The aroma of beetroot roasting! It is one of the quintessentially Autumn vegetables, earthy in taste and aroma. This recipe is a warm salad or side dish where the warm roasted beetroot is dressed with maple syrup, vinegar and olive oil. The balance of sweet, sour and salty is lovely against the earthiness of the tender, roasted beetroot. We love beetroot.
In this dish, I’ve used tiny mixed leaves from the garden, but use baby spinach or rocket leaves by all means. You could leave them out, but I think they freshen and liven the dish.
The original recipe is from Ottolenghi’s first book, Ottolenghi. We’ve tinkered with it a little, although transcribed it pretty much as it is in the book. We never have chervil here, so I used the spindly coriander that develops as coriander plants go to seed. It is delicious! You could also use the tenderest of celery leaves (the young, yellow ones) or young lovage leaves. In fact, most soft herbs will go well with beetroot. See the notes below the recipe for other changes.
It is Ottolenghi day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish all the latest posts of recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi books – those we have cooked directly and those we have been inspired by. Currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely (This one is from Ottolenghi). Note that I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.
Browse all of our Beetroot Salads, and all of our Beetroot dishes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Mid Autumn dishes.
We use Australian measurements: 1 tspn = 5ml; 1 Tblspn = 20ml; 1 cup = 250ml.
Warm Roasted Beetroot with Maple Syrup Dressing
500g golden beetroot and 500g red beetroot, or 1kg of either golden or red beetroot
80g sunflower seeds
90ml maple syrup
4 Tblspn sherry vinegar
4 Tblspn olive oil
2 garlic cloves, slivered
20g chervil leaves, plus more to garnish (or use another soft herb)
60g baby chard leaves, baby spinach or rocket leaves – young beetroot leaves are a delicious alternative
sea salt and black pepper
Pre heat the oven too 200 C. Wash the beetroot well and wrap them in foil individually. Bake in the oven for anything from 40 to 90 minutes, depending on their size (baby beets might take even less). Check each one, as cooking times vary a lot: the beet should be tender when pierced with a sharp knife.
Spread the sunflower seeds out in an ovenproof dish and toast in the oven alongside the beets for 8 minutes until just lightly coloured.
Once the beet are ready, unwrap them and peel with a small knife while still warm. Cut each into halves, quarters or 2-3 cm dice. Mix the beet with the of the rest of the ingredients in a bowl. Toss well and then taste – there should be a clear sweetness balanced by enough salt. Adjust the seasoning if necessary, plate, sprinkle with more sunflower seeds or herbs, and serve warm (also good at room temperature).
recipe notes and alternatives
Rather than nuts, use barberries and nigella seeds. Toasted mustard seeds go well too.
Add ricotta, soft goat’s cheese or Middle Eastern feta (which is creamer and less salty than other varieties – marinated Persian feta is also good to use).