Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Beetroot Tartare

I can’t believe I haven’t posted about these great beets before, I came across the method on Ideas in Food back in January, they took beetroot cooked it until tender and then dehydrated it, not so dehydrated it’s a crisp dry husk but soft, chewy, and sweet. Recently I had been thinking about these beets and what to do with them, I wanted to make a simple dish that really let the flavour of the beetroot shine, but add a couple of complementing flavours, what I ended up with is a ‘tartare’ of beetroot with ewe’s milk feta and rather food geekily olive oil powder*.

Firstly the beetroot needs to be cooked until tender, you can either steam them or as I usually do put them in a casserole dish with a few aromatics and a splash of wine, cover and put in a medium oven until fork tender, 40–60 minutes.

Remove the beetroot from the dish and allow to cool until you can handle them, then peel.

Set the oven to 65°C, or use a dehydrator if you have one. Place beets on a tray in the oven for about 12 hours. Then allow to cool and place in a bag in the fridge to allow the juices to equalise throughout the vegetable and the outer layer to rehydrate.

Finely dice the beetroot and serve a round with some olive oil powder* and ewe’s feta ‘grated’ through a sieve, and maybe a little thyme.

* Olive oil powder is made by blending together Tapioca Maltodextrin (N-Zorbit) with olive oil, then passing through a sieve. Use 1 part N-Zorbit to 3 parts Fat by weight. N-Zorbit is crazy light, 1 litre = 100 grams.


  1. Have you tried this in a microwave? You might need to increase your surface area, but I have dehydrated finely diced beetroot in a microwave on low power and blended to make beetroot powder. I wonder if you could cook it less on low to get a similar effect. The only reason you might want to do this is that it is a lot quicker (I'd guess you'd be looking at 30 minutes or something like that), not sure if it is better of course.

    Nice idea by the way.

    1. Length of time rarely bothers me, plus I can always put in at night and forget about it. I think having it whole and letting it slowly dehydrate improves and intensifies the flavour, and when let to rest in the fridge you end up with a uniform texture throughout. I'm not sure if a whole beet would be achievable in a microwave, which is the crux of the matter.

      Next time I get a couple of beets going I'll have to give it a go though, curiosity has been piqued, and if it all goes pear shaped I could probably salvage it into beet powder.