beetroot

beet ’em, join ’em

Roasted Olive & Beetroot Salad with Nasturtiums

As soon as the weather makes its shift into cooler territory, I find it a bit tricky to eat the amount of raw salady stuff that I know I should. Enter the roasted salad. Such a great fall back plan, on a few different levels actually; there’s the fact that you can still manage to have a decent sized serve of leaves and veggies while your appetite is screaming out for something warming, and the other part I really like about roasted salad is the roasted bit. I’ve been doing an almost weekly ritual of roasting whatever is still in the fridge on a Saturday afternoon when we do the changeover from one Farmer’s Market haul to the next. Things can get a little sad if they’re still sitting on the shelf by the time the next load comes in to replace them, but roasting somehow gives slightly limp veggies a second chance to shine. I throw in overlooked potatoes, beetroot, carrots, onion, any left over bits of cauliflower or broccoli and then add in some fresh stuff from our veggie garden; herbs and greens, maybe the odd tomato – it all goes into a couple of baking pans with lots of olive oil and salt and pepper and comes out ready to supply a week’s worth of soups, salads, risotto, pasta, toasted sandwiches and pies. Just having a choice of roasted veggies ready to go from the fridge cuts the time in half to make something decent for lunch rather than eating sourdough toast 7 days a week! My resolve is only as strong as my prep time I’ve discovered.

So, in doing the roasting thing for a while, I started throwing in whatever I thought might make things a bit different from the week before and olives ended up as part of the deal. Have you had roasted olives before? I never had – they’re good. Here’s what happened when they meet the roasted beetroot and some broad beans I had tucked away in the freezer…

 

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Roasted Olive & Beetroot Salad with Nasturtiums

2-3 organic beets

1 cup organic wild, or kalamata olives

extra virgin olive oil

Himalayan salt flakes

freshly ground pepper

6-8 fresh organic beet leaves

1 cup organic broadbeans

generous handful of fresh organic herbs – chervil, dill, parsley

fresh organic nasturtiums

1/2 organic orange

Pre heat the oven to 190C.

Roast the washed and cut beetroot, along with the olives, a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper until the beet is tender.

Blanche the broad beans in boiling water and drain.

Add the roasted beets, olives, broad beans, beet leaves, herbs and nasturtiums to a large bowl and gently toss through with the roasting juices and oil from the beetroot.

 Squeeze the juice from 1/2 an orange over the salad, add salt and pepper to season, and tumble the salad out onto a serving plate. 

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plane picnic

Beetroot Burgers

At the risk of sounding like a retreat junkie, I’m on a plane heading to Bali to do another dose of yoga and meditation. If only this could be an ongoing monthly occurrence in my life! More about that when I get back.

Because it’s all I’ve been thinking about over the last couple of days, I wanted to talk about what to pack when you’re flying if you don’t eat really overcooked non-descript meat and cold white bread rolls. I’m flying with a couple of buddies today and between us we could just about open a wholefoods cafe on board. We’d be the ‘alternative’ flight attendants. Dressed in organic hemp uniforms, no doubt.

The thing with taking food on planes is that you want to eat anything that will help hydrate you, but you don’t want anything that will leak over your only pair of socks. Beetroot burgers. Plus fresh fruit; apples are great because you don’t have any skin to peel and they can handle a bit of a pre flight bumble about in your bag. Raw nuts are really good too. I’ve packed a ziplock bag of rocket that I picked from the garden this morning, no dressing, but that’s forgiven, it’s still a load of chlorophyll going in along with the burgers. I usually pack dehydrated coconut water powder to mix into whatever water I drink on board too, really good stuff to up your electrolytes. And maybe a little orange and chia seed muffin or two. And tea! I always pack loose leaf tea with a single cup infuser so you just need to ask for hot water.

The easiest thing is to make these burgers for dinner the night before you fly out so you can quickly pop a few of them into a container once they’re cold the next morning. They taste pretty good cold too, another factor to tick off when your packing your plane picnic. When we had these last night, we added nettle pesto but that’s not exactly plane friendly when you think about opening a jar of raw garlic under the nose of the person next to you. It’s really good with these though, for the non-flying times.

 

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Beetroot Burgers

makes 12

 

3 medium sized organic beetroot, grated

1 organic leek, finely chopped

300g organic borlotti beans, cooked and cooled

2 cups organic brown rice, cooked and cooled

1 cup fresh organic chervil

1 cup fresh organic parsley

1/2 cup organic pepitas

1/2 cup organic sunflower seeds

1 heaped tablespoon organic tahini

2 teaspoons organic coriander seeds, dry toasted and ground

1 teaspoon organic cumin seeds, dry toasted and ground

1 teaspoon organic fennel seeds, dry toasted and ground

organic GF whole flour or spelt flour, to coat burgers

Celtic salt & pepper to taste

 

Blitz the cooked beans, herbs, tahini, spices and half of the seeds in a food processor until you have something resembling hommus.

In a large bowl, combine the pureed bean mixture with the chopped leek and grated beetroot. Add the remaining seeds and cooked brown rice. Season to taste.

To shape the burgers, have a plate of spelt flour at the ready and as you mould each burger with your hands, coat both sides in the flour, this will stop them sticking when you cook them.

Heat a flat grill and cook the burgers for 8-10 minutes, flipping half way through the cooking time to ensure both sides are evenly cooked.

Serve with fresh greens, whether at your table or in seat 16F.

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