If you feel like experimenting with your food and trying something different for your dinner, roasted beets with blackberry dressing and pistachio purée is a dish that will not only tantalise your taste buds but will also impress your guests. This is something to try at the weekend as it’s not a quick dish to make but it’s certainly worth it since it’s packed with nutrients and really flavourful.
The recipe for this dish comes from the book ‘Plants Taste Better‘ (by Richard Buckley, £25 Jacqui Small. Photography is by Kim Lightbody) which is a plant-based recipe book showing how you can take your plant-based cooking to the next level.
Richard Buckley is the chef-proprietor of the country’s finest vegan restaurant, Acorn, in Bath which has been included in this year’s MICHELIN Guide 2019 as well as the Good Food Guide 2019. Acorn also won the Trencherman’s Awards 2019 for Creativity and Innovation and what’s more, Richard won the Olive magazine BEST CHEFS 2018 Award – for VEGGIE PIONEER.
So without further ado, here is the extract from Richard’s book ‘Plants Taste Better’ with all the instructions on how to make this dish from scratch:
Cylindra beetroots (beets) are a long, dark red variety with a flavour profile identical to the round dark red varieties. Their main advantage is they are an even width down most of their length, so when you slice them all of your slices are the same size. If you can only find the round variety then cut them into wedges as this is a better way of ensuring they cook at the same speed.
Roasted Cylindra Beetroot (Beets) with Crushed Blackberry Dressing and Pistachio Purée
FOR THE ROASTED BEETROOT (BEETS)
- 2 large cylindra beetroots (beets)
- 4 tbsp thyme sprigs (10g)
- 1 g dried lavender
- 1 tsp sea salt (5g)
- 50 ml water
- 5 tsp extra virgin olive oil (25ml)
FOR THE DRESSING
- 100 g blackberries quartered
- 1 tsp red wine vinegar (5ml)
- 2/3 tsp caster (superfine) sugar
- pinch of sea salt
- 8 tsp thyme oil (40ml)
FOR THE PURÉE
- 100 g Iranian pistachios (2/3 cup)
- 100 ml extra virgin olive oil
- 150 ml water
- 1 clove of garlic
- sea salt
- pinch of cayenne pepper
FOR THE GARNISH
- 10 g Iranian pistachios cut into large chunks
- 2 sprigs of thyme leaves picked
- 20 small red mustard frill leaves
- Preheat the oven to (fan) 140°C/160°C/310°F/gas mark 2½. Place a 45cm (18 inch) strip of foil over a deep baking tray (sheet) and cover with a 45cm (18 inch) strip of baking parchment, forming a well in the middle. Put the beetroots (beets) and the rest of the roasting ingredients into the well and mix together. Fold the tin foil/paper in half and roll up the edges to form a sealed parcel. Bake for 1–2 hours.
- About 30 minutes before the beetroots (beets) are cooked, make the blackberry dressing. Put the blackberries in a small bowl and add the vinegar, sugar and salt. Gently crush the blackberries with the back of a fork to break them up but do not reduce them to a purée. Leave to macerate for 20 minutes then stir in the thyme oil and set aside.
- Next, make the pistachio purée. Blend the pistachios, olive oil, water and garlic in a blender until silky smooth. Season with salt and a pinch of cayenne pepper (see page 15). Set aside.
- After 1–2 hours of cooking test the beetroot (beets) – they should be meltingly soft. If not ready, cook for a little longer then re-test. When ready, allow to cool a little and then rub the skin from the beetroot. Cut them into 1cm (½ inch) slices.
- Place 2 tablespoons of pistachio purée on each of 4 starter-sized plates and allow it to run out to make a round pool. Place 2–3 slices of the warm beetroot (beets) across each other next to the purée, and scoop some of the blackberry dressing over the top. Scatter with the chopped pistachios and thyme leaves. Toss the mustard frill leaves in the remaining liquid from the blackberries and arrange on the plates. Serve warm.