“Purple food! Who would have thought this purple food ‘aka beetroot would actually taste good – and here I admit to everyone that I love beets”
First of all … I admit that this small purple food called the beetroot has never been in my radar. It looks very rootish and it’s purple in color (honestly, I’ve not had purple food before), so naturally, I thought it’s a tough vegetable to cook and would taste bitter. Well, I was so wrong, looks can be very deceiving, mind you.
My first experience with beets was in a Melbourne restaurant, whose degustation menu includes a dish with beets. The color & taste on the plate was absolutely smashing! And from that moment on, I am in love with this purplish sweet ball of root. Available during autumn, beets boast some huge nutritional value – the greens are rich in calcium, iron, vitamin A and C, while the roots are good source of fibre and folic acid.
In this recipe, Matt Wilkinson cook these baby beets in cranberry juice to bring out the natural sweetness of the beets. The additional dollops of ricotta bring texture and flavour balance to the whole dish.
Oh, and Happy Mother’s Day to me and to all beautiful Moms around the world. This is your weekend so go pamper and enjoy yourself. If your hubbies or kids can’t decide what to make for mom, perhaps you can start with this simple delicious healthy dish 🙂
Baby Beets in Cranberry Juice with Ricotta, Cumin & Dill (adapted from Matt Wilkinson’s Simply Dressed Salads)
1 bunch baby red beets
250 ml cranberry juice
25 ml red wine vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp honey
1/8 tsp ground cumin
30 g ricotta
1 tsp chopped dill, to garnish
1. Remove the leafy top and keep those for salad next time. Clean the beets well to remove all the soil remnants. Place them into a medium size pot, cover with cranberry juice and vinegar. Cover the pot and bring to boil. Turn the heat to low and simmer gently for 20-30 mins or until you can insert a small sharp knife into the beets easily.
2. Remove the beets and immediately proceed to peel them while it’s hot (rub them with kitchen towel or wear gloves – you don’t want to stain your fingers). Discard the skin and set aside.
3. Strain the cranberry-vinegar juice into a saucepan and over medium heat, reduce the sauce to a balsamic glaze consistency. Set aside.
4. Heat up a pan over high heat with olive oil. Then proceed to brown the beets for 3 mins or until browned all over. Add the cumin and mix for a further 1 min. Add honey and the glazed cranberry-vinegar juice. Cook for a further 2 mins, then remove from heat.
5. Place the beets on a serving plate. Drizzle with sufficient amount of cranberry juice mixture. Place a few dollops of ricotta on top of the beets and finish off with sprinkles of chopped dill. Serve warm.