Tuesday 1 December 2009

Roast beetroot & walnut salad

A couple of years ago I received a very panicked phone call from Mr Ladybird who was overseas at the time. He wanted to know whether or not he should go to the doctor because he was very alarmed to see that, well... his "fluids" were very unusually coloured. He thought he might be very sick. After initial concern, I paused and asked, "What did you eat for lunch?" The answer - "Beetroot". My reply: (sigh) "I think you're going to be fine, sweetheart..."

Afer this emotionally scarring experience, Mr Ladybird still loves beetroot and has been asking me to make a beetroot salad for a long time... so today he got his wish! This salad made for a delicious and colourful dinner this evening :)

2 tbsp red wine vinegar
80 ml (1/3 cup) walnut oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tsp dijon mustard
12 french shallots
12 garlic cloves
6 medium betroot, topped and cleaned well
1 tbsp vegetable oil
70g baby betroot leaves (or rocket in its absence)
50g (1/2 cup) whole walnuts, dry toasted

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees celcius.
2. In small bowl whisk together red wine vinegar, walnut oil, crushed garlic, dijon mustard and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
3. Place beetroot, whole shallots and whole garlic cloves (i.e. skins on) and veg. oil in oven proof dish.
4. After around half an hour, remove the shallots and garlic cloves - they should be soft and the skins should be starting to peel away (if not, leave in a little longer).
5. Continue cooking betroot in oven until tender when pierced with a skewer - probably about an hour since the dish first went in.
6. Allow the beetroot to cool slightly. Meanwhile, slip the shallots and garlic from their skin.
7. Peel skin off beetroot (or leave it on if you are feeling particularly health conscious), then cut into wedges.
8. Toss together vegetables with dressing and allow to cool to room temperature.
9. In a large bowl, gently combine vegetables and dressing with walnuts and rocket.
10. Arrange on large platter, and enjoy!

The cooked beetroot will stain your chopping board, so it's a good idea to cut them on a plate which you can then put in the dishwasher ;)

Interesting beetroot facts
  • Did you know that the ancient Romans considered beetroots an aphrodisiac? In fact, I read tonight that it is rich in the mineral boron which is important in the production of human sex hormones - so the Romans were probably onto something there...
  • Also, beetroot contains betaine, a substance that relaxes the mind and is used to treat depression. It also contains trytophan (also found in chocolate!) which contributes to a sense of well being... hurrah!


  1. Haha that's so cute! How did men survive without wives? :P

  2. Lurrvve beetroot - the one I had at campus last week was terrible. Watercress stalks and onions... ewww very rough and nasty. I'm keen to try yours next weekend

  3. I LOVE LOVE LOVE beetroot! hehe although your story re Mr Ladybird made me giggle. Mr BBB loves Roman history so I will have to pass on your tipe re the Romans!!

  4. hehe my bf does things like that too.
    This beetroot salad looks delicious!


  5. Mmmm...I LOVE beets. They have such an earthy flavor!

  6. Hey, I just stumbled upon your blog and adore your recipes!

    I'm looking forward to continue reading.

  7. I haven't cooked with beets before, but you make it seem really easy.. My sister had a disaster with them once, and I've been scared ever since to touch the things! Ha-- this recipe looks so yum..
    Ananta Watches

  8. Hi Ladybird ..
    this is my first visit here and i am impressed to see the spread here...this particular salad is my fave and i am making it very frequently these days as i have lots of rocket leaves in my garden ...your version is a bit different n sounds interesting...


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