Make any summer celebration even sweeter with these colourful kisses.
Beetroot imparts a wonderfully earthy flavour, but it’s the striking colour that really makes its mark on most dishes.
Beetroot meringue kisses
Use an electric mixer to whisk 2 egg whites into stiff peaks, then add 125g of caster sugar and continue whisking until glossy. In a blender, blitz 75g of cooked beetroots with a splash of water until smooth. While whisking, add the beetroots, a teaspoon at a time, to the egg whites until the mixture is bright pink. Pipe the meringue in even-sized circles onto a silicone mat and bake for 3 hours at a really low heat, then remove from the oven and cool. Whip cream cheese together with garlic and herbs, then pipe a small amount onto a meringue, topping with a pea shoot and a second meringue for the perfect little pre-dinner bite.
More ways with beetroot
Roasted balsamic beetroot, goat’s-cheese and hazelnut tart
- 4 medium-sized beetroots
- 2 peeled red onions
- 15ml olive oil
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 15ml balsamic vinegar
- 1 sheet rolled puff pastry
- 75g goat’s cheese
- 50g chopped hazelnuts
- 1 sprig rosemary
Preheat your oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6. Cut the beetroots and red onions into eight wedges, toss them in the olive oil and arrange them in an ovenproof dish. Scatter with the two sprigs of rosemary and season well.
Roast for about 30–35 minutes, then pour the balsamic vinegar over them and return them to the oven for another five minutes or until tender.
Roll out the sheet of puff pastry, score a frame of nearly an inch around the edge and mark lines in the frame. On baking parchment, cook the pastry for 15 minutes or until light, golden brown. Use the back of a spoon to push the centre down if it puffs up too much.
Cut the beetroots into thinner slices, then scatter these and the onions over the pastry. Top with the goat’s cheese, chopped hazelnuts and remaining rosemary, then return to the oven and
bake for a further 10–15 minutes.
Serve the tart in slices with a lightly dressed salad.
Beetroot salad with lentils, spring vegetables and burrata
Cook 250g of beetroots as per the main recipe, with red onions and balsamic vinegar, then cool to room temperature. Slice into smaller pieces and, in a bowl, mix together with a couple of handfuls of fresh baby spinach leaves, basil, a sachet of microwaveable puy lentils (or a healthy grain), steamed asparagus, slices of heirloom tomato and burrata. Season well, drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and serve.
Grate 3 beetroots into a bowl with the zest of 1 lemon. Add 100g each of sea salt and caster sugar and mix well. Cover a large dish with a few layers of clingfilm, then sprinkle with half of the beetroot mixture. Place a large salmon fillet on top and finish with the remaining beetroots. Wrap the clingfilm around the salmon to enclose it fully and refrigerate for 3 days to cure. Wash the salt off, dry well and serve with horseradish, pea shoots and brown bread.
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