Fried beetroot? I can almost see you cringing. This fried beetroot dish is my take on a Greek standard served as part of a meze sharing starter or as a side veggie to your main course. I know we tend to think of the humble beetroot in terms of something that comes out of a pickle jar and leaves your hands looking like you’ve committed murder if you touch the damn stuff. Put that image away right now!
Step away from the pickle jar and read on. This is beetroot at it’s best, flavoursome and earthy, rich and rewarding, something to rejoice in and not just think of as an afterthought.
You will want cooked beetroot here so you can either do this yourself but buying beetroot in the shops and either boiling the beets in water – make sure you cut off the stringy roots but do not cut into the actual beetroots themselves or all the red juice will come out, or you can wrap them in foil and bake in the oven. After cooking wear a pair of rubber gloves (to avoid looking as if you have been slaughtering a pig!) and peel off the skins then chop those beetroots up. If you are buying ready cooked beetroot from the supermarket check that it has not been pickled or has vinegar added in any way. You want plain cooked beetroot for this recipe.
The other ingredients for my fried beetroot recipe are capers (really useful in cooking, always keep a little jar in the fridge), bread to rip up and fry so it can be a couple of days old (see, another recipe where you get to use up old food and not waste anything), an anchovy fillet (another thing that is useful to have a little jar of in the fridge, great for adding flavour to dishes when cooking as they just melt away but pack a punch (not fishy) in the flavour department), fresh chopped chili, olive oil and lemon.
I like to serve this as a meze started or as a side with a main dish like roast chicken, pork chops or steak. So while it may be cold outside you can always have a little bit of Greek sunshine on your plate wherever you are.
- 300 g beetroot boiled and chopped
- 1 tbsp capers
- 2 slices bread roughly broken
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 clove garlic cut in thin slices
- ½ tsp chopped fresh chilli
- 1 anchovy fillet chopped
- Zest and juice of half lemon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Lemon wedges to serve
- Heat half the oil in a pan and fry the beetroot for 4 mins stirring continuously
- Remove from pan and set aside on kitchen paper
- Add remaining oil to the pan and sauté the garlic with anchovy and chilli for 2 mins
- Add the bread crumbs, lemon zest and juice and some pepper, be careful with salt as anchovy is very salty
- Mix with the fried beetroot and serve either as a side dish or part of meze starter for 2