Recipe by Clare Mcelhatton.
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Whole Beetroot- including stalks and leaves
100ml Balsamic vinegar
Fresh thyme or rosemary (optional)
Toasted sourdough bread
Something creamy- E.g. goats’ cheese, feta, cream cheese (dairy or vegan versions)
Remove the stalks from the beetroot. Cut the stalks into 1-2-inch pieces and roughly tear the leaves. Wash everything well.
Wrap the beetroot in foil and bake in a hot oven (around 200°C) until it’s soft. This will take 30-40 minutes depending on its size. This is good to do while there’s something else roasting in the oven Alternatively, boil the beetroot in salted water in a saucepan until tender- around 30minutes
Once the beetroot is soft, leave it to cool. Careful remove the skin using a spoon or your hands, it should come off quite easily. Cut the flesh into wedges or cubes.
In a good saucepan or frying pan, add around 100ml of balsamic vinegar and any herbs. Add 2tsp of sugar.
Simmer of a low heat for around 5 minutes, the vinegar will start to reduce and become syrupy.
When it has reduced by about half, add the beetroot stalks. Cook for 1-2 minutes with a lid on the pan.
Add the beetroot flesh and heat through in the syrup for 1-2 minutes with the lid off.
Finally, add the leaves. Cook for 1-2 minutes with the lid on (to allow them to wilt). Then a further minute with lid off.
The beetroot flesh should be warmed through and the stalks and leaves tender and wilted. The vinegar will be a dark purple colour and coat the back of a spoon. Cook for a little longer if the sauce is too runny.
To serve, spread the toasted bread with the cheese and top with the balsamic beetroot. Add a sprinkle of salt (this may not be necessary; it depends on what cheese has been used)