Until not-so-long-ago, I hated beetroot. I simply cound’t stand the way the juice blends into the food, making everything on the plate pink – and I also associated it with pickled vegetables which I don’t like in general. It all changed, when I tried grilled beetroot. When we still lived in Switzerland, I had my own little vegetable patch in our garden where I grew all kinds of veggies and herbs – potatoes, tomatos, squash and many more. Once I seeded some yellow beetroots, and they grew really well. In my BBQ bible “Weber’s Grillen mit Holzkohle” I stumbled over a recipe of Bruschetta with grilled yellow beetroot and goat cheese which I tried out – and I’m a big beetroot fan ever since. Especially grilled or baked, and in combination with goat cheese. I liked it so much that I even tried the red ones, and – I like them as much.
If you have a little space in your garden (or even a flowerpot on your balkony) – you should try out to seed your own beetroots. They are really easy and grow even without a lot of sun – and there are lots of variants that you don’t easily get in the supermarket: yellow, striped, etc – a nice effect on the plate. I just seeded some (again yellow) beetroots last weekend directly into our outside flowerbed and they already sprouted – and that here, in Denmark!
So we decided that a salad with grilled beetroot would be a good choice for the BBQ day of our FoodFamily launch weekend.
But before going right into that, I wanted to share a picture of the most creative beetroot dish I have ever tried. 2 weeks ago, we had the pleasure to eat lunch at Noma here in Copenhagen. They are known for their very creative cooking – using only local Nordic ingredients (but thanks god they don’t stay true to that when it comes to wine…), and they have just again been voted “Best restaurant in the world” (read more). So for the first time in our 3 years in Denmark, we managed to get a table, and went together with my mother and her husband Heinz (as you might already know…. they love good food). And on the picture you see what was served as first course: a “Nordic Coconut”. Interesting look, and even more interesting to taste the soup that was inside the hollow beetroot!
Wow – I never thought that I could write so much about a simple vegetable as a beetroot. But now enough – let’s get to the recipe:
Salad with grilled beetroot, goat cheese and croutons
- 300g baby chard leaves (Mangold)
- 5-6 small red beetroots (ca. 1 kg)
- 6 red onions
- 200g fresh (but firm) goat cheese
- 3 thick slices of dark rye bread (with seeds)
- dried Oregano
- 4 branches fresh oregano
- 8 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp dark balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp butter
- freshly ground black pepper
- Prepare the grill for direct heat (or preheat the oven to 200°C).
- Wash the beetroot, peel it and cut it into not-too-small pieces (I recommend the use of disposable latex gloves). Peel and cut the onions in 8 pieces.
- Mix beetroots, onions and olive oil, salt, pepper and dried oregano and put onto an aluminium tray (in case you use the BBQ) or a heatproof dish (if you use the oven). Bake about 45 minutes until beetroots are tender (stir a few times inbetween to ensure they get grilled evenly). When done, let the veggies cool down a bit, then mix with the balsamic vinegar.
- Cut the rye bread into 1cm large cubes and roast them in butter until brown and crispy.
- Wash the chard leaves and the fresh oregano and take off the oregano leaves. Cut or crumble the goat cheese into pieces.
- Arrange the leaves on a platter and scatter the beetroot and onions on top of them. Sprinkle goat cheese and croutons over and serve – bon appetit!
For a milk-free variant – simply roast the bread cubes in olive oil instead of butter, and leave out the goat cheese.