Pete Namlook’s Beet Casserole

While cleaning up my Dropbox folders I stumbled upon the HTML files of an old interview with the late Pete Namlook (Peter Kuhlmann, prolific German ambient producer and head of the FAX+49-69/450464 label) conducted by Barcode Zine, and for whatever reason I had saved it. Maybe because he lists a recipe in it that isn’t part of the “Ambient Cookbook” (a CD compilation series with recipes in the booklet) – and I had never even tried it!

To honor Pete Namlook’s memory, and also to try something new with beet roots, I finally prepared the dish, and it was pretty damn delicious! Since the original site is offline (or rather, there’s something entirely different at their old URL now) here’s the recipe, slightly altered for clarity, and with added imperial measurements:

Pete Namlook's Beet Casserole

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 500g (a little more than 1lb) beetroot (fresh, whole)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium-sized onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 125-250ml (1/2 to 1 cup) of water or broth [I found 125ml more than sufficient]
  • 1 spoon of sugar
  • salt, pepper, oregano or marjoram
  • 250g (1/2lb) sliced Gouda cheese

Directions

Pre-heat the oven to 200C/400F. In the meantime, peel the beetroot and cut it into wedges, like you would cut an apple. The thickness of the wedges should not exceed 1-1.5 cm (~1/2 inch). If you have beet roots both big and small, halve the larger wedges so that they’re all about the same size. Peel and dice the onions. Peel the garlic, slice thinly. Put everything in an oven-safe casserole with lid (glass ie. Pyrex, or earthen, clay pot etc.)

Add sugar, salt, pepper, pour the water (or broth) and the olive oil over the beetroot and toss it all a little bit. Put the dish in the oven for approximately 40 minutes, covered with the lid (if you don’t have a lid, use aluminum foil to prevent evaporation). While waiting, prepare the cheese, if necessary (slice if you bought it as a chunk). After 40 minutes, carefully take out the dish (hot!), remove the lid, spread the oregano/marjoram, and put the cheese on top.

Put the dish back into the oven, without the lid now, and bake for another 7-10 minutes, until the cheese is melted. Enjoy with bread or potatoes.


Variation

We had some leftover cooked potatoes, which I cut into cubes and added on top of the beet roots after 30 minutes, and then continued with the method, described above (ie. I put the dish back into the oven for 10 minutes, then spread the oregano and cheese on top of the potatoes, then baked the whole thing for 10 more minutes until the cheese was nicely melted).

Beet Casserole
Beet Casserole (with potatoes)

Thoughts? Let me hear them.

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