Roasted Cylindra Beets with Blackberry Dressing and Pistachio Purée

Roasted beets, blackberry dressing and pureed pistachios are a delicious dish to impress your guests and tantalise the taste buds. It’s a dish you should try on the weekend, as it takes a while to prepare but is worth it because it’s full of nutrients and flavour.

This recipe is from the book “Plants Taste Better” by Richard Buckley (PS25 Jacqui small). The photography is by Kim Lightbody. This is a recipe book that shows how to take plant-based cooking up a notch.

Richard Buckley, chef-proprietor at Acorn in Bath, has been named in the MICHELIN Guide 2019, as well as in the Good Food Guide 2019. Acorn won Trencherman Awards 2019 for Innovation and Creativity. Richard Buckley won Olive Magazine’s BEST CHEFS Award 2018 for VEGGIE PIONEER.

Here is an extract from Richard’s ‘Plants Taste Better” book with detailed instructions on how to prepare this dish.

The cylindrical beetroot (beet) is a long dark-red variety that has a similar flavour to the round varieties. They are a good choice because they have an even thickness along most of their length. This means that when you cut them, all the slices will be of the same size. If you only have access to the round varieties, cut them into wedges. This will ensure that they cook at the exact same rate.

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Roasted Cylindra Beetroot with Crushed Blackberry Dressing, Pistachio Puree and Pistachio Puree

Plant-based dish that will tantalize your taste buds and impress guests
Side Dish
Richard Buckley



  • Two large cylindra (beet) roots
  • 4 tbsp of thyme sprigs (10g).
  • 1 g dried lavender
    (a pinch)
  • 1 tsp of sea salt (5g).
  • 50 ml of water
  • 5 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (25ml).

For the Dressing

  • 100 g blackberries quartered
  • 1 tsp. red wine vinegar (5ml).
  • Sugar caster (superfine), 2/3 tsp
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 8 tsp of thyme (40ml).

For the PUREE

  • 100 g Iranian pistachios (2/3 cup)
  • Extra virgin olive oil 100 ml
  • Water 150 ml
  • One clove of garlic
  • Sea salt
  • Cayenne pepper pinch


  • 10 g Iranian pistachios cut into large chunks
  • Picked 2 sprigs thyme leaves
  • 20 red mustard frills, small


  • Preheat the oven to (fan) 140degC/160degC/310degF/gas mark 2 1/2. Cover a deep baking sheet with a 45cm strip of foil and a 45cm strip of parchment. Form a well at the center. Mix the beets and other ingredients for roasting in the well. Fold the foil/paper in two and roll the edges up to create a sealed package. Bake for 1-2 hour.
  • Make the blackberry dressing about 30 minutes before you cook the beetroots. Add the sugar, vinegar and salt to the blackberries and place them in a small dish. Use a fork and gently crush the blackberries to break them apart, but don’t reduce them to puree. Let the blackberries macerate in the oil for 20 minutes, then stir it in and set aside.
  • The next step is to make the puree. Blend the pistachios with olive oil, garlic, water, and water in a blender to a silky smooth consistency. Add a pinch of cayenne (page 15) and salt to taste. Set aside.
  • Test the beetroot after 1-2 hours. They should be melted-in-your mouth soft. If they are not soft enough, continue to cook them for a few minutes longer and then test again. Allow the beetroot to cool down a bit and then remove the skin. Slice them into 1cm slices (1/2 inch).
  • Pour 2 tablespoons pistachio purée on each of four starter plates. Allow it to run down to form a pool. Spread a few slices of warm beetroot on top of the puree. Then, add some blackberry dressing. Sprinkle with the chopped pistachios, thyme and thyme leaf. Arrange the mustard frills on the plates, and toss them in the liquid left over from the blackberries. Serve hot.