Roasted Cylindra Beetroot (Beets) with Crushed Blackberry Dressing and Pistachio Purée
Plant-based dinner dish to tantalise your taste buds and impress your guests
Course: Side Dish
Author: Richard Buckley
FOR THE ROASTED BEETROOT (BEETS)
2large cylindra beetroots (beets)
1gdried lavender (a pinch)
5tspextra virgin olive oil(25ml)
FOR THE DRESSING
1tspred wine vinegar(5ml)
2/3tspcaster (superfine) sugar
pinch of sea salt
FOR THE PURÉE
100gIranian pistachios(2/3 cup)
100mlextra virgin olive oil
1clove of garlic
pinch of cayenne pepper
FOR THE GARNISH
10gIranian pistachioscut into large chunks
2sprigs of thymeleaves picked
20small 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.