Him Outdoors has been growing a mixture of red, yellow and stripey beetroot and for once I managed to dig them up while they were still tiny. They had heroic quantities of fresh, unblemished leaves and I hate waste, so I doubled up on the beetroot to use both tops and roots.
You can make the salad with bigger beets but you’ll need to roast them for longer and then cut them into wedges. And while you don’t have to use different coloured beets, it does look prettier. I made the glaze with Aspall’s (fairly) new honey cyder vinegar, which was given to me to try out. I really like it but if you can’t source it, use balsamic instead, or cider vinegar mixed with a little runny honey.
If you don’t eat (or don’t like) goat’s cheese, try adding some toasted walnuts.
And if you buy your beetroot and the tops have been cut off, you can make the frittata with chard leaves instead. If you want to include the stems, cut them into lengths and cook them separately to the leaves, as they take longer.
Glazed Beetroot Salad and Beet Leaf Frittata
Ingredients for the salad:
8-12 baby beets, about the size of a golf ball
100 ml vegetable stock
2 tbsp Aspall’s honey cyder vinegar
Goat’s cheese (I used a firm mild goat’s cheese but salty feta would be good)
Herbs, to garnish (I used chervil)
Ingredients for the frittata:
Leaves from 8-12 beets ( blanched for 2 mins, drained, squeezed dry, chopped)
2 tbsp oil
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
Pinch of chilli flakes (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
40g parmesan, grated
To make the glazed beetroot, pre-heat the oven to 180C/360F/Gas 4. Wash and trim the beetroot, leaving on an inch or so of stalk and their tails for now. It makes them less likely to bleed juice everywhere. Bake them for about half an hour or until tender.
Meanwhile put the veg stock and honey vinegar in a pan on a medium heat and reduce until you have a syrupy glaze.
Once the beetroot are cooked and when they are cool enough to handle, top and tail them and gently peel the skins off. Put them in a dish and pour over the warm glaze. If you are using different coloured beetroots, it’s best to glaze them in separate dishes and bring them together later, otherwise the red beets turn the others pink.
When you’re ready to serve, put the glazed beetroot on a dish, break the cheese into chunks and arrange on top, then scatter with the herbs.
To make the frittata, rinse the beet leaves very thoroughly and remove the stalks. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and blanch the leaves for two minutes. Remove, drain, refresh under cold water to fix the colour and then drain again, squeezing out every last drop of water that you can. Chop roughly and set aside.
In a bowl, beat the eggs, season with salt and pepper and stir through the grated parmesan.
In a small deep frying pan (I normally use a 22cm omelette pan) heat the oil and gently fry the onion until it’s just tinged with brown. Add the garlic and chilli flakes (if using) and fry a few minutes longer, then mix in the chopped beet leaves.
Continue to cook for three or four minutes, then pour in the eggs. Lower the heat and cook very gently until mostly set. Meanwhile heat the grill to medium. When the omelette is three-quarters done, pop it under the grill (not too close) to set the middle, then put a plate over the top and invert the frittata, sliding it back into the pan and cooking the other side for a further five minutes or until it feels springy but still giving.
If the thought of plate juggling alarms you, just leave the pan under the grill for a few minutes longer, until the top is lightly browned. Don’t overcook it, whichever method you choose. It should be golden on the outside, just set in the middle, and neither runny nor rock hard.
It will continue to cook in its own heat while it rests, which it should do for at least 15-20 minutes. I prefer it tepid but it’s also good at room temperature. Please don’t serve it chilled from the fridge.
When you’re ready to eat, slice the frittata and serve with the beetroot salad.