Smoked Winter Roots, Squashed Beetroot & Herb Stem Sauce Recipe

Make the most of sweet and smokey winter vegetables with Lauren Lovatt’s seasonal roots and zero-waste herb stem dip.

This simple plate is full of the colours of the season. Making the most of waste ingredients, the dressing here is made with often thrown away herb stems mixed with a fermented vinegar. For home brewers, switching out the apple cider vinegar for a kombucha vinegar is a great use for any experimental ferments! Roasted vegetable peels add a final crunch to the dish to create a perfectly plant-powered lunch or dinner with a few surprises.

Cooking Time 45 mins
Serves 4

Smashed Beetroot
3 beetroots
1/2 cup walnuts
2 tbsp olive oil

Smoked Roots 
1 squash
1 parsnip
2 carrots
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp smoked salt
1/2 tsp smoked paprika

Vegetable Peel Crunch
All vegetable peels from above
1/2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt

Herb Stem Dressing
1 cup olive oil
4 tbsp apple cider or kombucha vinegar
1/2 cup herb stems
1/2 cup fresh herb leaves
2 cloves roasted garlic
1/2 tbsp mustard
1/2 tsp honey
Pinch of Salt

Massaged Kale
2 cups kale
4 tbsp leftover herb dressing


Preheat your oven to 180°C.

Smashed Beetroot
First steam the beetroots for 10-15 minutes until cooked through. At the same time, toast the walnuts in a pan over a medium heat. Once the walnuts are bronzed and the beetroots are soft, allow to cool before blending in a food processor with all the other ingredients until a dip-like consistency.

Smoked Roots
Start by roasting your roots, cutting into bitesized pieces and making sure to keep the peel to one side. Once your roots are cut, place in a large bowl and toss in the spices, seasoning and oil. Add to a baking tray to raost – I like to add 2 tbsp of water at the beginning of roasting to help soften and cook.

Vegetable Peel Crunch:
While the roots are roasting, it’s time to make the vegetable peel crunch. Place the peelings in a bowl, making sure they are really clean as any grit will ruin the crunch! Now toss in olive oil, maple and salt before baking for 15-20 minutes.

Herb Stem Dressing:
Make the herb stem dressing while everything else roasts. Pick the roasted garlic out of the oven and give the vegetables a shake. Squash the garlic cloves with a knife. Place the ingredients in a jar and shake, seasoning to taste.

Massaged Kale
Pour 2 tbsp of the dressing on the kale and massage until the kale is beautifully wilted.

To Serve
Check the roots, they should be cooked through and golden, as well as ensuring the vegetable peel is crisp. Place the smashed beetroot on a plate, topped with the roasted roots, sprinkled with dressing, kale and the root crisps, and if you like, some extra crumbled walnuts and fresh herbs on top.

Try more of Lauren’s seasonal recipes, from rosemary berry topped porridge and roasted sprouts.

Learn which fresh produce to prioritise when eating seasonally in winter.

Cooking for an occassion? Alexandra Dudley shares her tips for hosting a sustainable supper club.