs
50g butter
3-4 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 Preheat the oven to 180C, Gas 4. Wash the baby beetroot and trim the tops, leaving on a little of the leafy stalks and roots. Pat dry.

2 Lay a large sheet of foil on a baking sheet and spread the rock salt in the centre. Nestle the beetroot in the rock salt and scatter with thyme. Scrunch the foil and bring the edges together to enclose the beetroot and seal.

3 Bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes until the baby beets are tender. Remove, uncover and leave to cool slightly. Wearing a pair of thin rubber gloves (to avoid staining your hands), peel the beetroot while they are warm, using a thin-bladed knife. Cut each beetroot in half vertically.

4 Heat the butter in a sauté pan. When it starts to foam, toss in the beetroot and cook, turning frequently, for a couple of minutes until coated in butter and glossy. Add the balsamic vinegar to deglaze and bubble until reduced and syrupy. Serve warm, or at room temperature.

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