Beetroot ‘Pesto’


beetroot pesto

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Beetroot ‘Pesto’

From ‘5 Ingredients 10 Minutes’ Print Book page 12
serves 4 as a snack

I’ve been making beetroot ‘pesto’ for years. A brilliant idea where you use cooked beetroot instead of basil that I picked up years ago. While I don’t mind tinned beetroot, I do prefer the fresh earthiness enough to roast it myself, which would blow the 10 minute limit.

Luckily, I’ve found beets canned in beet juice which taste surprisingly good. I almost couldn’t believe how close this came to home roasted beets the first time I made it.

While it’s quicker and easier to whizz this in a food processor, feel free to chop everything finely by hand if you have a minimalist food processor-free kitchen. It will take a little longer but will still be just as delicious.

1 can beetroot in juice (440g / 15oz), drained
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
50g (2oz) pine nuts
80g (3oz) parmesan cheese, finely grated

1. Whizz the beets, garlic, pine nuts and cheese in a food processor until you have a chunky paste.

2. Add 6 tablespoons olive oil and whizz until just combined.

3. Taste and season well.


vegan / dairy free – Replace the parmesan with extra pinenuts or a less expensive nut like almonds or cashews.

Problem Solving Guide

flavour too sharp – with beets canned in vinegar, make sure you drain really well next time and possible even rinse them under cold running water to minimise the acidity. For now balance the acidity with extra oil and some more grated parmesan.

bland – how can beets be bland with that colour? Just season more generously and possibly add some addtional parmesan.

Serving Suggestions

Lovely as a dip with bread or pita chips.

Use anywhere you’d normally use pesto, dolluped on soups, tossed in with fresh pasta or as a sauce for meat, poultry or fish. I’m having it tonight with BBQ pork sausages. Would also make an interesting sauce to serve with our lentil burgers.

Leftover Potential

Wonderful. You won’t have any problems using it up. Best if allowed to warm back up to room temperature before eating.

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