I was looking through old Gourmet Travellers, ruthlessly ripping out good photos and recipes that I know I will most likely cook and severely culling the pile, and I found baby beetroot with truffle honey. Think about the earthy taste of beetroot, how it needs sweetness and acidity when it is cooked and the earthy taste of truffles. I thought it would work and I built this dish around the idea.Purple carrots (or the more regular orange carrot) are friends with honey and can be cooked the same as beetroot so I bought these and styled the photo to make it look like I grew them.
Beetroot and carrots: Trim stalks and roots, rub with olive oil and season with salt, wrap in groups of about 10 in foil, put on a roasting tray lined with coarse salt ( I used Sel de Geurande) and roast at 180 degrees for 30 mins or until tender. Cool enough to peel the beetroot. Mix 1 tablespoon of truffle honey well with 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Dress beetroot and carrots while still warm.
Lentils with shallots and baby spinach: French green lentils grown in Australia are just the same as the French grown, more affordable, closer to home, and available at Jagger’s. Boil 250 or 300g to feed 2-3 in water or stock or both until cooked and if you can keep an eye on them, judge the liquid to be all absorbed and evaporated just as they are done. A little liquid left is fine. Fry 2 chopped shallots until browned and sweet, add a chopped clove of garlic and soften, add to the lentils. Season the lentils and turn through about 3 handfuls of baby spinach and 2 tablespoon chopped parsley until just wilted.
Lamb: I didn’t want to waste the sea salt so I scraped together the salt and beetroot juices from the pan, made a bed of rosemary and salt, more salt on top of the lamb, and roasted in a really hot oven for 15 minutes. I turned the oven off and left the lamb inside because I had to take Bob to the vet. I over cooked it a bit for my liking but it was still very good, nothing can really go wrong with this quality of lamb. I got rid of a lot of the salt crust to serve but the saltiness was a really good contrast to the sweet beets and carrots. Bob was caught licking the lamb while I was taking the photo below, he seems fine now.