The Beet Goes On – Roasted Beetroot and Ricotta Dip

I have many recipes that utilise leftovers, and where I don’t already have a recipe I usually invent one.  My usual advice would be to only cook what you’re going to eat, to prevent food waste… but as you gain more confidence in measuring, experimenting, and planning in advance, I would actually encourage you to cook a little extra when you’re doing a family dinner, knowing you’re going to put a little aside for another dish or two.

Root vegetables keep especially well and are quite versatile.  You may roast up a whole bunch for a family barbecue or cosy winter dinner – just throw a few extra in the pan to utilise later. This saves time, work and prevents that whole ‘what are we going to eat?’ conversation we can prolong in our heads for all too long.

Beetroot are so incredibly delicious, versatile and good for you, but they can be a little off putting when it comes to how they can stain our hands, clothes and chopping boards.  So, I’ve got a few tips to lessen this concern.  One of my favourite methods is to wrap each beetroot, skin on; you can trim the stalks off if you don’t have time to wash them thoroughly, in aluminium foil with a little drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper.  I roast these tasty little beetroot packages for 30-60mins at 180° Celsius depending on their size. 

After that time, carefully release some of the steam from each package away from your face and body to prevent any burns – this will allow a small amount of cooling.  Using the foil as a guard to prevent staining, gently push and slip the beetroot skin away – you may be surprised how easy this is to do.  This method really does help sweeten and soften the beetroot too, a beautiful way to eat them as a side or centrepiece to any course.  Alternatively, use gloves – simple!


  • 300g Beetroot, cooked and peeled use leftover roast or boiled)
  • 100g Ricotta, Cottage Cheese or Mascarpone
  • 20g Horseradish, fresh if possible
  • 1 Lemon, Juice only, reserve zest for another project
  • Salt to Taste, Murray River Pink
  • White Pepper to taste


  • Put all ingredients into your favourite food processor or blender and blitz/ pulse until smooth, or if you prefer it a little chunky- until your desired texture is achieved. Scoop into your favourite serving dish and serve!
  • Serve with your favourite vegetable sticks, on toast with smoked salmon and fresh dill, as a base to a piece of roast lamb – its super versatile!

Substitute Ingredients

  • Serve with your favourite vegetable sticks, on toast with smoked salmon and fresh dill, as a base to a piece of roast lamb – its super versatile.
  • To make this vegan, you could eliminate he dairy and increase the quantity of beetroot to 400g and pour in up to 50g of olive oil to help it blitz, for flavour and to create a luxurious mouth feel.
  • Fresh horseradish can be hard to come by, by many versions in jars have questionable other ingredients – try to keep the most pure and least processed option you can find.  Mustard is also a yummy alternative.

Substitute Equipment

  • If you don’t have a food processor, blender etc. you could do a very vigorous mash and mix in a bowl or very fine dice then crush.

Waste Tips

  • Roasted beetroot skins can be composted or fed to the worm farm or backyard chickens.
  • Lemon flesh, minus juice and zest can be used to stuff poultry, or given to the home compost.

Diet and Lifestyle Notes

  • Because beetroot has a fairly high sugar content as far as vegetables go, this isn’t a particularly low gi dish, so I’d usually consume it in the the afternoons or evenings when you require less energy, carbs can aid with better sleep.
  • Grain Free
  • Gluten Free
  • Refined Sugar Free
  • Nut Free
  • Vegetarian
  • Pescatarian



Elena Duggan

Winner of MasterChef 2016, Elena Duggan takes us back to her golden moment ahead of her return to the show as a guest chef in Season 9.