more recipes with: Beetroot
Forget the school dinner horrors of pickled beetroot in sharp vinegar - this beautiful, colourful vegetable is far tastier the natural way and it has far better uses, as you will see from our suggested recipes!
Beetroot is a nutritious root vegetable which is favoured as a colourful salad ingredient, as well as providing rich earthy tones to soups and stews.
Season: July-January (although some claim to grow it all the year round...)
Nutritional benefits: The richly coloured vegetable contains potassium and folic acid (B9) as well as iron. It is also low in calories, but is a useful source of fibre.
Quick cook's tip: Buy ready-cooked beetroot (packed in water, not vinegar!), grate or cube it and add to grated carrot. Drizzle with a little balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
Preparation and cooking methods for beetroot:
NB. wear rubber gloves if you wish to avoid staining your hands
The young leaves of beetroot are tender enough to be eaten raw in salads. Beetroot itself may also be eaten raw. To do this, trim off the stalks, about 5cm/2in from the beetroot.
To prepare the beetroot itself, use one of the following methods:
1. For cooked beetroot
a. Scrub thoroughly and cook as below until tender. Peel when cooled.
b. OR peel first.
2. For raw beetroot, peel then grate or shred.
Beetroot are also available pre-cooked and packaged in their juices – which are convenient if you want to chop them up and eat them instantly. Choose between vinegar-infused or vinegar-free.
Roast: Scrub the beets, then rub them in a little olive oil, wrap lightly in foil and put into a moderate to hot oven (about 200C/400F/Gas mark 6) for 1-11/2hours, or until tender right through when pierced with a knife.
Boil: Put the un-cut beetroots into a saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil, then put a lid on the pan and leave to simmer gently for 1-2 hours, again depending on the size of the beetroots. If you have a pressure-cooker you can reduce the time to 20-30 minutes - follow the directions given.
Cooking instructions by VVF patron, Rose Elliott, from her book Fast, Fresh and Fabulous published by BBC Books.