In truth, beetroot and I only became friends in recent years. As may be the case for others, my childhood beetroot experiences were limited to the tinned variety. My Australian grandmother used to serve it alongside other salad options, and in addition to disliking the taste, I wasn't confident of my ability to eat it without shooting red stains onto my grandparents' carpeted floors or cloth-covered table.
In adulthood, discovering raw beetroot was a bit of a revelation. I am still not great at eating it mess free, but I can now eat away from carpets and tableclothes - and raw beetroot seems worth the mess. I have also come to like roasted beets, but raw in salad form is my favourite way of enjoying the vegetable.
With these Thai-style beetroot noodles, my enjoyment of raw beetroot has been elevated to new heights. To say I loved the dish would be an understatement. When I was photographing it, I was initially worried that the beetroot would be overpowering, and wondered if I should have used a mix of beetroot and zucchini noodles. My doubts dissolved as soon as I took my first bite. This is definitely an example of fresh produce being best when prepared simply. The beetroot gives a sweetness that perfectly compliments the slightly spicy almond dressing, and a scattering of fresh chopped almonds and basil leaves give contrasting flavours and textures.
I think I have found my perfect summer lunch. Its only downside is needing to be eaten close after preparation, so it is better for home lunches than the packed variety.
Thai-style beetroot noodles
A delicious summer lunch for one
Vegan and gluten free; can be raw depending on almond butter / chilli sauce
Beetroot noodles inspired by Coconut and Berries; other components courtesy of Bite-Sized Thoughts
1 large beetroot, peeled
2 tsp almond butter
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp chilli sauce (or to taste)
1 tbsp almond milk (or milk of choice - coconut would be lovely too!)
Small handful of almonds
Small handful of fresh basil leaves
Spiralize your beetroot into strands, or if you don't have a spiralizer, use a julienne cutter or grater.
In a jar or jug, whisk together the almond butter, lemon juice, chilli sauce and almond milk until smooth.
Pour the dressing over the noodles and toss or stir through to distribute evenly.
Roughly chop the almonds and then scatter over the noodles, along with the basil leaves.
Are you a fan of beetroot? What is your favourite way to enjoy it?