Beetroot is one of those beautiful bulb vegetables that ought to come with a warning sign that says ‘BLOODY BEETROOTS’ because of their ability to stain your fingers red (and it’d be a winning pop culture reference!). Thankfully, I read about that before I attempted to make something of it and had food preparation gloves ready. To be entirely truthful, cooking beetroots wasn’t something that I actually had given any thought about attempting until…. well, let’s just say that I’m a bit of a sucker when it comes to paying $1 for a 1kg packet of vegetables.
Whilst the canned variety isn’t exactly expensive either, it usually comes pre-sliced and it goes well in sandwiches. Since these were fresh beetroots, I decided to roast them and make a salad. Me being
lazy practical though, I took the easy way out and probably committed a crime against beetroot lovers worldwide. I washed them, and then…
Okay, I peeled and chopped them up into cubes before roasting them.
Gah, I’m SORRY!
The thing is, I didn’t quite see the point of washing them with my gloves on, roasting them, waiting for them to cool, then putting the gloves back on so I can peel them and chop them up. Why can’t I just throw them in the oven, all in naked cubes? Yes, I understand that perhaps it’s supposed to enhance the flavour if I roast them with skins on, but I have other things to worry about, like what’s for dessert, what flavour of ice-cream we have and if I should have peppermint or chamomile tea.
It’s a hard life that I lead as an unemployed graduate.
This salad is a wonderful melange of colours and flavours that I think it’d comfortably fit into any lunch or dinner menu (I actually served it with the poisson en papillote). If you don’t have macadamias, you can easily replace them with walnuts or almonds. The thing is, I find salads to be just the most forgiving dish that you can add anything you like and naturally, take away anything you don’t. Baby spinach leaves would be a great addition, as would slices of grilled steak if you’d like to make this a more substantial salad. Rabbit food doesn’t have to be just for rabbits, after all.
Warm Roasted Beetroot Salad with Feta Cheese
Serves four as a small side dish
6 beetroots, washed, peeled and chopped into cubes
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp brown sugar
a pinch of salt and pepper
50g feta cheese (or however much you like!)
a handful of macadamias
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
Spread out the cubes of beetroot on a lined baking tray and roast for 45 minutes or until tender (but still retains a bit of a ‘bite’).
On another small baking tray, lay out the macadamias and roast them in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes, shaking the tray halfway to ensure that they are evenly browned.
Remove both trays from the oven and let cool slightly.
Combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, salt and pepper in a small bowl and mix well.
Add the beetroot cubes, roasted macadamias and dressing into a bowl and toss.
Crumble the feta cheese on top and serve immediately.