Roasted Roots with Raw Beetroosh

Lately we have done some root searching (in our recipes that is). Roots are one of the few things that actually can stand our northern climate. Still, we have not been using them very much even in our green kitchen. Sure, we have oven roasted them every now and then or used them in a saladsoup or a juice, but that is about it. Not nearly good enough.

Roots are the trolls of the vegetable group — thick, wrinkly, ugly and hidden under the earth. But you know what? It is about time they got a better reputation. They are flavorful, versatile, nutrient, often sweet and one of the least expensive things you can cook with. And if you peel of their earthy skin all kind of beautiful colors appear. So come beetroot, sunroot, blackroot, yam, rutabaga and turnip. 2012 is the year you will turn into swans. At least in our kitchen. We intend to use you a lot more in our cooking. We’re thinking salad, risotto, root mash, lasagna and maybe some more juices. You just wait.

We start off with one of our more popular roots, the beetroot. They are of course delicious to boil or roasted in the oven with some feta cheese, but today we’re using it raw – to keep its nutrients intact. We got inspiration from a burger we had at a raw food cafe and made a beet spread that we’ve named Beetroosh (think hummus and baba ganoush). We used avocado and cashews to make it creamy, and mustard, capers, lemon and thyme to give it some extra flavor. It came out super delicious! You can use it on crisp, in a wrap, on a bread or as a side dish to any meal.

We served it with roasted sweet potatoes and sunroots and thinly sliced raw carrot, radish and some salad. So in this dish the roots are turned into a spread, they are oven roasted and they are eaten raw. We told you they were versatile!

Raw Beetroosh
4 persons

4 cups (10 dl) raw beetroot, grated
2 ripe avocados
1 cup (2,5 dl) raw cashew nuts
1 small red onion
1 small organic lemon, juice & zest
2 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp pickled capers
1 tsp fresh thyme
sea salt and freshly grounded pepper to taste

Start by wash, peel and grate the raw beetroots. Add all ingredients in a food processor or blender and process or blend until smooth. Taste and add some more mustard, lemon juice, salt and pepper if needed. Eat immediately or store in an airtight container for 3-4 days.

Oven roasted root veggies
4 persons

4,5 lb (2 kg) mixed root vegetables (we used sweet potatoes and sunroots/jerusalem artichokes)

Preheat oven to 425 F/200° C.

Wash and give the sweet potatoes and jerusalem artichoke a good scrub to remove any dirt. Keep the peel on. Cut the sweet potato length wise and divide the sunroots in half. Place on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for around 45 minutes, tossing occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and lightly browned.

Garnish with raw radish, raw carrots, green leaves, sprouts, fresh herbs and drizzle with oil.

34 Comments

  • I have just found my way to your lovely blog and am really enjoying the recipes here. Like a lot of Australians, I love beetroot so was happy to see this recipe which I can't wait to try.
  • This beetroot recipe sounds incredible - I have never heard of anything like it and it's raw which makes it even better. We promote Meatless Monday and a raw vegan recipe actually made our top 5 most popular recipe posts from 2011 http://www.miratelinc.com/blog/5-top-csr-business-meatless-monday-vegetarian-recipes-for-2011/. Very cool - I'll have to try this spread.
  • Hey! Sembra buonissimo! Do you think it would work with cooked beetroots? I can't wait to try it! I love your blog btw, have been following you since the beginning, but never dared to post a comment, shame on me! No, seriously, your blog is amazing, not just the pictures, but the whole lifestyle behind it! Complimenti! Ciao!
    • Salve Chiare e grazie! I actually don't think cooked beetroots will taste very good in this recipe. The rawness give this spread a fresh taste that you won't achieve if you cook them. We're glad that you dared to comment, that wasn't so dangerous, was it ;-) Ciao /David
  • I love beetroots, so I am very excited to give that beetroosh a try! And as always, my compliments for the wonderful pieces of photography... I'm always perplexed about how beautiful they are.
  • We are harvesting tons of root veggies from the garden right now...I hadn't thought about roasting the beets...I love it! Thanks for the great ideas!!
    • Hi Danielle. Gee, I am so jealous of you being able to harvest vegetables from your garden. Whenever I read something like that I start dreaming about moving out from the city. /David
  • Beetroots are my favourite. <3 They make fab soups, casseroles, burgers...
  • Your raw beetroosh sounds absolutely divine! For some odd reason I´ve never roasted jerusalem artichokes in the oven and can´t wait to give this recipe a go.
    • Hi Ann-Louise, jerusalem artichokes are seriously the best root you can roast in the oven. They come out super sweet with a little nutty taste. Good luck! /David
  • This Beetroosh sounds brilliant! I bet it would also be good with whole wheat pasta and intend to try the two together.
  • Oh that looks incredibly delicious. We lived in CA for almost 10 years and rarely ate root vegetables because of the abundance of other fresh vegetables and fruits. When we moved back to northern Germany I rediscovered those precious earth gems like parsnips and root celery and our family is really thriving on them. You are totally right: They are completely underestimated!
  • Yum that looks delightful! I am a huge fan of sweet potato but would love to use more 'roots'. We recently made this recipe for a delicious twist on felafel - so good! http://mynewroots.blogspot.com/2009/05/sweet-sweet-potato-falafels.html
    • Hi Jasmine, we are also big fans of Sarah B's recipes. And also of sweet potatoes... /David
  • I like how you've infused this root dish with your vibrant touch. Beetroosh is a fun idea, and the food looks so energizing, healthy, and uplifting. Wonderful!
  • I absolutely love the idea of beetroosh! Brilliant. My family is from Russia and beets are beloved, but I had always feel a been constrained by them. In the last few years, I've tried experimenting by eating them raw, pureed, etc. Will definitely be trying this!
  • Yum! I make a similar dish that I call borscht dip. Grated beet, 2 cups of white bean (kidney or great northern, whatever), 1 clove garlic, then olive oil, lemon juice, and lots of fresh dill. So delicious! Thanks for the idea of beetroosh to expand my repertoire. I hope you try the borscht dip.
    • Hi Meg, we will definitely be trying your borscht dip. Sounds great with the beans. /David
  • Mickey
    Lovely! Gotta love those root veggies :)
  • Cool recipe! Love that beetroosh!
  • I absolutely adore your beetroot spread! I just wish I had read your post before I went to the farmer's market this morning! Now I'm going to have to wait until next week to try it out...
  • Very clever guys! Love this idea. What a great way to use what's in season!

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