Beetroot Carpaccio with Bitter Leaves and Balsamic Dressing

This makes a delicious fresh and colourful dish to serve as part of a selection or plated as a starter. Easy to prepare ahead, just pile on plates and add the leaves and hazelnuts before serving. 

Beetroot Carpaccio with Bitter Leaves and Balsamic Dressing

500g beetroot, either cooked (see notes) or raw

50g whole hazelnuts, or pumpkin seeds

The juice of half a lemon

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar plus extra for drizzling

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil plus extra for drizzling

1/4 tsp salt

Freshly ground black pepper

A small bag of wild rocket or mixed salad leaves.

Serves 4


1. Place the beetroot in a pan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 mins or so. Drain off most of the water and put a lid on the pan then place in the simmering oven for an hour or two until tender. Remove from the pan and cool. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

2. Roast the hazelnuts in the roasting oven for 5 mins, cool a little then rub off the skins and discard. Roasted nuts can be stored in an airtight container or in the freezer until needed. Roughly chop the nuts. If using pumpkin seeds, they can just be toasted on the simmering plate, either in a pan or on a piece of Bake-O-Glide.

3. Slice the beetroot very finely using a mandolin if you have one or a sharp knife. Toss gently with the lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, then drizzle over the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Taste and add a little more salt if needed. The beetroot can be prepared ahead at this stage and kept covered and chilled for up to 6 hours.  

4. To serve, spoon the cold beetroot on to a serving plate such as a Portmeirion for AGA White Baking Tray or individual plates, pile a handful of salad leaves on top and sprinkle over the nuts. Drizzle with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Note: Cooking beetroot is optional, recipe works well with either cooked or raw beetroot.