Beetroots are just the most beautiful color and I love how the color comes of on your fingers as you handle it. I haven’t eaten this vegetable ever since I was a young kid and being with mom made me think about it again. She always served it in a salad, and almost every day. I loved how sweet the taste was mixed with the salt and pepper she would sprinkle on top. Simple, delicious and so very nutritious. I read today that it is also a natural aphrodisiac! What’s not to like right?
I’ve prepared it in the same way mom does by boiling it but am using it in a sandwich instead of a salad. And since it needs that extra spunk I first spread a yummy Indian tomato chutney first before slapping a healthy serving of cheese, beet, caramelized onions, rucola and alfa alfa. I seriously was in sandwich heaven.
adapted from here
1.5 kilo tomatoes (pick the nice red ones!)
3/4 cups garlic
1/3 cup green chili
3 tablespoon Panch Foran spices (recipe here)
1/4 teaspoon asafetida
1/2 cup curry leaves (I used dried ones but if you can find fresh ones that would work really well)
1 cup olive oil
2 tbsps salt
Crush the garlic and green chili together. The chunkier the better.
Heat the oil in a large thick bottom pan. I used a dutch oven. Add the asafetida and panch foran spices. As soon as the begin to sputter, add the curry leaves. Let splatter for a few seconds.
Once it settles down, add the garlic and chili paste. Fry for about a minute until they turn lightly golden in color.
Add the tomatoes. Bring the mixture to a boil. As the tomatoes start to boil, reduce the heat to medium low and let it simmer quietly until the mixture shrinks to 1/3 the portion. Make sure you have a lot of time on your hands, as mine took a good 5 hours. Do keep a keen eye and stir every now and then. Make sure the heat is set to its lowest.
Once the liquid has evaporated, the tomato will reduce to a thicker consistency and you will see the oil separate.
Once you reach this stage, turn off the heat and let cool completely. Transfer to sterilised jars, preferably ones that are air tight. My last batch lasted in the refrigerator for several months.
Use this chutney as spread like I did or just with some rice and dal.
makes 1 sandwich
2 slices whole grain rustic bread
1 beetroot, cooked (depending on the size of your beetroot, it can take anywhere between 30-60 minutes)
1 medium red onion, sliced thin
cheese of your choice
handful rucola, or salad of your choice
handful alfa alfa
2 tbsps spicy tomato chutney (recipe above)
salt and pepper to taste
Lay the slice on a choppingboard and spread the chutney on both slices.
Top all other ingredients in the order of your choice, on one slice. Place the second slice on top. Grill in a sandwich toaster of or on a open grill till the cheese melts and the bread is nicely browned.
Serve for lunch with a tall glass of orange juice or some chilled milk!