beetroot, crockpot, feta, lentils, salad, slow cooker, vegetables, vegetarian
The main recipe in this post hardly even merits the name “recipe”. It’s so easy and so simple. Roast beetroot in the slow cooker. I’m sure it’s been done before, but I haven’t researched it. So I can safely say it’s my idea! For as long as I can remember (or as long as it’s been on the blog) my most popular post is the Slow Cooker Jacket (Baked) Potato. I was pondering on this a few days ago, when the thought struck me. If you can just plop potatoes in there and bake to perfection, why can’t you do the same with beetroot? Many recipes call for roast beetroot, and the method they suggest is wrapping in foil and cooking in the oven for about an hour. Sound familiar? So instead of heating up the house and wasting loads of electricity, maybe it would be possible to use the mighty Crockpot for this. That was my reasoning. And I was right.
I used the method without tinfoil, as using all that foil is wasteful and totally unnecessary. Just a bit of olive oil, some salt and that’s it. After six and a half hours on low, mine were cooked to perfection. They might have been ready earlier but that’s when I checked. The skins just slipped off with a tiny bit of help from the side of a knife. Gorgeous. If you can get your hands on some organic beets then you can probably eat the skin as well. I tasted a bit and it was not bad at all.
Can I just say here that I have absolutely nothing against the vacuum packed cooked beetroot from the supermarket. I have been buying this for ages (well, for the few years since I discovered I actually like beetroot). However, here in Greece you can easily find huge bunches of fresh beetroot, greens and all. This is even cheaper than the packaged version (which is not expensive) and the greens are really tasty in my Beet Green and Red Pepper Frittata. Now that cooking the actual beetroot has become so easy, I might be opting for the fresh more frequently. And if I can’t be bothered with using up the greens, the horses at my riding club will be very very appreciative!
Finally, because I really can’t post this without feeling I’ve cheated you out of a proper recipe, I’m including a salad I made with my cooked beetroot. Beetroot, lentil and feta salad! I’m thinking this might even be good with some canned tuna in it…
Slow Cooker Roast Beetroot
Fresh beetroot, as many as you like or as many as will fit in your slow cooker (you can stack them)
A little bit of olive oil
A little bit of coarse salt
1. Cut the greens from your beetroot, leaving a bit of the stalks intact (about 2cm or an inch). Leave the tails intact. This is so that the beetroot doesn’t “bleed” while cooking. Wash them well, rubbing any dirt off but being careful not to break the skin. Dry with kitchen paper.
2. Using your hands, rub each beetroot with a bit of oil, and a little salt (don’t use too much salt as it is absorbed quite well).
3. Put into the slow cooker insert, cover, and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Time largely depends on quantity and size of beetroot. They are ready when easily pierced by a knife.
Beetroot, Lentil and Feta Salad
Makes enough for one big main course salad, or two side salads.
1/2 cup brown lentils, rinsed
1 small onion, peeled
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp salt
2 cooked beetroot, medium-sized, cubed
100g feta cheese, cubed (or more, to taste)
1 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
pinch of dried thyme
black pepper to taste
pinch of salt (optional – if your feta is not salty enough)
1. Put lentils in a small saucepan with the (whole) onion and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, add salt and simmer for 15-20 minutes till soft but not mushy.
2. Drain and set aside to cool. Throw away the onion and bay leaf.
3. Add the beetroot and feta to a salad bowl. When the lentils have cooled add those too. Dress the salad with the oil, vinegar and thyme and season with pepper and salt if needed.
Note: This is a basic, quick and easy recipe. You can mix and match as you like, using any ingredient you fancy! Next time I will definitely try adding tuna, or maybe smoked trout.
So I’ve cooked them. What do I do with them?
Lazy, Luscious Spiced Beetroot Relish, by Not Quite Nigella
Beetroot, Leek and Walnut Salad, by Lisa’s Kitchen
Beetroot Raita – Lightly Seasoned Beetroot and Yogurt Salad, by eCurry
Beetroot Brownies, by Yours Truly
Beetroot and Feta Dip, by Yours Truly