This Middle-Eastern inspired recipe is a lovely way to prepare oven baked beets (aka beetroot, in the UK).
You could make this with purchased cooked beets but it won’t taste anywhere near as good. Oven baking beets results in a wonderfully intense sweetness of flavor; unlike boiling them, where you end up with a pan full of purple liquid that you’ll dump, along with lots of nutrients.
If you can find those rainbow colored beets (gold and pink) you’ll have a prettier plateful but this works just as well with the good old purple variety.
To bake beets; select ones that are roughly the same size; don’t peel them but rinse away any dirt and trim the leaves off (you could saute those later with garlic and olive oil). Seal them together in a foil parcel, allowing a bit of space in there.
Stick them in a pre-heated 350F (180C) oven for about 45 mins to an hour depending on their size, or until they’re tender when pierced with a sharp knife.
Once they’re cool enough to handle, the skins will slide right off.
To serve; cube the beets and mix everything together which will give you a pretty pink dressing – alternatively, arrange them on a plate and spoon the dressing over.
The dressing is best made 30 minutes ahead to allow the flavors to develop and everything will keep for a couple of days in the fridge.
OVEN-BAKED BEET SALAD with YOGURT, CARAWAY & GARLIC
(Serves 4 as a side dish)
1 lb (450g) of beets, any color – baked as above
8 fl oz (225ml) of plain regular yoghurt (not Greek style)
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
1 teaspoon of caraway seeds
2 heaped tablespoons of chopped flat leaf parsley
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Paprika to finish
Slice or cube the cooked beets and either arrange on a plate or put in a serving bowl.
Whisk together the remaining ingredients except for the paprika. Chill for 30 minutes then spoon over the sliced beets or fold everything together for a pretty pink salad.
Sprinkle with a little paprika to serve and a scattering of extra parsley, if you like.