Though we serve it at Hide on a daily basis, it was only when I cooked it at home recently that I was reminded just how special these beetroots are. Perhaps being out of my uniform, I saw it with fresh eyes. Once cooked, when you peel away the dark fibrous skin, it is like unearthing a gemstone, such is the lustre of the golden flesh within. That flesh is incredibly carnal and dense, with a depth of flavour and refined sweetness unlike any other variety of beetroot. When sliced across and dressed with vinaigrette, you will have a glorious cross-section that looks like a sunset: warm orange fading to saffron yellow. It’s a beauty almost unique to nature that something so basic, humble and rugged can be transformed into something so special. Here we serve it with some grapes, mixed leaves, salty cheese and dukkah to make a delicious salad that is bold and direct: a perfect early Autumn supper. Make more dukkah than you need and keep in an airtight container.
100g Wet walnuts
2 tsp Cumin seeds, toasted
1.5 tsp Fennel seed, toasted
1 tsp Coriander seed, toasted
Pinch Dried chilli / espelette
- For the dukkah, crush the walnuts in a pestle and mortar then place in a bowl.
- Next crush the toasted spices and add, along with the chilli and salt. Check seasoning and strength.
1 Badger flame beetroot
½ Lemon, zest grated on microplane & juice
1 tbsp Chardonnay, White balsamic or white wine vinegar
6 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
200g Chasselas de Moissac grapes, halved
4 handfuls Salad leaves
100g Feta, crumbled
- Simmer or steam the beetroot for about 90 mins or until tender, then leave to cool until just warm.
- Mix the lemon, vinegar, oil, salt and sugar together to make a dressing.
- Peel and slice the beetroot, then season and dress whilst still warm.
- Mix in the grapes, salad leaves and feta, then scatter over a large plate.
- Scatter over the dukkah generously and serve.