In culinary terms my autumn-winter-season this year tends to be somehow circular … I can’t help turning back to the same combinations of ingredients again and again. Boring? No, super yummy!
Pumpkin/squash-gorgonzola-sage has become a staple in our dinners since the first pumpkins appeared at the market and have since continously found their way into galettes, pizzas, pasta dishes and casseroles.
A similar things is true for this other divine flavour combination of baked beetroot, feta cheese (alternatively: goat cream cheese) and walnuts (alternatively: hazelnuts): Earthy sweetness of beetroot, subtly balanced out by tart and salty crumbly cheese. To cap it all: crunchy nutty walnuts! Halleluja!
The funny thing about this is: For most of my life I deeply hated the flavour of beetroot – cooked or raw (Mum, I guess you remember…). I couldn’t warm with its taste. What happenend? – I have no idea … Perhaps it was Nigel Slaters glourious beetroot chocolate cake? Or the first time eating them baked in the oven?
Anyway – if you haven’t already made similar discoveries – I urge you to give this combination a try. Perhaps you’ll start with this easy sandwich? – And then work your way through pasta, pizza, tarte, strudel … I have tried everything more than once this season and I am not tired of it yet.
By the way, aren’t beetroots just a beautiful piece of vegetable?
I made this sandwich with ciabatta from the bakery around the corner – a lazy start into the new year, you know… But feel free to be a bit more ambitious at this point and make your ciabatta from scratch, f.ex. with this recipe.
Sandwich with beetroot, feta cheese and walnuts (1 person)
ingredients (approximate quantities)
1/2 ciabatta, about 2 tablespoons cream cheese, 1 beetroot, about 1-2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese, about 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts, olive oil, Maldon sea salt, freshly ground pepper
preparation (mostly self-explanatory)
Preheat oven to 200 C. Peel beetroot and cut into thin slices (gloves highly recommended). Transfer to a baking tray lined with paper. Drizzle and mix with olive oil. Line slices on the tray. (Now you can put the gloves off.) Sprinkle with flakes of salt. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes until the edges are starting to get dark.
Meanwhile halven ciabatta lengthwise, spread with cream cheese.
Assemble baked beetroot, crumbled feta cheese and chopped walnuts between the two pieces of bread. Season with freshly ground pepper. Eat!