Preparation and cooking time: 15 minutes
So, my laptop broke :(. I’d been meaning to replace it for a while – it had been running insanely hot and you couldn’t even really touch the exhaust vent without getting a mild burn on your hand. I cleaned it out with a can of compressed air, closed it and then went off to have dinner. When I came back I opened it up again, only to be confronted by an error, stating that “The system has detected that a fan isn’t working and it may be unwise to continue”. Sure enough, the fan wasn’t moving at all. “Oh dear”, I thought.
Well, a bit of poking and prodding later I managed to make the fan spin into life, shooting out a cloud of dust with it. Great, except then the screen didn’t come on and I just got a flashing error light on the keyboard. Oh well; I ordered a new one, paid for extra quick shipping (it got delivered from England the next day… how’s that for speedy?!) and so finally I was back online again. One problem though – Windows 8.
I pity anyone who has to use Windows 8 on a laptop. Sure – it might be great with a mouse, or on a touch-screen, but a laptop? Moving my finger on the trackpad kept bringing up stupid menus and randomly minimising my programs. Worst of all… there wasn’t even a start button. No: Microsoft thinks we should all use their “app tray” or whatever it’s called. Horrible, horrible design. Still, after making a few changes to the Windows registry, and installing a third-party app I’ve now banished the “app tray” and “swipe gestures”, and I even have a Start button back… hooray, all is well once again!
We’re having some hot weather at the moment and when it’s so hot, the last thing you want to be doing is standing over a stove. I had a couple of beets in my refrigerator and hadn’t been quite sure about what to do with them and then I decided to do a beetroot carpaccio. Beetroot on its own might be a little boring I thought, so I bulked it out a bit with mozzarella, and even made a little salad of diced tomato, olive oil and garlic to put on top.
As I was slicing (and munching on) the beets I started to worry if the carpaccio might end up being a little bland. The beetroot wasn’t as flavoursome as I’d hoped but by the time I’d paired it with the olive oil and lemon juice I needn’t have worried. The lemon juice lifted out the beetroot flavours perfectly. Earthy, yet sweet; crunchy and rich. We ate it with some baguette I’d bought and it was a perfect, light dinner. You could serve it on its own as a starter no doubt but with the bread it fills you up very well.
Have a great day everyone and I’ll see you back here again soon!
- 2 balls of Mozzarella
- 2 medium Beetroot
- 2 medium Tomatoes
- 2 cloves of Garlic
- A small handful of fresh Basil
- Juice from 1 Lemon
- 4tbsps Olive Oil
- Freshly ground Black Pepper
You’ll also need
- Start off by dicing the tomatoes. Mince the garlic and then mix together with the tomatoes and half of the olive oil in a bowl. Set aside and allow the flavours to infuse while you prepare the rest of the dish.
- Peel the beets and then, using your mandoline slicer, slice the them as finely as possible. Set the mandoline to the thinnest slice setting and try to get the slices about 1mm thick or less.
- Finely slice the mozzarella and then chiffonade the basil – you can do this by aligning all the leaves, rolling them up along their length and then slicing them finely to create ribbons.
- Arrange the beetroot and mozzarella between two plates – I made concentric rings of first beetroot, mozzarella, beetroot again, mozzarella and then a final centre of beetroot. Drizzle the lemon juice and remaining olive oil over the plates and sprinkle on the freshly ground black pepper and basil. Serve the tomato in the centre of the plate and enjoy! Eat with bread for a main course, or serve on its own for a starter.
Trust me, Charles, Windows 8 isn’t any fun with a mouse either. I don’t know why they overload the starting page with a lot of icons to apps that I have no interest in … though I don’t want to start purging them either.
Anyway, I’m glad you got your new laptop so quickly and are back up and running. That darned dust gets into everything doesn’t it?
So … the recipe. Well, I’ve never eaten beetroot and don’t forsee that situation changing in the near future but then, never say never. 🙂 It’s a beautiful presentation, in any case, and I’m sure that for those who like beetroot, it’s a delicious dish.
Oh, it was dreadful… all those stupid apps everywhere. I removed every single one! Who needs apps for stocks, and then of course all their stupid pre-bundled software. No, no, no! Anyway, I’m happy now… I’ve set it to automatically boot into desktop mode, Metro is disabled (well, the slide-out menu is) and I have a start button back. Nice!
