This recipe is a take on a dish I had at a Basque tapas bar. The dish was called Baked Picos which google translate would have you believe is baked penis. So why wouldn’t I order it? Okay, I asked the waitress what it was. And she had me at melted cheese. A little pan of oozing, bubbly blue cheese covering bright purple beetroot sprinkled with crunchy, toasted nuts and seeds was presented to me alongside a basket of fresh sourdough chunks to dip in. I was in heaven. Something so simple but so satisfying. Here is my version which is pretty close to the original.
If you don’t like blue cheese, try goats cheese or garlic and herb roule as alternatives.
- 1 beetroot
- 100g whipped blue cheese (I used St Agur)
- 25g hazelnuts
- 25g mixed seeds (I used pumpkin, sunflower, linseed and sesame)
- Preheat the oven to 200C. Peel the beetroot and cut in half if it is particularly large. Wrap in foil and bake in the oven for 40 minutes or until tender. Remove from the oven and cut into chunks.
- While the beetroot is baking, add the hazelnuts to a tray and roast for 5 minutes. If the hazelnuts have skins on, rub them between a tea towel to remove the skin.
- Roast the seed mix for 5 minutes or until you begin to hear them popping. Set the nuts and seeds aside.
- Arrange the beetroot pieces in a small ovenproof dish along with any juice that has collected in the foil. Dollop the blue cheese in, around and over the beetroot and place in the oven for 10-15 minutes so the cheese and beetroot mingle to become a vibrant pink, creamy bubbling good thing.
- Sprinkle the toasted nuts and seeds over the top and return to the oven for 5 more minutes.
- Remove from the oven and serve with fresh crusty bread.