Beetroot the Superfood!
Beetroot is a superfood known for its deep, earthy flavour and shocking purple colour, yet not only a brilliant vegetable to add vibrancy to a summer salad, it has a whole range of health benefits meaning it’s a food we simply cannot ignore. The nutritional value is outstanding. Non-existent in fat and low in calories, it’s perfect for when watching your weight. In contrast, it has a high fibre content, therefore valuable in aiding digestion.
Boiled, Picked or Roasted…
While most people eat boiled or pickled beetroot, roasting this vegetable does bring out an exciting and even more enhanced earthy flavour. Surprisingly, it has a meaty characteristic, perfect as a meat substitute. It has blood building properties that replaces the protein element often associated with eating meats.
Warm, roasted beetroot can often lift a simple salad when paired with ingredients such as red onion, feta and balsamic. Find one of my favourite beetroot recipes below, a roasted beetroot, red pepper, kale and feta tart. This dish is perfect as it can be eaten hot or cold, perfect for a summer picnic (when the weathers right!)
For the roasted vegetables
- 2 large beetroot, scrubbed and peeled, cut into 6 pieces
- 1 red pepper, topped and tailed and cut into thick slices
- 3 garlic cloves, unpeeled and lightly bruised
- 2 tsp fresh thyme
- 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp clear honey
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
For the kale and onion mixture
- 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 2 red onions, finely sliced
- 1 garlic clove, finely minced
- 1 tsp thyme leaves
- Pinch of salt
- 100g kale, tough stalks removed
For the tart
- 1 sheet ready rolled puff pastry
- Egg for glazing, beaten
- 100g feta cheese, crumbled
- Fresh thyme leaves for sprinkling
- Heat the oven to 200c/fan 180c/gas mark 6.
- Arrange the beetroot and peppers on a roasting tray and toss in the bruised garlic cloves. Mix together the thyme, balsamic vinegar, olive oil and honey and pour over the vegetables. Add the salt and pepper, mixing well to combine and then toss together so all of the vegetables are thoroughly coated in the dressing.
- Roast for 25 mins until the beetroot and peppers are sticky and glazed. Remove from the oven and discard the garlic cloves. Set aside.
- While the vegetables are roasting heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, thyme and a pinch of salt and fry gently for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding a splash of water if the onion starts to catch.
- Add the kale to the pan and continue to fry for 5 minutes, until the kale has wilted and the onions are meltingly soft. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Line a flat baking sheet with baking parchment and unroll the puff pastry sheet onto it. Using a sharp knife, score a rectangle about 2cm from the edge taking care not to cut through the bottom of the pastry. Prick all over the inside of the rectangle with a fork and brush the border with beaten egg. Bake the pastry in the oven for 10 minutes.
- Take the pastry case from the oven and spread the onion and kale mixture over the pastry, leaving the border clear. Arrange the roasted peppers and beetroot over the top, sprinkle with a little extra salt and pepper and crumble the feta cheese over.
- Bake for 15- 20 minutes or until the pastry is golden and crisp.
- Sprinkle the tart with the fresh thyme leaves and set aside.
- When ready to serve transfer to a large plate or platter.
Kumud Gandhi is a Nutritional Food Scientist bestselling Author, Broadcaster, and Keynote Speaker on the subject of nutritional health for productivity & performance in the workplace. In 2010 Kumud founded ‘The Cooking Academy’ a cookery school that focusses on cooking for nutritional health and wellbeing. Kumud regularly presents to international audiences on a variety of topics such as ‘Eating for Immunity and a Lifetime of Wellness’. She is an expert in the field of Wellness in the Workplace and works with organizations to create transformational change in employee health & well-being through nutrition and health coaching.