Ooooo! I love fresh beets! It looks delicious! Definitely going to try the beetroot crisps as well!
And A_Boleyn is correct – even with a mouse WIndows 8 is no fun. IMHO, it is absolute rubbish!! You should have got a Mac Charles I went Mac and I’ll never go back 😉
Hi Katherine – fresh beets are great aren’t they? Weirdly, for the longest time I didn’t know you could eat them raw… I thought they were toxic or something, lol!
As for macs… no way! Sorry, but I’m a committed PC guy, especially since they usually cost about half the price! 😀
I have to make this for my beet lover husband. The color combination is superb! Beautiful!
Aaah, nice to know I’m not the only person here who loves beets! Seems like whenever I post a beetroot dish, the response I invariably receive is “looks great but… beets… bleurgh!” 😀
Mary Frances says
Your photographs are brilliant! Yum! Glad you got your laptop situation figured out as well, it really can be so frustrating!
Thank you Mary… I’m still having problems adjusting to laptops… I used to use a desktop with two big monitors. Had to “downgrade” when my baby was born to make a bit more space.
The Squishy Monster says
How beautifully unique and splendid! Hope you’ve been well, Charles =)
Hi Angie, thanks a lot! Long time no see too! Hope everything is fine with you… my son is keeping me busy, especially since now he can almost walk around and likes grabbing everything and climbing on everything in sight!
Beets really are so pretty! I just wish I liked them because this dish sounds fantastic. I never thought about using a mandoline – clever!
As for windows 8 on a laptop…I’m glad I’m not the only one. And you’re a computer guru! My laptop got a bottle of water spilled on it (thanks new kitty) and I ran out and got a new one while my old one sat in a rice bath. I spent hours on that thing and couldn’t stand it. I used it for a few days, never getting used to it and then it was time to try my old laptop. Low and behold the rice bath worked! Hopefully my new employee will like Windows 8 more than I did when I pass that thing along. 😉
Hi Kristy, I wouldn’t be without my mandoline… do you have one? They’re a god-send for things like potato gratins, chips and so forth!
By the way, if your employee just can’t handle the idiocy that is Win8 I’d be happy to pass along the couple of tweaks I did to disable the obnoxious slide-out menus and make it boot directly into desktop mode WITH a start button!
Hi Charles! I do have a mandoline. Oddly enough I don’t use it all that often. I guess more in the winter than the summer. I really should make more use of it. And I may ask you for those tips with Win8! 🙂
Would be happy to help! I’ll be awaiting your mail, since I know already just how intolerable the interface is, lol! 😀
Hotly Spiced says
Charles – I’m shocked. Are you not using a Mac? The last job I had I had to work for a witch of a woman (long story there) and all my life I’ve only used Macs. She handed me a PC. I’ve never hated a laptop more in my life. They are a dinosaur in the way they behave. Everything I had to do was so laborious. I could have done it in half the time if I’d been able to use my Mac. Good luck with your new toy! Lovely salad – I’ve never made one of these and really must – it’s so pretty! xx
Hi Charlie – no way… I’m a devout PC user. I loved Windows 7, but this new version seems like a bit of a miss… still, I’ve got it back to sort-of Windows 7 mode, so it’s not too difficult now, thankfully.
Maureen | Orgasmic Chef says
I dread having to move with Windows 8. I’m putting it off as long as I can. They say that we’ll get used to it and we’ll love it but I’m not so sure.
Have eaten beetroot carpaccio but I’ve never made it. I’m keen to give it a go.
Don’t do it Maureen! Besides – I disabled all the fancy rubbish like “app trays” and now I’m back to something which, visually, is identical to Windows 7, lol!
Karen (Back Road Journal) says
I like the looks and sound of you carpaccio. I’ve never heard anyone say anything good about windows eight. You are lucky that you are a whiz with computers and could get it changed to your liking. I’ll never go back to HP…I’m a MAC girl now and loving it!
Hi Karen – can’t say I’m a huge mac fan myself, though to each their own. I do like Windows machines in general, but every now and again Microsoft create a monster of an operating system.
Kitchen Belleicious says
this is new to me and I love finding new things! The color is so vibrant and beautiful
Hi KB – it is a beautiful colour… looks so pretty in the sunlight!
