Fermented beetroot with blackberries, seaweed and hazelnuts

  • medium
  • 6
  • 1 hour 15 minutes
Not yet rated

This beautiful beetroot dish is comprised of fermented and slow-roasted beetroot, served with pickled beetroot and a seaweed oil for a slight flavour of the sea. Blackberries and hazelnuts are added to the beetroot mix for sweetness and crunch – a stunning dish for a vegan dinner party. This dish was created by Rob Howell, head chef at Josh Eggleton's restaurant Root.

First published in 2018




Fermented beetroot

Seaweed oil

Roasted beetroot

Pickled beetroot

  • 60ml of white wine vinegar
  • 40g of caster sugar
  • 10ml of water
  • 2 beetroots

To serve


  • Fermenting equipment
  • Temperature probe
  • Blender
  • Muslin cloth or a coffee filter
  • 3cm diameter cutter
  • 10cm ring mould 6


To begin, make the fermented beetroot, as this will take a few days to reach maturity. Place the peeled and grated beetroot in a large, clean tray or bowl and add the salt (you’ll need 2% of the weight of the beetroot). Massage the salt into the beetroot, squeezing to release all the juices from it. Continue to do so until you have enough juice to comfortably cover the grated beetroot
Transfer the mixture to a large fermenting jar, cover with parchment paper, then a weight, ensuring the beetroot is completely submerged in the juice. If you don’t have a fermenting jar, using two 4l ice cream containers will work well – place the beetroot and liquid in the first container, again ensuring the beetroot is completely submerged. Top with parchment paper, then place the other container on top of the mixture, weighing down slightly to ensure the beetroot is submerged
Leave in a cool, dry place for 5 days to complete the fermentation process – the ideal temperature for this is 18–23°C. After this time, store in the fridge. If you don't use all of it for this dish, it makes a great addition to salads or can be eaten as a side dish
For the seaweed oil, heat the rapeseed oil to 80°C in a pan and pour over the nori sheets in a heatproof bowl. Allow the mixture to cool and infuse before placing in a blender and blitzing until the oil is a vivid green colour. Strain the oil through muslin or a coffee filter into a suitable container – the oil will keep well in the fridge for use in other dishes
Preheat the oven to 170°C/gas mark 3.5
Place the whole beetroots in a baking tray and roast for 6 hours. Allow to cool completely, peel and roughly chop. Set aside
To make the pickled beetroot, bring all the ingredients (except the beetroot) to a boil in a saucepan, then set aside to cool. Finely slice the beetroot on a mandoline or with a sharp knife, then stamp out discs using a small, round cutter. Submerge the discs in the pickling liquid for an hour or so
Roughly chop the blackberries and hazelnuts separately and place in individual bowls. Set aside
When ready to serve, add the roasted beetroot to a mixing bowl. Add the fermented beetroot to taste, mixing well to combine. Stir in the hazelnuts and blackberries, mixing well until they're nicely dispersed throughout the mixture
Place a ring mould in the centre of each plate and spoon in the beetroot, hazelnut and blackberry mixture until it reaches the brim. Remove the ring moulds and place pieces of the pickled beetroot on top. Drizzle with the seaweed oil and some of the beetroot ferment liquid, garnish with micro radish cress and serve

Rob Howell is the head chef at Root, a veg-centric restaurant in Bristol's Wapping Wharf.

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