Beetroot was always a touchy subject in my house. My brothers and I have been shipped back and forth from Australia since we were each just a few months old so we’re no stranger to things like Vegemite, sausage rolls, pavlova…your typical Aussie classics. We pretty much all eat Vegemite, a feat we should all be proud of. And there was never any debate when sausage rolls or pavlova were in the house. But beets were different. I believe we were introduced to them in the best way possible, not mushed up as a side dish, but placed gently on a beautiful stacked burger. We used to have ‘make your own’ burger nights and it would be a little buffet of things to top your meat patty with. Everything from cheese to ketchup, lettuce, mustard, tomatoes, chutney, etc. And in the assembly line there was always one bright pink bowl of beetroot, poured ever so gently from a tin can and pre-sliced for general ease. Dad would always load up his burger with just about everything but he avoided those beets like the plague. I don’t remember my brothers being too wild about them either but I don’t think they ran away quite so quickly. I, on the other hand, was happy to slap them on watching my bun and my fingers turn a nice fluro rose colour. Now that I live in Australia I figured it was time to experiment with beetroot in other dishes. And that’s exactly how I came upon this easy little salad recipe. It’s quick, low-fat and simple. The anchovies are optional in my opinion, I personally love anchovies so I was happy to put them in at first but I felt like they added a strange flavour amongst the acidity of the beets and the richness of the ricotta. Also when I had the salad the day after I totally forgot they were in there and was pretty thrown off by one bite that was particularly fishy. I also left out the red wine vinegar because I didn’t want to buy a whole bottle for just one tablespoon and used really nice olive oil instead.
Chicken tenderloins with baby beetroot and ricotta
Recipe from Taste.com.au
- 12 chicken tenderloins (about 90g each)
- 2 tsp olive oil, plus 1 tbs extra
- 2 tbs shredded basil leaves
- 8 canned baby beetroots, drained, halved
- 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 80g baby rocket leaves
- 2 anchovy fillets, roughly chopped
- 1 tbs red wine vinegar
- 3 tbs (60g) fresh low-fat ricotta
- Combine the chicken, olive oil and basil in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Heat a large non-stick frypan over high heat and cook the chicken for 2 minutes on each side or until it is golden and cooked through.
- Combine the beetroot, onion, rocket, anchovies, red wine vinegar and extra oil in a large bowl. Divide the mixture among plates and dot with teaspoons of ricotta. Serve topped with chicken.