Beetroot is a divisive vegetable at the best of times, and I am well aware that smoking it will definitely raise a few eyebrows.
However, with that said, I think it’s one of the most delicious ways of serving beetroot, and can easily be an unusual and exciting starter to a fancy dinner party, as part of a mezze spread, or just as a fun side to whatever else you’re cooking!
The idea was more or less nabbed from a recipe in Yotam Ottolenghi’s incredible book Plenty More, probably the best vegetarian cookbook out there and one of my favourite cookbooks of all time.
This is our stripped-down, low-fat version that’s seriously easy and involves mostly hands-off cooking! You can also take the beetroots and crush them, mix with basil, olive oil, lemon juice and salt to make a gorgeous dip.
Smoked beetroot with yogurt and toasted nuts
- 1 kg Beetroots, whole and unpeeled
- 3 tbsp white rice
- 1 lemon's worth of rind
- 1 sprig fresh thyme optional
- Thick yogurt
- Macadamia, almond and pecan nuts, toasted
- Preheat the oven to 200C (180 fan)
- Line a pot with a tight fitting lid with 2 layers of tinfoil, with a little extra to fold over the edges.Add the rice, lemon rind and thyme sprig and 2 tablespoons of water. Place the whole beetroots on top of the rice and place on high heat. Once the rice starts burning and smoke starts to be produced, seal the lid tightly, folding over the tinfoil, and smoke for 8 minutes exactly.
- As soon as the 8 minutes are up, remove from the smoker and place on a tray in the oven to bake for an hour, or until soft and well cooked.
- After baking, let them cool down, then peel and slice. Arrange on a serving tray and top with the yoghurt and toasted nuts. Serve at room temperature or slightly warmer.