Learning to Love… Beetroot

A while back I completed a meme and in one of my answers I mentioned an aversion to beetroot. John from Sandaig Primary School responded:

Beetroot: boil in skin, split into 8ths, roast with red onion, dress with oil, lemon and walnuts.  What’s not to like?

Suddenly, I was interested.  My problem with beetroot is its cloying sweetness.  Just thinking about it makes my nose crinkle up disapprovingly.  Yuck! 

John’s suggestion got me thinking though.  Would I find the veg more appealing if it were paired with something sour or salty?  Or maybe both?  Perhaps that would cut into the syrupy taste that I dislike so much?  I certainly wanted to try it out, not only because during the winter months there is always a big box of homegrown beetroot on offer in our staffroom but also because (Germaine Greer be damned!) pink is my favourite colour.  :)

Now, let me be straight: I am never going to whole-heartedly love beetroot.  Thanks to a Glasgow primary school teacher, however, I have now discovered a way to enjoy the pink vegetable.  Cheers, John!

Roasted Beetroot and Halloumi Salad

(for 1)

3 small beetroot

Olive oil

Balsalmic vinegar

50g halloumi, sliced 1cm thick

Lemon juice

Handful of green leaves (I used rocket and romaine), roughly shredded

2 Spring onions, chopped

Palmful of walnuts, chopped

  • Boil the beetroot in their skins for 15 mins.  Peel and quarter.  Toss in olive oil and seasoning.  Roast in 200oC oven for 15 mins.  Drizzle with balsalmic vinegar, toss gently and roast for 10 mins more.
  • Tss the other vegetables together in a big bowl.  Add the roasted beetroot.
  • Heat a non-stick pan over a medium heat and rub with oil.  Add the halloumi and fry for 1 minute on each side until golden.  Add to the bowl. 
  • Sprinkle with lemon juice.  Toss.  Eat.

29 thoughts on “Learning to Love… Beetroot

  1. I hear you, Wendy! I will never raise the banner for beets, either, but can live on the same planet with them if they haven’t any sugar added. Vinegar and nuts is my “favorite” way to dress them up, too. I blogged a while back about the yellow variety; they are generally less naturally sweet.

  2. Looks a great recipe – halloumi and beetroot sounds perfect – I can understand an aversion as it is an odd vegetable but the colour is so wonderful – I love it in a juice combo – it makes your drink blush so sweetly!

  3. Love the idea of this salad – I make roasted beetroot chips, but have never tried roasting whole cubes. I too used to dislike this veggie, but think that was because I ate it pickled or boiled.
    I have posted a recipe you might like for a RAW beetroot salad, with a strong vinegar dressing that cuts through that sweetness you don’t like :)

  4. Dear wendy. If you’re a meat eater, you can also sprinkle a bit of cooked prosciutto over the top. Mmm mm. And recently, a polish friend of mine just peeled beet and served it raw, sprinkled in a bit of sesame oil and sesame seed! The only worrying thing is the after affects ahem in the loo… Oh and I’m a pink lover too :)

  5. Susan – I’ve seen the yellow ones in magazines but haven’t come across them yet. Will definitely be looking out for them now!

    Cynthia – Good luck! I had to work up the courage too. :)

    Johanna – A “blushing” drink. How gorgeous!

    Erika – Will definitely check out that salad. Thanks. :)

    Patricia – Enjoy! Have to say, I’m feeling more open to beetroot since having this salad. Maybe it IS just the beginning…

    Peter – Welcome! And thank you. :)

    Little Miss Moi – Can’t help but ask: what happens in the loo?!

  6. This sounds lovely – but I’m a beetroot fan … especially roasted with garlic and thyme – delicious, and very good with a little goat’s cheese. I’ve never eaten haloumi, so perhaps this will be the first recipe …

    Joanna

  7. Joanna – Make sure the halloumi is still warm when you eat it, otherwise it’s like salty rubber! Delicious when warm, I should add. :)

    Carolyn – You’re very welcome. :)

  8. Beautiful! John’s idea was great, and I love how you turned it into a sald – very brave of you too! Beets are rather scarce at our market already, and I can’t believe it. Only a couple of the farmers have any left.

  9. Amanda – Really? My colleague’s garden is still full of the stuff!

    Pille – Thank you! I really like the saltiness of the cheese with the beetroot. And it looks really pretty too. :)

    Susan – Wish I were a “natural beet lover!”

  10. I can’t help it, but I’ve always loved beets. My mom has pictures of me as a baby with beets everywhere.

    I make a similar salad, roasting beets with orange juice, olive oil, garlic, and thyme, then tossing them with arugula and parmesan shreds. Yum.

    I hope that you are having a relaxing weekend.

  11. Germaine Greer’s rant is fascinating – thanks for the link.

    It is hard to get to grips with all that sweetness, but salty haloumi would be a lovely contrast, both texturally and flavour-wise.

  12. I’m with you, Wendy. I don’t naturally gravitate toward beetroot, but every so often I feel like I ought to give it another chance. Grilled halloumi can help cover a multitude of sins…

  13. Christina – I’m thinking you must have been one messy baby!!

    Lucy – Isn’t it bizarre? There are so many interesting facts in it but her main premise is utter drivel! “Nothing beautiful was ever pink” – what crap! I think. :D

    Annemarie – Totally agree. :)

  14. Valli – Oh, now I’ve always liked pickled beetroot. Especially with haggis or stovies. Yum!

    David – It took days to work up the courage… ;) Still don’t like beetroot soup though.

  15. Received some beetroot/beetroots (?) in my veg box this week and am feeling similarly nervous about them. I’m going to try a beetroot hummous recipe I’ve found and will be sure to add lots of lemon juice. But there will be some left, so perhaps I’ll brave this rather good looking salad with the others – thank you for the idea!

  16. Pingback: Super Salads — Food Stories

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