A little beet of this and a little beet of that

A little beet of this and a little beet of that

By
From
Have You Eaten
Serves
4
Photographer
Billy Law

Beetroot. You either love or hate it. I used to hate it, because I was woefully misled for many years by canned beetroot, which tastes muddy and insipid and nothing like the fresh vegetable. This recipe showcases the beautiful earthy flavour of beetroot using several techniques. The striking purple-maroon colour just shouts ‘eat me!’.

Beetroot chips

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 medium beetroot, peeled
olive oil
sea salt flakes

Beetroot jus

Quantity Ingredient
2 medium beetroots, unpeeled
250ml water
55g sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Roated beetroots

Quantity Ingredient
2 medium beetroots, unpeeled
olive oil
sea salt flakes

Tortellini

Quantity Ingredient
300g ‘00’ strong flour, plus extra for dusting
100g beetroot purée, (the remaining beetroot solids from the jus)
1 egg
pinch salt
50g blue cheese
100g black pudding, removed from sausage casing and finely chopped
small handful baby beetroot leaves, rinsed and dried
parsley microherb, to garnish

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper. To make the beetroot chips, use a mandolin to slice the beetroot as thinly as possible, about 1 mm thick. Place the beetroot slices on the prepared tray, without overlapping the slices. Lightly drizzle olive oil over the beetroot, then place another baking tray on top to keep the beetroot slices nice and flat while cooking. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the beetroot chips are crispy. Remove the top tray, sprinkle salt over the chips and set aside to cool.
  2. Next, cook the 4 beetroots, ready for the beetroot jus and roasted beetroots. Put the 4 unpeeled beetroots in a large saucepan and add enough water to cover them. Put the lid on and bring to the boil, then turn the heat down to medium and simmer until the beetroots are cooked. This can take anywhere between 30 and 40 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting a knife into the thickest part of the beetroot; if the knife goes through easily, it is ready. Pour the hot water out and fill the same pan with cold water. Peel the beetroots by simply rubbing the skins off with both hands (do this in the water so the beetroots won’t stain your hands too much). Drain and set aside.
  3. To make the beetroot jus, put 2 of the cooked beetroots and the water in a food processor and purée until smooth. Press the purée through a fine sieve set over a saucepan. Keep the beetroot solids in the sieve for later use. Add the sugar and lemon juice to the beetroot juice in the pan and bring to the boil over medium–high heat. Simmer until it reduces by half. Remove from the heat, then strain the jus into a bowl and set aside to cool completely.
  4. To make the tortellini, put the flour in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Add 100 g of the leftover beetroot purée (keep the rest for serving), the egg and a pinch of salt. Using a fork, stir until everything just comes together. Tip the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 2–3 minutes until it forms a smooth dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and rest the dough in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
  5. Cut the dough in half. Start with only one half of the dough and wrap the other half in plastic wrap and put it back in the refrigerator. Use a pasta rolling machine and start from the widest setting. Feed the dough through the machine a few times, adjusting the rollers to the next narrower setting until you reach number four. Roll the dough into a long, flat strip, about 2 mm thick. Using a pasta trimmer, cut the dough into neat 6 cm squares.
  6. Place ½ teaspoon of blue cheese in the centre of each square. Dab some water along the edges of the pasta, then fold one corner of the pasta over the filling to form a triangle. Press the pasta gently to get rid of any air pockets, and seal the cheese inside. Next pick up the two bottom corners and fold them towards you until they meet; pinch the corners together to make a crown. Place the tortellini on a lightly floured tray. Repeat until all the tortellini are folded. Remove the remaining portion of dough from the refrigerator and repeat the process, to make about 20 tortellini in total. Cover the tortellini with plastic wrap until they are ready to be cooked.
  7. To make the roasted beetroot, preheat the oven to 220°C•. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Cut the 2 beetroots into quarters and then halve each quarter. Spread the beetroots on the prepared tray, lightly drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake for 25–30 minutes until the beetroots are nice and crisp on the outside. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  8. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan and fry the chopped black pudding for 5 minutes, or until blackened and crispy. Remove and drain on paper towel.
  9. When it is time to cook the pasta, add a pinch of salt to a pot of water and bring to the boil. Cook the tortellini in batches; the tortellini will float to the surface once they are cooked. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in a mixing bowl. Drizzle with olive oil to stop them from sticking to each other.
  10. To serve, brush the beetroot jus around the plate, place a spoonful of beetroot purée in the centre of the plate, then top with roasted beetroot, beetroot tortellini and beetroot chips. Sprinkle the black pudding crumbs all over, then garnish with baby beetroot leaves and microherbs.
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