I would have had a major meltdown if that happened to my computer!! Scary stuff. I love the Beetroot Carpaccio, it looks so fresh and delicious, I have beet growing in the garden at the moment, this would be the perfect use 🙂
Definitely GG – and don’t forget to use the beet greens as well… they’re delicious, especially stir-fried with come chilli flakes and a squeeze of lemon juice!
Jean | DelightfulRepast.com says
Mmm mmm, does that look good! I had kind of forgotten all about beets (Beets: The Forgotten Vegetable) until I saw this! You’ve inspired me, Charles.
Sorry about the computer frustrations. I hate getting a new computer. I would never do it myself, but my husband forces a new one on me from time to time. If left to my own devices (no pun intended), I’d still be using my first computer with the Intel 8088 CPU!
Haha, I’m all in favour of newer, faster machines, but damn if I don’t get “stuck in my ways” with operating systems. Why try to “fix” something that ain’t broken, right?
Eva Taylor says
I saw this when you posted it on Facebook and was immediately intrigued, it’s not only a gorgeous dish (I love how you arranged it) but rather healthy too! The fresh mozzarella is also a lovely addition. We’re going through a bit of a cold front, lows are 15C, highs are around 22-25C, perfect weather to have the A/C off and the windows open.
Ah computer issues suck for sure, particularly when you have to dish out cash for a new one. My relatively new phone was crashing all the time and each time it crashed it would lock me out of wifi, and a couple of times I didn’t notice and racked up my data usage to the tune of $50 (around €30). So I went back to apple and they immediately gave me a new one (it was my third time back!). You pay more for things with Apple, but it’s worth it for the service afterward; we’ve never had to pay for service even out of warrantee. And it’s easy yo use ;)!
Hi Eva, I have many issues with Apple, the astronomical price of them being just one of them, but I won’t bore you. Suffice to say that I like my PC, even if it does have Windows (h)8, and I love my Android phone. I’ve had an iPhone before – wouldn’t ever go back to it. I like being able to organise my phone the way *I* want it… not the way Apple thinks I should. 😉
Laura (Tutti Dolci) says
So sorry about your laptop! Your carpaccio looks just like a flower, lovely presentation!
Thanks Laura 🙂
Coffee and Crumpets says
And that’s why I got a Mac. Never go back to silly Windows and their million and one bugs and viruses!
Great idea for beetroots, lovely colour! I wanted to buy beets today but was uninspired so I left them at the farm stand. This would be perfect though.
Hi Nazneen – you can keep your mac, I’m not a huge fan I must say, although I will admit they do have some benefits over PCs from time to time, that’s for sure!
This sure makes a beautiful dish, Charles! And while I know I’ve commented on not being a huge fan of beets, I’ve actually had some preparations lately that have turned my head a bit on that. Most recently a beet pastrami and a beet and goat cheese combo that wasn’t the usual. I love the idea of beets thinly sliced (the pastrami was) and maybe that’s the solution for me. Your carpaccio fits the bill! 🙂
Hi Betsy, the good thing is that beets are very versatile, and even if you’re not a fan of cooked beets – many people aren’t – then perhaps people will enjoy it raw. The flavour is much different!
[email protected] Chef in disguise says
I bought a new laptop a couple of months ago and it was a nightmare to set it up the way I want! Sometimes I think some app designers never use their apps! If they did they’d know how much trouble they cause people!
I love everything about this carpaccio Charles! If I can find beets today I am making this tonight!
Thank you Sawsan – it was a wonderful dish for hot summer days… very cool and refreshing, and easy to make!
To be honest, I’m convinced that app designers rarely use their apps they make :p
Helene D'souza says
I like to have beetroot carpaccio during summer time. Sitting outside in the garden on a sunny day with the fresh smell of recently cut grass and a delicious carpaccio =)I am tempted now by yours.
Windows 8 sucks, I know and that is why I didn’t bother to get it. So sorry to hear that your laptop gave in. What brand was it? A couple of years back I had an Acer. A genius friend came, opened it up and we saw a massive amount of dust inside, it was nuts! Your fan story is for sure way worse, but you have to know a month later the same laptop died as well, in fact it was baptist by the monsoon rains. ^.^
Hi Helene, it was an HP…new one is a Lenovo. I mean – I *know* that laptops have a shorter lifetime. They’re so sensitive to dirt and dust because everything is squashed into such a small space so once they start getting dirty then it can only go downhill from there. It’s just a pain when it does finally happen though!
