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Roasted baby beets with walnuts and yogurt dressing

Makes 4 servings


2 pounds beets
4 garlic cloves
4 springs of thyme
3 bay leaves
Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper
5 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup walnut halves
Juice of 1/2 lemon
A small handful of dill or chives, Coarsely chopped

For the Dressing:

1/4 c plain full-fat yogurt
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 small garlic clove, crushed with a little coarse sea salt
Sea salt and a little freshly ground black pepper

To Finish

A couple handfuls of watercress or arugula

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put the beets into a baking pan and scatter with garlic, thyme, and bay leaves. Season with salt, pepper and trickle over 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Shake the pan so everything is well mingled, then cover with foil, sealing tightly. Roast until tender-about an hour, could take longer, depending on the size of the beets.

Turn down the oven to 350 degrees. Scatter the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast in oven for 5-7 minutes, until just fragrant.

Leave the beets until cool enough to handle, then top and tail them and remove their skins. Cut the beets into halves or quarters and place them in a large bowl. While still warm, toss with lemon juice, the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and some pepper. Allow to cool.

For the dressing, in a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt and sour cream. Whisk in the garlic and salt and pepper to taste.

Lightly toss the cooled beets and about two-thirds of the toasted walnuts in the dressing along with most of the dill or chives. Pile the beet salad into serving bowls and scatter over the remaining walnuts and dill or chives. Finish with watercress or arugula.

Recipe source: River Cottage Veg by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall