roasted beets & chiccory with orange

I’ve been trying out some different things recently – pairing up different kinds of veg with a wider array of spices and flavours – and I really like this combination of earthy flavours combined with the citrus from the orange.

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I absolutely hated chiccory – and to be completely honest, I still don’t really like it. But it’s pretty populair here in Belgium, and my mom used to make it often when I was a kid. With ham and a cheesy sauce. Or stewed in a pan with butter. Or raw with mayo. Urgh.

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But in a brave moment at the farmer’s market I decided to buy some and give these weird little alien pods another go. Turns out they’re not as bad as I remember them. They’re still quite bitter, but the citrus in this dish softens it a bit. I also dunked it in grainy mustard to be fair.

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Can we also take a second to appreciate the amazing colours on this plate? There’s something about purple and orange that looks extremely appealing to me (it reminds me of the seventies I guess). Anyway, this is a fairly easy dish to make with great presentation pay off. So if you have a dinner party coming up (christmas, yes?) this could be quite the eye catcher. It could look even better if you find red chiccory if you can find that stuff.

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Serves 4-6:

You’ll need –
– a big oven dish
– tin foil
– a grater

Ingredients –
– 4 small beets
– 4 small turnips
– 4 chiccories
– 4 small red onion
– 4 cloves or garlic, crushed
– 1 orange
– olive oil
– 1 tsp smoked paprika powder
– 1 tsp mustard seeds
– 1 tbps soy sauce
– 1 tsp coriander powder

How to make –
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
2. Scrub the beets and turnips clean, remove the green buds on top and cut each veggie into 4 wedges. Toss them into the oven dish.
3. Next make the marinade. Grate the orange, put the zest to a bowl. Crush the mustard seeds with a mortar and pestle (or put it in a plastic bag and crush it with a pastry roller). Add the paprika powder, coriander powder, soy sauce and 2 tbsp of olive oil to the bowl and mix well. Put it over the beets and turnips and make sure you cover everything. Cover the oven dish with tin foil and let it bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, remove the skin from the onions and cut them into quarters. Cut the orange you just grated into 8 wedges. Crush the garlic cloves. After 30 minutes of baking, add these orange, onion and garlic to the beets and turnips, mix well, put the tin foil cover back on and bake for another 30 minutes.
5. Cut the chiccories in halves. After 30 minutes of baking, add the chiccory to the oven dish and try and cover them in the marinade (there’s some on the bottom!). Don’t cover the oven dish this time, and let bake for another 15-25 minutes, until the beets and chiccory are tender.
6. Serve on itself, with some type of grain (bulgur? quinoa?) or as a side dish. Squeeze the orange parts over the dish for an extra boost of citrus.

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