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Roasted Beets with Creamy – Garlicky Scordalia, Capers & Blackberries

I made this in early September – with the first of the windy days and a definite freshness in the air. On these days, I crave warm, heavier “sweeter” foods with a salty-sour compliment.

There are several things going on with this dish. With most meals, I try to included all 6 tastes, ensuring both nutritional and sensual balance, but give greater prominence to the tastes that will pacify the effects of the environment / season.

Sweet, Sour, Salt of course, balance Vata.

Sweet: Potatoes, almonds, wheat, beets

Sour: Blackberries, capers, sherry vinegar

Salty: Capers and salt

Bitter: Beet tops

Pungent: Garlic, beet tops, olive oil, pepper

Astringent: Beet tops, capers

Ingredients & Method:

  1. Heat the oven to 200 degrees C
  2. Clean the beets, cut of the leaves and set aside (no need to peel).
  3. Cut the beets into quarter for medium to large  – or half for smaller roots.
  4. Place in a baking tray, drizzle with oil and rub in with hands to ensure even coverage. Add 3-4 TBSP water to the tray. Sprinkle with salt.
  5. Place in the oven, roast for 1-1.5 hours, add more water if needed – these will steam and then gently roast once the water has evaporated.
  6. The beet greens can be wilted – with all or some of the stem. Drain well and add a drop of sherry or balsamic vinegar to the cooked leaves.

Skordalia:

  1. Peel the potatoes and boil as for mash – not too wet or slushy. Drain and set aside.
  2. Smash the garlic cloves in their skin  (cut off the bases and remove the germ if it is prominent). Blend to a smoothe paste in a small blender with the almonds.
  3. Mash into the potato, adding the lemon, salt, pepper and olive oil.
  4. Do not overwork, otherwise it will form a glue like mass.

Assemble as you will.  A crunchy, toasted sourdough slice, with a lick of oil, is the perfect base. The addition of capers and blackberries add welcome texture and colour with a harmonious sour note to enhance their creamy, sweet companions.

Diabetics can exercise portion control with the potato and bread (a thin slice..) and if you are excluding gluten, your favourite bread will work a treat – or exclude the bread and add some toasted pumpkin seeds to give that crunch.

The colours are just so Autumn – rich and plummy. It was just all over too  abruptly!

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