Are you like most people and think healthy often equals boring?! Well my food loving friend this sexy little salad is about to turn that theory on it’s pretty little head!
Our roasted beetroot and baked ricotta salad not only tastes amazing it is also packed with loads of vitamins and minerals AND also proudly wears the gluten-free hat too – winning! Oh and if that ain’t enough to get you on the healthy salad train …….. with so much flavour going on you will find yourself smiling rather smugly, as your colleagues look on enviously at your bowl of lunchtime fabulousness!
The following recipe is enough as a dinner side salad for 4 people and works great with; chicken, pork, steak or lamb. And you should have enough left over to enjoy for lunch for a couple of days too.
ROASTED BEETROOT – Ingredients:
2 bunches of beetroot
1 knob good quality butter like Nimbin Valley Dairy or Pepe Saya!
3 springs of thyme
2 bay leaves
splash of EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
Salt and pepper
- pre-heat your oven to 180 Celsius
- wash any dirt off the beetroot – cut off the stems about 3 cm above the top of the beetroot (keep the stems and leaves for juicing or you can use them in your salad)
- if the beetroot are different sizes – cut the bigger ones so you have approximately the same size for each
- place a big sheet of al foil in the bottom of a baking tray
- place the beetroot on top of the al foil – then scatter the other ingredients on top of the beetroot – wrap up tightly to form a closed parcel
- place in the oven for approx 30-40 mins – depending on how big the beetroot they may need a little longer / less
- test the beetroot is ready by piercing the beetroot with a thin sharp knife – the beetroot should feel “al dente” when ready – remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly with the top of the al foil parcel open
- once cool enough to pick up – gently rub to remove the skin – your beetroot will now appear as shiny little jewels!
- discard the contents of the al foil parcel
BAKED RICOTTA – Ingredients:
1kg fresh ricotta – grab a quality brand that is sold in the basket (the stuff in a jar is usually too watery)
1tsp cumin powder
1 lemon – zest only
2 sprigs of thyme – picked
Pinch of sea salt and pepper
Other salad ingredients:
Toasted Almonds – chopped
- using the same pre-heated oven (you can put it in at the same time as the beetroot)
- remove the ricotta from the packet and basket and place in a large mixing bowl
- add all the other ingredients and mix together with your hands vigorously – so you get some air into the mix – giving you a light / fluffy end result
- gently pack the mixture into a silicone tart tin (or long cake / terrine tin lined with baking paper so you can lift it out of the tin in one piece)
- place some baking paper over the top (this will stop the top of the ricotta drying out) – allow to cook in the oven with the paper on top for 20 mins – then remove the paper and return to the oven for a further 5-8 mins or until set in the middle
- remove from the oven and allow to cool on a cake rack
Bringing it all together!
- arrange the rocket in your serving bowl or platter and add your avocado – I usually cut it in half and remove the stone – then ‘scoop’ out the avocado with a spoon in chunks – which looks a little rustic and also holds its shape in the salad
- cut all your cooked beetroot into wedges and scatter evenly on top of the rocket / avocado
- scatter over the ricotta in large chunks and sprinkle with your chopped almonds
- drizzle with EVOO and add a little freshly ground pepper
If you intend to take some of this fabulous salad to work for lunch, then just put enough in your serving bowl / platter for dinner and keep some back to assemble your ingredients fresh for each lunch. Otherwise the beetroot will run into the ricotta if left overnight and not look nearly as inviting the following day! Oh and don’t forget to grab the beetroot and ricotta out of the fridge at work about 15 mins before you plan on eating it ie allow both to come to room temperature.
If you are looking for a homemade breakfast treat …… why not try the baked ricotta with; sourdough toast, avocado and bacon finished with a squeeze of fresh lemon – oh yeah babe!
We’d love to see a photo of you enjoying your sexy little salad! Simply post your photo on Facebook or via Instagram by using @tastebyronbay and use #tbbmyway so we can follow your beautiful recreations of our Taste Byron Bay recipes.