Roasted chilli beetroot, grilled polenta and beans

This dish was inspired by the homegrown, organic runner beans my boss gave me. Don’t forget to remove the fibrous string along the side of the beans! If you make the polenta the night before (or if you have some leftover from yesterdays dinner), this dish requires minimal preparation. While the beets are doing their thing in the oven, why not blast some beats on the radio.

Ingredients

Grilled Polenta (I’ve used this recipe before):

*this proportion makes about 8 of the triangles seen in the picture above.

  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 1 vegetable bouillon cube
  • ½ cup polenta/cornmeal

Roasted beets:

  • 3-4 small beetroots
  • 3tsp olive oil
  • Sprinkle salt
  • Sprinkle chilli flakes

Bean Salad:

  • Large handful of runner beans or green beans
  • 1 T honey
  • Squeeze half lemon
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 t horseradish
  • Salt and pepper

 Directions:

Polenta:

  1.  Preheat oven to 200C
  2. Prepare polenta: in a small pan, sauté onions in olive oil until almost caramelised.
  3. Dissolve bouillon in a pot of boiling water. Turn down heat, and slowly add in cornmeal, and whisk constantly to break up any lumps.
  4. Add sautéed onions and keep on a low/medium heat for 15 minutes, stir occasionally.
  5. Pour into a spring form pan (I used a cake tin) and allow to set in the fridge for 1 hour, or until firm.
  6. To grill/fry: slice polenta and fry (or grill) in 1 tablespoon of olive oil to form a golden brown crust – about 5-6 minutes on each side.

Roasted beetroot:

  1. Meanwhile, peel beetroot, and slice into quarters. Coat with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast in the oven for 40-45 minutes until beetroot slices are crispy, about 10 minutes toward the end, add chilli flakes.

Bean salad:

  1. Prepare runner beans. Remove fibrous string along the sides of the runner beans (I forgot to do this, and it’s not recommended). Chop tips and slice beans. Blanch in boiling water for 2 minutes until tender, but still firm. Remove from boiling water and place into a bowl of cold water (or ice) until ready to serve.
  2. Whisk together dressing honey and lemon juice. Slowly add olive oil and whisk. Add horseradish and salt and pepper. Pour over beans.

Serve!

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