Tuesday, July 31, 2007

A Delicious Beetroot Pesto Recipe

If there's somebody who is into beetroot as much as I am, then it's Alanna of A Veggie Venture blog. Alanna has got an impressive 41 beetroot posts on her blog already, which is way more than I've got (11 at the last count). But then, you see, Alanna has been blogging for 2,5 months more than I have, so I've still got time to catch up :) Another fellow beetroot admirer is Bea of La Tartine Gourmande, who's also got 11 beetroot recipes on her blog. If there was a Beetroot Appreciation Society, then we three should be honorary members from the beginning. (If you'd like to join, then give us a shout - we'll consider everybody's beetroot credentials!)

Last month Alanna posted a recipe for beetroot pesto that I adapted for last week's movie night. I had lots of leftover odd beetroot pieces after making those cute beetroot and blue cheese mini tartlets, so this recipe was brilliant. It was a tasty and gutsy and hearty vegetable dip that was very well received, especially by my dear friend Kadri, so this post is dedicated for her :)

And thank you, Alanna, for another keeper beetroot recipe!!

Beetroot Pesto
Makes about 1,5 cups

(Photo updated in September 2008)

500 grams roasted beetroot , peeled
2 fat garlic cloves, peeled
a small bunch of fresh coriander/cilantro
50 grams pinenuts, toasted
1 Tbsp sherry vinegar
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
grated parmesan cheese, optional
sea salt

Grind beetroot, garlic, toasted pinenuts and coriander in a food processor (I used my Kitchen Aid's food grinder) until you've got a coarse puree. Add some olive oil for a smoother texture, and grated parmesan cheese, if you wish. Season with salt and vinegar.

Use as a side salad (middle photo), spread of toasted rye bread (below) or stir into cooked pasta (above photo). Although I liked all the uses, the pasta sauce was my favourite - it coloured the pasta instantly into a beautiful shade of beetroot purple, and certainly brightened up simple boiled farfalle that night.

Keeps well for a few days in the fridge, covered.

A year ago I made Johanna's wonderful cantucci with almonds, ginger and pink peppercorns. I think it's about time I made them again :)


Peggy Brunache said...

Hi Pille, wow! I do like beetroot but I never suspected that it could have so many uses. Must follow your example and try some of these recipes out. You're always an inspiration!

Lydia said...

Beautiful! I love beets and don't use them enough in their raw state. This pesto sounds delicious and I love the color of the pasta, too.

Anonymous said...

Lovely photo of the pasta, Pille.. simply beautiful.... couldnt stop commenting when I saw that!.. Mary

joey said...

I don't think I have enough beetroot experience to be a member of your admiration society, but definitely sign me up for some seminars and orientations! This sounds delicious...I will explore this veggie more :)

The pasta looks beyond adorable...those pink bow ties!

Shaun said...

Pille - This is a really great idea, and it is wonderful to be inspired by other bloggers. I also intend to try this; it seems perfect for a Summer party as it does for Winter when one cannot possibly make another stew or soup. Substantial and flavourful, this recipes makes great use of a wonderful vegetable.

K said...


I found you via Flickr, and thank goodness, some beet inspiration! I have four beets needing some prep, but aside from roasting them and having a beet and blue salad, I'm at a loss. This gives me some great ideas.

Thank you!

Dagmar - A Cat in the Kitchen said...

It looks truly beautiful!

Alanna said...

Aiii, you have me laughing out loud, Pille! But yes, the beetroot pesto's worth singing out loud, for sure. And I love the idea of a beetroot society. Maybe a certain talented graphic artist you happen to know will cook up something for members (and honorary members and understudies and, Joey, seminar attendees etc). I know, we'll be the Daring Beet Roots. :-)

lobstersquad said...

wow, I really have to hand it to you, beetroot has no horizons!

ann said...

that beetroot pasta sauce is taken to the nth degree of awesomeness by some finely chopped fresh mint. my family has been making it for years. I have no idea what it is about beets and mint, but they LOVE each other!

and if there ever is a beetroot appreciation club, please consider me for membership. I love them in all their guises!

Chris said...

That's it...I am booking a flight and heading over. You're killing me with all your FABULOUS beetroot recipes! :) I made a beet puree a while back with ricotta cheese that was tasty - but your pesto...mmmmm

Poonam said...

Hi Pille, First time on your blog! I have never roasted a beet root..Sounds different! Loved your recipe for beetroot and blue cheese tartlets.

Kärt said...

Pille, äkki sa siis oskad mind aidata. Mul on üks purgitäis konserveeritud peeti, äädikavees, maitse on tsipa äädikane (duh). Ma olen mõelnud, et mis sellest teha saaks peale selle et lihtsalt mingi liha juurde süüa aga lihtsalt ei oska seda äädikamaitset kuskile sobitada. Äkki oskad midagi huvitavat soovitada? :)

Jeanne said...

Oh dear, I've never been a beetroot fan... but I am now slowlt warmign to them slow-roasted with butternut in olive oil and rosemary. Part of my dislike, though, is a textural problem, so maybe pesto is the way forward... I am astonished at how vividly the pesto coloured the pasta! Great pics.

Pille said...

Peggy - thank you! And it'd be good to eat beetroot for you, as you need all the strength and energy at the moment:)

Lydia - I don't use beetroot raw usually, although there's this fabulous raw beetroot salad recipe in one of Nigella Lawson's books that I've been thinking of making again..

Mary - thank you for leaving a comment!

Joey - this beetroot pesto looked fantastic stirred into pasta, I agree. And we'll make you an "aspiring member" - eh?

Shaun - it's pretty versatile indeed. As a cold dip/spread during summer and as a pasta sauce during colder times - excellent!

K - you can search my archives, or follow those links to Alanna's and Bea's beetroot recipes. I'm sure you'll find plenty of inspiration!

Dagmar - thank you!

Alanna - maybe we could co-share a monthly Groovy Beetroot event? What do you think? :)

Lobstersquad - indeed - none:)

Ann - we'd definitely consider your membership application:) And I'll try using mint instead (or in addition of?) coriander/cilantro next time!

Chris - you'd be welcome! Ricotta & beetroot spread sounds like a great idea, btw..

Poonam - welcome! Roasting beetroot yields a very tasty and somewhat sweet flavour that you don't get by boiling. Well worth trying!

Kärt - arvan, et nn Lindströmi kotlettidesse (retsept mu eestikeelses kogus) ja peedi-sinihallitusjuustumuffinitesse (retsept nii siinses blogis kui ka eestikeelses kogus) sobiksid marineeritud peedid hästi. Äkki proovid?

Jeanne - if it's a 'texture thing', then pesto might indeed convince you. However, if you haven't tried roasted beetroot, then try that - the texture is quite dissimilar to the boiled one. Hope you'll give it a try!

Olga said...

Hi Alana, thank you for that recipe. I've just made it for our lunch and everybody loved it! I love beetroot and was very glad to try something new with it.

Anonymous said...

Tried it today and absolutely loved it as did all my family, thank you!

Beastie said...

I am in it :) great way to us beetroot. Most of the time I put them into cakes....kids love it :) Thanks for this pesto