Oh Dear Reader! I was all set, truly prepared to rustle up a beetroot, walnut and goat’s cheese risotto on a rainy Saturday evening. It was supposed to be all special, in honour of Father’s Day. And then the father in question, our very own Mr R, sidled into the kitchen and sheepishly announced that he really doesn’t care for risotto and cannot abide walnuts and how about we have a pizza instead? Eighteen years I have known this man, eighteen years! And now I really don’t know him at all.
What to do? A lesser housewife would have ordered in and a better one would have set the yeast to rising and whipped up some dough in no time at all. But I chose the middle way. With tears in my eyes and a pain in my heart, I pulled a packet of Bazaar Gourmet Pizza Bases from the pantry and began to “cook”.
With beetroot, which is this week’s star vegetable. And I hope the last we’ll be seeing of the wintry root vegetables for a good long while. Bring on spring I say! Anyway, the beet (Beta vulgaris) is a plant in the Chenopodiaceae family. Beet pulp is fed to horses that are in vigorous training or conditioning and to those that may be allergic to dust from hay. Beetroot can also be used to make wine. The consumption of beets causes pink urine in some people.
I peeled and chopped five little beets into quarters, drizzled them in olive oil and seasoning and set them to roast for about half an hour (until they were quite purple and withered). Meanwhile, I mixed 250grams of goats cheese in ash with two generous tablespoons of chopped fresh thyme and spread it over the pizza bases with a palette knife. I added some finely sliced red onion for a bit of bite and the now sliced and roasted beetroot. A glug of olive oil and some more black pepper followed and hey presto they were ready for 15 minutes in a hot oven. After that I rather recklessly threw rocket at them as well as toasted pinenuts, that ol' balsamic vinegar, more olive oil and some sea salt flakes. They looked like this...
And tasted much better than beetroot risotto!