Yellow Beetroot Baked in a Dome of Coarse Salt

Processed with MOLDIV

This is from Alain Passard’s ‘the art of cooking with vegetables’. This is one of the simplest recipes in the book and one where the understated elegance talks for itself

For those of you who haven’t heard of Alain Passard, let me make a quick virtual introduction.

Mr. Passard was one of the worlds most acclaimed chefs famed for his rich, classic, traditional French cuisine. For this he earned himself three Michelin stars. In 2001 he made the controversial decision to take meat off the menu, he bought a farm and dedicated himself to learning about permaculture farming, a beyond-organic ecological system

Did he retain his 3 stars? Yes he did! With this quote from the New York Times summing up his food exquisitely, ‘for its lightness, brightness, beauty, and elegance, my single meal at L’Arpège was in an eye-opening class by itself

His recipes are simple and are all about elevating the beauty in the fresh ingredient he has grown

For this recipe, I prefer to use yellow to red beetroot here, as they are sweeter and less earthy than the red counterpart


For the crust

  • 4 uncooked yellow beetroots in their skins
  • of salt
  • 50g butter (substitute vegan butter/olive olive to make vegan)
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon


  • Preheat the oven to 150c/300f
  • Spread half the salt evenly on a foil lined baking tray
  • Rinse the beetroots and sit them on top of the salt bed
  • Cover them evenly with the remaining salt so that they disappear beneath 4 pyramids
  • Transfer the baking dish to the oven, carefully so as not to disturb the salt
  • After one hour, test the beetroots with a thin skewer if it goes through easily the beetroot is ready
  • Just before serving, cut the butter into 4 pieces and sprinkle with lemon juice and zest
  • To serve the dish, take it to the table with a large knife and break the block of salt in front of your fellow diners
  • Brush the salt from each beetroot, cut it in half and serve with a portion of the prepared butter
  • To savor the dish at its best, eat the beetroot flesh and skin – it is the skin, which really heightens the flavors here!

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