By Emma Chow
Hate beetroots you say? That’s how I felt too, until a chef in charge of me laughed in my face and told me that If I were going to be any sort of decent chef, I had better learn to like it and plenty more besides. So I ate roasted beetroots in salads with feta and rocket, I put pickled beetroot in burgers, and ate beetroot chocolate brownies. Then I tasted the simplest beetroot dip with charred, toasted flatbread and I finally understood what the fuss was about.
This humble little root vegetable, with its vibrant hue, hand staining ability and the resilience to grow in even my sad and sorry vegetable garden, has a sweetness and silkiness that you’d be hard pressed to find anywhere else.
This is the simplest dip you can imagine. If you don’t count the olive oil and salt and pepper, it’s practically a 3 ingredient recipe! Do try it with griddle toasted flatbreads, won’t you?
2 large beetroot
1 cup walnuts
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celcius.
- Roll your beetroots in 1 tablespoon olive oil and a sprinkle of salt, and place in a baking tray. Roast for 30 minutes or so, or until you can easily insert a knife into them.
- In the last 5 minutes of beetroot roasting time, chuck your walnuts into another small baking dish and allow to roast until warm and crunchy. You can use the residual heat from the oven and feel free to turn it off. Leave them in there for 5-10 minutes or so.
- Juice the lemon. Take the zest off too if you like.
- When the beetroot have cooled, the skin should pull away easily from the flesh. Chop roughly and toss in the food processor or blender with the roasted walnuts, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the lemon juice.
- Blend to your desired dip texture. I like to leave it a little chunky.
- Season with salt and pepper and serve.
Dip should last up to a week if well covered in the fridge, as it contains no dairy.
Goes great with roast lamb or beef, and makes a delicious sandwich spread. It might sounds weird, but it is insanely delicious with some slice cucumber and some ocean trout, whether smoked, cured or a little leftover pan fried, as pictured below. This was a little light dinner I had waiting for the man after a long, late day of work. Hit the spot, he says.