Roasted onion and beetroot: a pretty appetiser
Roasted onion and beetroot dip is easy to make, and it makes a very pretty appetiser. We had a painter once who noticed how much I loved cooking. He would bring me culinary treats – pomegranates from his garden, halva and a jar of homemade pomegranate molasses. What a delight it was to use this tart and tangy syrup in my dip!
We eat beetroot a lot in our house. As well as roasting them, I like to blend them with ginger, orange and turmeric for a juice. I also pickle them and grate them for salads, and I even use them in cakes. How do you like to eat your beetroot?
Pomegranate molasses is a Middle Eastern reduction of pomegranate juice. It’s thick, rich and syrupy, with a beautiful depth of flavour. Don’t despair if you don’t have any for the dip. Simply add maple syrup or honey, but you will need to add a little lemon juice to balance the flavour. Just taste it and see what you think!
This roasted onion and beetroot dip also contains walnuts. Walnuts are an excellent source of omega-3 fats and anti-oxidants.
How to remove the arils from a pomegranate
A friend asked me how I remove the arils from a pomegranate. I find this method works well:
Cut the pomegranate into quarters. Submerge the quarters underwater in a small bowl of water, then turn them inside out. This avoids you squirting juice (which stains) everywhere! I think the roasted onion and beetroot dip looks lovely with these little crimson jewels on top.
I often roast vegetables that have been in the fridge a bit too long, especially when I’m cooking something else and there’s a spare shelf in the oven. It’s a great way to get ready for a busy week ahead when you don’t have much time to cook. These vegetables can then easily be re-heated for another meal, pureed with stock into a soup, or turned into a salad.
PS: If you’ve tried this roasted onion and beetroot soup, or any other recipe from At Amanda’s Table, please let me know how it turned out in the comments below. And, if you’d like to read more, please subscribe to my monthly newsletter for stories, recipes and tips for simple, nutritious meals.
Roasted Onion and Beetroot Dip
- 1 large red onion skin on, cut into quarters
- 2 large beetroot, skin on, cut into quarters keep them whole if they're small
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup walnuts plus a few extra to garnish
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses substitute with honey or maple syrup
- 2 tbsp Greek yoghurt
- flaked sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp mint leves, washed and chopped
- 1 tbsp pomegranate arils (seeds)
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced).
- Line a small baking dish with baking paper. Make sure there's enough around the sides to cradle the vegetables and the cooking juices.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the pomegranate molasses, vinegar, 2 tbsp of the olive oil, and a little salt.
- Pack in the quartered onion and beetroots, then drizzle with whisked pomegranate molasses mixture.
- Cover the dish tightly with foil and roast for 45 - 60 minutes. The beetroot should be soft when pierced with a knife. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes. Keep the juices.
- Remove the outer skin from the onion quarters. Chop the beetroot and onion coarsely, then pour them into a large bowl, together with the cooking juices.
- Add the walnuts and another 2 tbsp of olive oil. Mix with a hand-held blender.
- Stir in the yoghurt and season to taste.
- Garnish with chopped walnuts and mint, and serve immediately with crusty bread or toasted pita bread. Or, refrigerate in a sealed container until ready to serve.