This beetroot recipe came about as I was thinking about a nice vegetable dish to go with our lamb cutlets. I often make a beetroot, mint and walnut salad with some goats cheese but I wanted something a little more fun that night. Then I started thinking that maybe I should make my yummy cauliflower couscous with pomegranate (recipe in my cookbook) instead. You can guess what happened next.
I combined two ideas and ended up with a beetroot and cauliflower couscous-like salad with roasted hazelnuts, garlic and parsley. Such a perfect compliment to the lamb and a fantastic little salad on its own if I may say so. It was also super easy and fast. I hope you enjoy it.
Cook’s notes: Other nuts can be used instead of hazelnuts, I recommend to toast/roast them first for extra flavour. You could use carrot instead of beetroot for an orange coloured version. You will need a food processor or mad knife skills for this recipe, basically lots of fine chopping. If you can’t get a hold of hazelnut oil, simply use 4 -5 tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil or macadamia oil.
- 2/3 cup hazelnuts
- 1 medium brown onion, finely diced
- 1 tablespoon ghee/butter or coconut oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 medium raw beetroots, peeled and cut into quarters
- 2 garlic cloves, finely diced
- 1 teaspoon ghee
- 1 medium cauliflower, broken into florets
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley or mint
For the dressing
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- Juice of 2/3 medium lemon
- 1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoon hazelnut oil (or extra olive oil)
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil (optional but adds a nice touch)
- Heat a medium frying pan and toast the hazelnuts over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent burning. Transfer to a bowl and set to cool slightly. Then place them in a towel and rub together with your hands, the shells will peel off easily.
- In the same frying pan, sauté the onion in some ghee and a little sea salt for 5-6 minutes, until golden brown and soft. Place beetroot, garlic and most of the hazelnuts (reserve a few whole nuts for garnish) in a food processor and grind into small crumbs. Alternatively chop finely with a knife. Add ground beetroot, garlic and hazelnuts to sautéed onion and cook together for a minute or two, add extra ghee if needed.
- Place cauliflower florets in the food processor and grind together into small crumbs. Add to the beetroot mix in the frying pan and stir through for a minute. Transfer everything to a large salad bowl.
- Mix and pour the dressing over the salad, add parsley or mint and stir well together. Taste for salt and acidity, add a little more lemon juice if needed. Garnish with whole hazelnuts, parsley and some extra grated lemon zest.