Beet Pesto Pasta
Beetroot is a rather trendy vegetable at the moment. As well as it’s versatility, beetroot’s bright colour and nutritional qualities have seen to it being used in salads, savoury dishes and desserts. While once you might have had to visit your local farmers markets in order to score a fresh bunch, these days, most major grocery stores will stock beetroot alongside more common vegetables.
Most of us are familiar with the canned variety – sliced purple rounds in a sweet, tangy liquid – however there a quite a few people that aren’t sure how to prepare and use fresh beetroot. Fresh beetroot has a deep, earthy flavour which is much less tart than their canned counterparts. Unfortunately canned beetroot is often high in sodium, sugar and other preservatives, but if you’re a little uneasy about the correct preparation method of the fresh, then it is usually the canned option you’d go for.
So what are the benefits of beets? Beetroots are:
- High in Vitamin C, which is great for your immune system
- Contain potassium and nitrate which help lower blood pressure and support good heart health
- Loaded with iron to fight fatigue
- Rich in calcium for strong bones
- High in fibre which supports digestive health
- High in folic acid for pre-natal care
To prepare fresh beetroot, you firstly need to peel the root, however, be warned, this can be a little messy. Prepare for tinted pink hands for a few days! Your beets can be boiled or roasted until soft and then used warm or cooled down in salads, frittatas, or sliced on your burger.
I’ve recently come across a new product on the supermarket shelf called Love Beets. Love Beets is an Australian brand that stock natural vacuum sealed baby beetroots. These beets have been cooked, peeled and then vacuum packed, without any of the additives you’d usually find in canned beetroots. Basically, you get all the goodness of fresh beets with minimal prep and effort! Win win! Read more about Love Beets here.
For this recipe, I used the Love Beets vacuum sealed baby beets.
Beet Pesto Pasta
Makes 1.5 cups of pesto, pasta recipe serves 2
1 packet Love Beets baby beetroot (250g)
¾ cup raw walnuts
½ cup parmesan cheese
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt to taste
2 medium zucchinis
1 cup cooked pasta (optional)
Feta cheese, fresh dill fronds, chopped walnuts to serve
1. For the pesto: in a blender or food processor, combine beets, walnuts, parmesan cheese, apple cider vinegar, garlic and olive oil. Pulse until smooth. Add salt to taste.
2. Spiralise zucchini and combine with pasta (if using). Add 1/4 cup of beet pesto and toss until pesto is well distributed. Plate up, and top with crumbled feta, dill and chopped walnuts. This dish can be eaten hot or cold.
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