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By Matt Wilkinson

I love beetroot. This is just one of the many ways to enjoy it, simply done but so tasty. We really should celebrate vegetables cooked without fuss much more.

+ Ingredients

4 beetroot (beets) (200 g/7 oz each), washed and trimmed
Olive oil, for drizzling
Sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
25 ml (3/4 fl oz) red wine vinegar
250 g (9 oz) fresh ricotta, crumbled
1 large pinch of mint leaves, torn

Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F/Gas 7).

+ Method

Cut 2 sheets of foil and lay them across each other to make a cross. Put the beetroot in the middle, drizzle with the olive oil, season with salt and pepper, then wrap up the beetroot to completely seal. Place on a baking tray and roast for 1 hour. Insert a skewer through a bulb to test to see if theyre cooked.

Once done, carefully transfer onto a serving plate, unwrap, cut an ˜X into the tops and push down like a jacket potato. Leave to cool for a few minutes.

Just before serving, drizzle over the vinegar, top with the ricotta and mint and season with a little more salt and pepper. I suggest scooping the beetroot flesh out without eating the skin.

Serves 4 as a side

Photography by Jacqui Melville