You can grow Beetroot pretty much all year round in Melbourne, but for much of the year other crops seem to get all the attention. It is in our hungry gaps – the end of Autumn when the summer crops are fading but the winter ones have yet to begin and the end of Spring where the same thing is happening only this time in reverse, that beetroot really comes to the fore.
Regardless of when you grow it beetroot is one of those crops which it is quite easy to have a glut of, as a result I think it is good to have a few different recipes to cope with those times of the year. These are my favourite ways to eat beetroot.
1. Beetroot Salad – I absolutely love beetroot roasted in foil and then cut up immersed in dressing and then topped with mint and feta. The saltiness of the feta works well with the sweetness of the beetroot and the mint adds a lovely fresh burst of flavour. Just a perfect combination in my book.
2. Beetroot Relish – I make a relish that I serve as a vegetable side dish out of beetroot and apples. Simply grate one medium to large beetroot and an apple. Finely slice an onion, fry the onion and when soft add the beetroot and apple. Cook with sugar and vinegar added to taste. A really nice way to eat beetroot and at its best served at room temperature. It goes well with pork.
3. Beetroot Rasam – There are a number of different soups made using beetroot as their primary ingredient, borsht being the most common and popular one. But my favourite is a south Indian soup called Rasam. Rasam is made with a wide range of ingredients but I really like this version made with pureed beetroot. It is hot, sweet and highly spiced. A really refreshing and interesting way to use what can be a fairly mundane vegetable.
4. Beetroot Chutney – My daughters favourite chutney is beetroot. This is a fairly sweet preserved chutney with a mellow vinegariness and the warmth of ginger. I like it with cooked meats and in particular with sausages and coleslaw.
5. Pickled – I am one of those people who will eat beetroot happily out of the can. Having said that I do prefer my home refrigerator version made with apple cider vinegar a bit of sugar and spiced up with cloves, chilli, cinamon and a few carraway seeds.
The other way I regularly use beetroot is to add moisture and depth to chocolate cake, but as you can’t really taste the beetroot when its cooked like that I didn’t think I could justify including it in my Top 5. I would love to hear how you cook beetroot as I can feel something of a glut coming on and I would love to try some new things with it.
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