Since buying my spiralizer, I’ve done a lot of plates of curly fries, a few cute garnishes here and there, and really nothing that actually encourages more vegetable eating. Which kind of defeats the point, right?
2015 shall be different, oh yes.
Enter beet noodles!
I was actually a little intimidated spiralizing beets. I was convinced the spiralizer would end up turning pink. I put a paper towel down to minimize the damage, crossed my fingers, and went for it!
And I am pleased to report that it was fine! The plastic coating of the spiralizer was water-tight. Everything just wiped right off.
Beets are a great thing to spiralize into noodles, because they really hold their shape, and you can break up that strong beety flavor by coating the noodles with a sauce.
I made a basil-mint chimichurri style sauce for this, and it was ideal. On it’s own, it’s a little harsh, so licking the spatula wasn’t the best idea. But it needs a lot of strength to stand up in a bowl full of earthy beets and uber-salty cheese. Once mixed in, it adds a great, subtle flavor, and a richer texture.
It’s crazy how delicious a big bowl of beetroot can actually taste.
Of course, roasted cheese bites help. If you don’t have access to fresh halloumi, you could try this with farmers cheese or paneer. Any cheese that can be grilled without melting!
With the fresh beetroot, green herbs and cheese, this is full of nutrients. But it is high in fats and calories, so don’t be fooled. You don’t need much to fill up! About one quarter of this recipe makes a great little lunch. You could also add it to a big plate of sharing dishes, or bulk it out with fresh leaves and a dollop of hummus to make a meal salad.
I wasn’t sure whether or not to call this a salad, but I dunno, it does sort of fit the definition of a warm salad? It tastes great at room temperature. Let the beets cool off a little before adding the halloumi. You want to eat it while the halloumi is warm, but the beet noodles don’t need to be.
We really loved this dish. It tastes fresh and a little luxurious (best combo ever). It’s easy and it doesn’t use too many ingredients- but it makes the most of every single one.
It would be a great thing to serve to meat-eaters. Halloumi cheese is such a great addition to vegetarian dishes, and ensures that no one will wish there was meat in the dish. I really hope you’ll give it a try!
spiral roasted beet & halloumi salad
Yield 2 -4
- 4 to 5 red beets (about 500g / 1.1lb, more or less)
- 1 package of halloumi, cut into small cubes
For the sauce
- One bunch (around 25g, a little under 1oz) of basil
- A few sprigs (around 5g) of mint
- 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
- 1/2 a green chili
- 4 Tblsps of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 Tblsps of red wine vingegar
- Preheat oven to 205C / 400F.
- Make your sauce by blending all ingredients in a mini food processor, or with a hand blender in a small bowl or jug.
- Spiralize your beets. Place them on a baking tray and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper.
- When the oven is heated, place your beets, uncovered, on the top shelf. Bake for 5-10 minutes. It depends on your preference for how hard or soft you want them to be, as well as your oven. Mine were in for almost the full 10 minutes and came out fairly soft, no crunch.
- Allow your beets to cool down a little in a bowl while you roast the halloumi.
- Set your grill/broiler to a medium heat (around 250C / 480F).
- Toss your halloumi cubes in olive oil and place on a baking or grill tray.
- Place halloumi under the grill until browned. Remove the tray to toss frequently so that each side is evenly cooked. This will take about 10 minutes but it really depends on your grill, your halloumi and all sorts of very individual factors. Be super careful. Halloumi is golden and crisp one moment, and burnt the next.
- Toss the beet noodles into the sauce. Add salt and black pepper, to taste. (Since we're using such a salty cheese, I didn't add any salt but I did go to town with the black pepper.)
- Finally, add the halloumi, and toss until distributed.
- Loosely inspired by Playful Cooking’s Soba Noodle with Chimichurri and Paneer which I tried last year.
- Beet cooking method was taken from this handy video by Inspiralized.com.
- The sauce is an adaptation of this one from Eating Well.
- I use the Spiralz brand spiralizer which I bought from Amazon.co.uk. This is the same model as the Paderno in the US and Canada.