It looks gorgeous, Charles! I had no idea beetroots can look so elegant and sophisticated. I have never tasted mozzarella and beetroots together… Very intriguing and tempting! I don’t remember if I told you but there is a small nearby shop which sells fresh mozzarella: they take raw milk from a nearby farm and make their own mozzarella every morning! There is even a window and you can admire the man at work if you arrive early. Isn’t it beautiful? I don’t even know how to describe the taste… I had no idea mozzarella could be so rich and complex in flavours! This is so precious, the only way I am able to have it is with a splash of oil from my friend’s Greek family farm. They also sell some other cheese types (similar kinds) but mozzarella is the biggest star.
I haven’t used Windows for centuries… but I hear people have problems with every new edition.
Hi Sissi – that mozzarella sounds amazing… I don’t think I ever saw it made before, I’d love to, one day! I agree – when you have something so good like that you really don’t want to ruin it with anything else… just something very simple like some good oil 🙂
I like Windows a lot in general, it just seems like Microsoft has a hit and then a few fails, and then another hit.. Windows XP for example was hugely popular, then they had Vista which was a disaster. Windows 7 was hailed as a huge success again, and then Windows 8… urgh.
Nami | Just One Cookbook says
Hmmm I love this summer dish! I’m a huge beetroot fan and I would love to eat this as even main dish. 🙂 I love the presentation and it looks so delicious!
Hi Nami – we did eat it as the main course – with a bit of bread it’s the perfect dish… not too heavy, although I know some people genuinely feel like something isn’t a “meal” unless there’s meat on the plate!
Anneli (Delicieux) says
Stunning Charles! The colours and the layers are just so pretty! I agree, it has been too hot to want to cook very much lately. Around 38 degrees most days here. This salad would definitely hit the spot. I have a few beetroots left in the garden. So thanks for the inspiration!
Thanks Anneli – don’t waste those beetroot greens if you do… I’ve got some good recipes for beet greens around here too! 🙂
Hi Charles, I tried this recipe and my husband loved it. Great refreshing salad for hot Summer day. I also tried Beets bread. It came out soft and moist. I love that gorgeous color. Thank you.
Hi Nipponnin – I’m so glad… I was looking at your photos from your blog yesterday and it really looked great! I was really envious of the colour of the beet bread… that is the kind of colour I wanted… but in the end I got a kind of “brown/pink” mix!
fati's recipes says
Windows 8. A story told too often. Congrats on successfully undoing the work of a few years of a sad development team.
With my exposure to iOS, I can’t help but feel like my next purchase will be a mac. Some form of a mac.
And eating beetroot raw… Something my extended (Arab, my I add) family may never comprehend. It’s like asking them to eat raw corn or zucchini or something. Looks so good though, I’ll make it the next time I get my hands on some beets 🙂
Hi Fati – I know raw corn isn’t eaten that often (though it’s delicious!) but actually raw zucchini is amazing… have you tried it?
fati's recipes says
Actually I have seen it in salads raw but never tried it as such. I’ve never at all liked it cook so I’d love to give it a try raw!
You know writing my prev comment was hard because virtually any veggie in my mind can be eaten raw. Maybe not potato? Or..? 🙂
Arabs come from a culture where you cook the food to death. This isn’t because they enjoy mushy veggies, it’s because they a) don’t like the “green” taste of raw veggies (or blood in meat, etc) and b) they love letting the spices infuse during a long cooking process.
It’s not until recently my mum’s been coping with the thought that meat patties don’t need 20mins in the grill to cook. So I’ve been able to influence her but I don’t know about all the other Arabs I know 😛 I won’t deny though, and I may be a bit biased by saying this, but most Arab dishes (Syrian in particular :P) are soooo yum! Even after being cooked for looong amounts of time 🙂
Hi Fati, you definitely should try it. I really dislike cauliflower, but when it’s raw it’s incredibly good, so now I love it raw and pickled – totally awesome! Same as courgette in my opinion!
This looks amazing! I have to make this for my hubby who loves beets. Thanks for sharing the recipe.
Your little boy has grown so big. Looking adorable!
Thanks Asmita – I hope he’ll enjoy it… it’s a very tasty, light dish!