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Brown Bag Beets, Potato Rosti with Kale and Walnut Pesto

Brown bag beets are a modern way to cook en papillote, re-using a paper bag that you buy your veges in. Serve with kale and walnut pesto upon a crispy potato rosti and you have a sharing platter rustic lunch, or individually portioned tasty brunch.

Recipe and photography Miggs McTaylor

Each element can be prepared separately ahead of time or I would suggest preparing in this order:

  1. Wash measure and chop all ingredients
  2. Brown bag beets in oven
  3. Put potatoes on stove to boil
  4. Make pesto
  5. Make rosti

Serves 4-6

Brown bag roasted beets

  • 500g beetroot peeled and wedged into bite-size pieces
  • 3-5 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 lemon thinly sliced
  • 2-3 sprigs of thyme
  • olive oil

What to do

  • Set the oven to 200ºC
  • Put all ingredients into a sturdy paper bag, shake to coat beetroot, roll the top of the bag and put in the middle of the oven to roast 40-50 minutes depending on the size of pieces.
  • Compost paper bag

Potato rosti

  • 700-800g agria potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Sea salt and ground white pepper

What to do

  • Wash potatoes (peel if desired), cut in half if they are large
  • Put potatoes into a pot of salted water, bring to the boil and simmer until the potatoes are half cooked
  • Drain and grate into a bowl and season with sea salt and pepper. Press potato together so it makes a large ball (wet hands help as the starches make it sticky)
  • Heat olive oil in a heavy-based 23cm frypan. Use a spatula to press the potato down to make a large rosti
  • Cook for about 15 minutes or until the base is golden. Turn over to finish cooking — if preparing ahead, take it off the stove. Leave it in the pan and return to the oven for 15-20 minutes before serving.

Kale and Walnut Pesto

  • 60g / 1/2 cup toasted walnuts
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 150g / approx 2 cups kale stems removed
  • zest and juice of a lemon
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup water
  • sea salt and pepper to taste

What to do

  • Roughly chop kale, put in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Drain when soft (about 1-2 minutes)
  • Put kale and walnuts into a food processor and pulse until chopped. Add remaining ingredients and blitz
  • Season to taste, adding more of any ingredients to suit your palate
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