Slow-cooked baby beets with horseradish ricotta and chopped winter greens

Slow-cooked beetroot salad with horseradish ricotta.
Slow-cooked beetroot salad with horseradish ricotta. Photo: Katrina Meynink
Difficulty
Easy
Dietary
Vegetarian

When it comes to baby beets, I love to really really scrub them, trim them but then eat them post-roasting, skins and all. I cannot be bothered with the peeling and finger staining, and the earthy flavour it imparts to the sweetness of the beet is magical. If you can't get your head around this, feel free to peel them after roasting. The end outcome is the same, other than the effort to peel.

Ingredients

20 assorted baby beetroots*, trimmed and thoroughly scrubbed

3 tbsp olive oil

3 tbsp pomegranate molasses (or balsamic glaze)

Horseradish ricotta

1 cup ricotta

½ cup Greek yoghurt

1 tbsp freshly grated horseradish (or horseradish paste if unavailable), plus extra to serve

Quick winter greens salad

6-7 large cavolo nero leaves, coarsely chopped

½ cup flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp pomegranate molasses

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a large baking tray with baking paper and arrange the beets in a single layer. Combine the oil and molasses in a small bowl and pour over the beets, shaking the tray gently to cover them in the mixture. Season with salt and pepper and roast for 45 minutes or up to an hour, until the beets are cooked through and soft, but still hold some resistance to the touch.

2. While the beets are roasting, combine the ricotta, yoghurt, horseradish in a blender and pulse until combined and the mixture is thick and creamy. Taste, and adjust the amount of horseradish accordingly, you want to be able to taste it as the beets are such a strong flavour. Layer this ricotta in a large serving dish.

3. Make the winter greens salad by adding all the ingredients to a bowl and use your hands to massage the dressing into the leaves. Scatter these over the ricotta mixture.

4. Remove the beets from the oven and when just cool enough to handle, halve them. Scatter them over the salad and ricotta. Season again and grate extra horseradish over, if using. Serve warm or at room temperature soon after assembling.

*If you can't get rainbow coloured beets – they are rather hit and miss at the supermarket – substitute with normal beetroot. Just make sure they are small – the larger ones seem to be woodier in texture and definitely less sweet.