Parchment Baked Beetroot & Potatoes

Despite my mission to come up with my own recipes, I wanted to share this one with you. It’s from a German food mag called essen & trinken, and they have some fantastic recipes in their July issue; mine currently sports 14 blue stickers indicating the recipes I want to try.

Apart from the hour these parchment parcels have to go in the oven, this dish is really quickly prepared. It’s also great to prepare ahead – do the veg, then just make up the parcels when you’re ready to bake them.

This recipe is for four, with one parchment parcel per person. When I first tried this, I halved the recipe to make it a two person meal and baked it in one parcel. So you can adjust the quantities to serve 1 to 4 people. And if your oven’s big enough, you can multiply the ingredients to feed more.

The original recipe says this is to be served with tofu aioli, but as I didn’t have any tofu, I skipped that. You can serve this by itself, or as a side dish to whatever you fancy. I was actually quite happy I had this by itself, because it tasted simply fantastic; anything else to go with it would just have felt unnecessary, and I wouldn’t have been able to appreciate it because I felt that nothing much could have topped the taste of these vegetables anyway.

I’ve made oven baked vegetables so often, but I never thought to add honey, this gives it a completely new and surprising twist. The olive oil, fennel, and the honey go exceptionally well together, so these parcels have already made it into my mental “must make again very soon and very often” compartment. But be prepared not to want to be eating these vegetables once they’re out of the oven, because opening the parcels, the colour alone is quite breathtaking, and it made me want to just stare at this beautiful food instead of eating it!

Reading through this post before publishing it, I realised I haven’t sounded that enthusiastic about anything I’ve made since I started blogging, so that should tell you something…

Parchment Baked Beetroot & Potatoes

16 small new potatoes
8 shallots
16 young small beetroot
4 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp liquid acacia honey
fleur de sel
freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp fennel seeds

Serves 4

Preheat oven to 200°C (180°C in fan oven).

Place the potatoes in cold water for 10 minutes. Peel the shallots and slice them lengthways. Scrub the potato peels with a vegetable brush or the coarse side of a sponge. Cut off the greens from the beetroot, as well as the root, and peel them [wearing rubber gloves!]. Mix potatoes, shallots and beetroot with the olive oil.

Lay out baking parchment on a work surface, and place 1/4 of the vegetable mix on it. Drizzle with 1 tbsp honey, season well with fleur de sel and pepper, and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp fennel seeds. Fold the baking parchment over the vegetables so they’re well covered, and bind the ends with kitchen string to make it look like wrapped candy. Proceed the same way for the remaining 3 parcels, and place them all next to each other on a baking sheet.

Bake the parchment parcels in the preheated oven for 1 hour on the lowest shelf.

What I did differently (I only strayed minimally from the original recipe):
I didn’t place the potatoes in cold water before scrubbing them.
My bunch of beetroot held rather large beets, so I quartered them instead of leaving them in one piece.
I used my pink Himalaya salt instead of fleur de sel.
I didn’t have acacia honey, so I used the only liquid one I had, which was plain blossom honey.