Silken White Beans w. Roast Beets & Burrata
Sitting face first in the ground with nothing but a tail of leaves and stems in the air – beets lead a pretty unassuming life before being coaxed from the garden bed. Once they make it to the kitchen though they’re nothing but theatrical with a legacy of bloodshed and kaleidoscope colours.
Beets are one of my absolute favourite staples; suiting more dishes than most - from salads to condiments; roasting trays & even desserts (if you're feeling uninhibited); this humble root is ever the versatile chameleon. With heirloom varieties increasingly common nowadays there's also a magic about all those lustrous hues. Anyhow enough romanticising those poor beets. The plate that sits before you suits all occasions; it’s a medley of roasted heirloom beets with silken brown butter white beans & fresh burrata. All the best things to linger over.
Silken White Beans w. roasted beets & burrata
400g of cooked cannellini beans
100g of butter
1 large brown onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
75ml vegetable stock
1 lemon, juice
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 fresh burrata
An assortment of heirloom beets
To begin melt the butter in a skillet over low heat, continue gently to brown for several minutes until it develops a deep caramel colour. Remove the butter from heat and scrap away any foam from the top. Set it aside in a small glass pourer.
Return the skillet to a low heat and sweat the onions and garlic for 7-10 minutes until the onion becomes soft and translucent. In a high speed blender, combine the cannellini beans, 2 tablespoons of browned butter, the cooked onion & garlic, vegetable stock and the juice of a lemon. Blend at a high speed until it becomes silky smooth, if the mixture becomes is too dry add 1-2 tablespoons of water at a time until you achieve your desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
The silken beans can be prepared in advance and in all honesty it's best to do so, as the flavours develop much better. Let it come back up to room temperature before serving though. Alternatively, if like me you do things last minute it can also be served right away.
To prepare the beets; trim the leaves and stems and then wrap each beet in foil. Roast at 200 degrees celsius for 45 minutes to an hour - a short cooking time for small bulbs and a longer one for those that are large. Feel free to remove the small ones early. Once the bulbs have cooled enough to be handled gently peel away the skins. The beets are best served warm in my opinion, they wear the leftover browned butter much better this way.
To serve the dish; spread the silken beans over a large platter and then top with the burrata, roasted beets and hazelnut dukkah. Accompany with the last of the browned butter - warmed.
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander seeds
3 tbsp sesame seeds
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper.
Begin by toasting the hazelnuts in a skillet over low heat until the nuts turn golden. Repeat with the almonds and sesame seeds. Set aside all and allow them to cool down before blending.
Once cool, combine all the ingredients in a high speed blender and pulse for a few seconds to combine. This stage allows for some creative licence - if you prefer a finer dukkah pulse the mixture for longer, otherwise do so for a shorted time so that it comes out coarse and chunky - personally I prefer the coarse version. The dukkah can be stored in a glass airtight container for up to a month.
SEASONAL GUIDE / temperate CLIMATE
Beetroot, basically all year round, early summer through to early spring.
ALSO COMPLEMENTARY TO SERVE WITH
Finely chopped fresh thyme or rosemary, buttery mushrooms, seeded crackers or rye bread.
Roasted heirloom carrots / labneh / pecan & walnut dukkah
Fresh heirloom tomatoes / chèvre / finely chopped basil
Charred aubergine & courgette / feta / chopped pistachios