Ah but isn’t carpaccio a dish of raw meat? Yes, but how about this veggie loaded beetroot carpaccio dish instead.
I learned the technique for making beetroot carpaccio during my Natural Chef training and have been a convert ever since. It makes the perfect light starter dish, or perhaps a sharing side dish to a main or part of a mezze meal.
To soften up this vibrant root vegetable for this recipe the beetroot is cooked. You can steam roast the beetroot as I have, which helps retain a slightly firmer texture for slicing as well as keeping the nutrients locked in. Boiling does work too, though can take longer and some of the nutrition from the beetroot ends up in the boiling water. The secret to a good beetroot carpaccio is slicing the vegetable as thin as possible. I’ve been hacking away with a knife for the last few years doing the best I could, but am now delighted to own an OXO chef’s mandoline slicer, which makes the job a breeze (as long as you are very careful not to slice your fingers off, they are rather sharp). I also made use of the OXO flexible vegetable brush and the OXO good grips salad spinner to cook this dish.
I’ve added grapefruit to the salad to add some sharpness to the sweet beetroot, and also because it’s the best time of year for citrus – though admittedly we can’t grow theme here in the UK at any time of year. My grapefruit were from Israel, and carefully selected over the American ones that were also available because I figured it was 2000 fewer air miles…
Into the dish I also threw some nearer to home produce – landcress from Cambridgeshire. What’s landcress?? Yeah I’d never heard of it either till I saw it at Brockley Farmers market this weekend. Intrigued I picked up a handful and later googled it. It’s basically a form of watercress grown on land. So watercress would work perfectly well in this salad too when It becomes available a bit later on in the year.
If you can get hold of golden beetroot or even better candy striped beetroot to combine and layer up with the red stuff then you’ll have one colourful salad on your plate.
- 2 small red beetroot, stems trimmed and scrubbed
- 100mls water
- olive oil, to lightly coat
- salt and pepper
- 1 red grapefruit, supremed reserving the juice (topped and tailed, peel removed and segments sliced away from the pith)
- handful baby watercress, or landcress, leaves washed
- 10g pumpkin seeds, toasted
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- ½ Tbsp grapefruit juice
- ½ Tbsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp maple syrup or honey
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 200°C. To steam roast the beetroot, place in a deep baking dish, pour in 100mls of water then cover the dish tightly with foil. Roast for around 45 minutes, until the beetroot is just soft enough to put a knife in the tip. Remove the beets from the dish, and allow to cool fully before peeling.
- While the beetroot is cooking prepare the rest of your salad, supreme the grapefruit, catching the juices in a bowl to use for the dressing. Then whisk up the oil and juices for the dressing adding the maple syrup to balance the sweetness and a pinch or salt and pepper too.
- When the beetroots are cooled peel, then using the mandolin slice them into very thin rounds. Place the paper thin beetroot in a bowl and then toss with around 1 tsp of olive oil so that all the slices are coated. Season with a little salt and pepper
- Lay the beets on a large platter or individual plates, then place the landcress (or watercress) and grapefruit segments decoratively on top. Drizzle over the dressing and add toasted pumpkin seeds
For notes on how to supreme citrus fruit see here.
*Disclaimer: This post was commissioned by OXO, who also sent me the kitchen gadgets to play with to create this post. All opinions are my own2