I start this post by sending out my sincerest wishes for the safety and welfare of the citizens of Christchurch, New Zealand, a beautiful English-style city that was badly damaged yesterday lunchtime by an earthquake, and unfortunately people were killed and injured in the process. Please pray for the people of Christchurch.
I received some really good feedback recently on my post about pancetta green beans, with one comment that there are not enough side dishes posted about. In that vein, this post is about another side dish that beetroot lovers everywhere will adore - salt roasted beetroots with orange and ginger sauce. I came across this recipe via Jonathan at Around Britain with a Paunch, who found it on an Amazon book review for chef Marcus Samuelsson's book, Acquavit.
As the name of the dish suggests, you roast up beetroots on a bed of salt, with a head of garlic:
I halved some of my beets because they were enormous. I also had to roast my beets for 2 hours instead of one to get them "fork tender".
The salt keeps the beets moist, just like roasting a whole chicken or fish in a salt crust keeps them moist. Once the beets are cool enough to handle, you peel and dice them, and place them in a bowl with the roasted garlic after you have squished the cloves out of their skins.
In the meantime, you make a simple sauce to pour over the beetroot by reducing orange juice with ginger and some other goodies in a saucepan.
I loved this dish. The beets can be served as a side with whatever takes your fancy, or if you really love beets, you can dig into a bowl of diced beetroot all by itself. If you are a beetroot fan, you will find a number of interesting beetroot dishes on Jonathan's site, for as he says, he has become "obsessed" by beetroot. One of my favourites is a beetroot curry, which is on the list for the winter.