Beet Noodles and Wild Rocket Pesto

I promise I will never tell you that spiralised vegetables are the same thing as pasta, but these beetroot noodles with wild rocket pesto are too good to not share.

Feeling stressed? Spiralise something – I’m really not joking.  As far as cooking and roasting vegetables goes, there is nothing more satisfying than turning the little handle that will transform your roots, and then watching noodle after noodle emerge.  Sure, cleaning the spiraliser isn’t as much fun, but you can leave that for a later…  Three short weeks ago, I wasn’t the proud owner of a spiraliser like I am now, simply because I didn’t think I would get much use of it, not being a fan of courgette noodles – they’re just not pasta ok?  But root noodles are a whole different story – they crisp up and take less than 20 minutes to cook.  I’m all in.

And sauce just makes everything better, so whilst it may seem like I’ve been won over by the vegetable pasta trend (as I’m ultimately putting pesto on spiralised veg), I’m really not claiming this is an alternative for spaghetti with pesto at all.  This is just an incredibly vibrant and fresh tasting dish that has been appearing in my kitchen weekly since purchasing the aforementioned beloved spiraliser.  And don’t worry If you don’t have one, this creamy pesto still tastes good in all bowls and grains, and is worth having on hand to perk up lunch al-desko.

Beet Noodles with Wild Rocket Pesto

(serves 4)

Beet Noodles
6 beets, peeled and spiralised
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp sea salt

Wild Rocket Pesto
1 clove garlic
100 grams wild rocket (about 2 cups)
30 grams pine nuts (1/4 cup)
1 tbsp lemon juice
4 tbsp olive oil
1/8 tsp sea salt
Pepper, to taste

Start by making the beet noodles.  Pre-heat your oven to 180˙C. Split the raw spiralised beets on a baking sheet into 6 small piles. Drizzle them with olive oil and salt and mix them by hand to coat. Cook the beet noodles for 20-25 minutes, until crispy. While the noodles cook, make the pesto. In a food processor, blitz the garlic clove. Add in the rocket, pine nuts, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper and pulse for about 1 minute. If you want a textured pesto then stop at this point. If you’re after a creamy pesto consistency, then keep blending for an additional minute. Taste for salt and adjust the consistency with one tablespoon of water, depending on your preference. Store the pesto in an airtight container or jar for up to a week.

To serve, split the beet noodles between four dishes, and top them with a couple spoons of rocket pesto and some toasted pine nuts.