Funny how, given the fact that I detest most root vegetables (especially parsnips, turnips, sweed, sweet potatoes), that beetroot is one I do eat and enjoy with a passion. Perhaps the pickled, bright red beetroot from a ’70′s childhood installed a hidden love – despite the the stuff in the jars being far far removed from the fresh.
This recipe, one with more than a passing winter/autumn feel, comes from Australian Gourmet Traveller Food For Friends is designed to serve 6 as an starter or 4 as a light lunch. Or one greedy blogger with a little left over for the following days ‘light lunch’.
A choice of two wines are suggested to accompany – an Argentinean Torrentes or a South African Pinotage pink. Details on Spittoon.
A warming autumn/winter dish - beetroot served with walnuts and bacon
For the Beetroot
4 beetroot each peeled and cut into 8 pieces
1 tbsp Walnut Oil
1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
For the Rocket Aioli
2 egg yolks
2 crushed garlic cloves
1 cup coarsly chopped rocket
1 1/4 cups olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
Roast the chopped beetroot, drizzled with olive oil, in a hot oven (200C) for 45 minutes.
For the rocket aiol mix the egg yolks, garlic and rocket until finely chopped (being food processerless I did this by hand but a machine is recomended). With the motor running gradually add the olive oil until the mix is thick and glossy. Transfer to a bowl and stir n lemon juice and seasoning to taste.
The recipe suggest a 250g piece of pancetta rind and excess fat removed and chopped into 1.5cm pieces but I utilised a pack of cubed pancetta. Fry in the walnut oil until lightly golden, ad the walnuts and heat through gently. Remove from the heat, add the cooked beetroot and balsamic vinegar. Mix well and serve on a bed of fres rocket with the aioli poured over.