Salt-baked beetroot with whipped ricotta, apple and hazelnut


First published in 2019
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Salt-baking can seem a little unnecessary – why go to all that trouble why you can just roast something and season it anyway? When it comes to beetroot, however, baking it inside a salt dough really does coax the best out of this root vegetable, giving it a delightful complexity that sits on the fence between sweet and savoury.

The interesting thing about this salad is that with slightly different treatment, these ingredients could easily become a dessert. As long as you have a few hours in the day, this is a simple, delicious way to get something colourful on the dinner table.




Salt-baked beetroot


Preheat an oven to 160ºC/gas mark 3
In a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour, salt and egg whites, then add the lemon thyme leaves and water and mix into a dough. Bring the dough together with your hands, then roll out to a centimetre thick on a work surface
Lay the beetroots in the middle of the dough, then pull the dough up around the beetroots, sealing at the top to form a parcel
Bake the beetroots for two-and-a-half hours in the oven, then remove the dough and allow to cool to room temperature
Slice the apple into matchsticks and keep in cold water with a little lemon juice squeezed in – this helps to crisp up the apple and stops it from discolouring. Put the ricotta in a bowl, add a pinch of salt and a pinch of sugar and beat it with a wooden spoon to aerate and loosen it up
When the beetroot dough has cooled, break it open and remove the beetroots. Peel them carefully with a knife and slice them into chunks
Spread the whipped ricotta over a platter and top with the beetroots. Scatter over the apple, a few more lemon thyme leaves and some crushed hazelnuts. Finish with a squeeze of lemon and arrange the reserved beetroot leaves over the top
First published in 2019
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