Top 5 – Beetroot Dishes

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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This entry was posted in Greens - Lettuce, Spinach, Beets, Top 5. Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Top 5 – Beetroot Dishes

  1. Louise says:

    I love beetroot for many reasons: easy to grow, great colour, great flavour. And I love eating it too. I really enjoy your betroot salad and I have even been converted to pickling ( with lots of spices). My husband has nearly polished off all the pickled ones while I have been away.

    But my fav thing to do with beetroot is to just roast them in the oven like you would a potato. Cut then into small chunks and bake in ov en with good olive oil and the little crunchy bits on the corners are devine.

    • Liz says:

      Hmmm I will have to give it a try – for some reason I prefer beetroot cold – not sure why but I also like crunchy edges so…..

  2. Daphne says:

    I confess. Beets just aren’t my thing. I do grow a few, but I give them away as I won’t eat them. I love their look though. They are such pretty vegetables.

  3. Just what I need – beetroot ideas. Beetroots grow easily at my place. But I often struggle to think of something to do with them. And because they’re such messy things I sometimes can’t be bothered. I recommend beetroot hommus if you haven’t made it.

    • Liz says:

      I really like beetroot hummus too – but haven’t made it for ages. I think I’ll make a batch this week. Thanks for the prompt.

  4. I cook a similar recipe to number 2 but cube the beetroot and apple.

  5. I am so giggling now, Liz! You know why? Because I have a big pot of beets (about 5 kg) in my kitchen waiting for me to finish with blogging and start cooking…:) I love all you ideas, and I love beets too.

  6. I added a beetroot dish to my top five vegetable side dishes, and I’ve made your beetroot salad countless times (sometimes I use goats cheese instead of feta) as well as your relish. I also make the world’s easiest dip with the relish and cream cheese whizzed up together, or just stirred together if you prefer it chunkier. It’s ways a winner and was devoured at Miss Three’s birthday party by young and old alike.

    • Liz says:

      I love the idea of your dip – especially as we always have cream Cheese – Mr 2 would live on the stuff if I let him.

  7. Andrea says:

    I like the sound of the Rasam(anything spicy at the moment) but not familiar with tamarind. Recently we were invited to an impromptu dinner so i quickly threw a few ingredients together, beetroot and apple in the mixer cut coarse then some chopped spring onions, lots of parsley and mint and a vinaigrette splashed over.
    Served in a square white dish it looked pretty good and every one liked it…(sigh)

    • Liz says:

      Tamarind is a pod thats used in a lot of Asian/Indian cooking as a souring agent – a bit like you might use lemon or yoghurt. The flavour is different though but delicious. Apparently there is a native Tamarind – i have a very small plant but its hardly got any leaves let alone looking like forming pods yet.

  8. Mark Willis says:

    Try roasting them in foil, with a bit of caraway or cumin seed. Serve as a hot vegetable – goes particularly well with Northern European / Scandanavian dishes, e.g. Swedish Meatballs.

    • Liz says:

      Weirdly I actually much prefer them cold to hot – lukewarm I enjoy but except for in soup I’m not a huge fan of them hot. Not sure why….

  9. leduesorelle says:

    We’re also in that hungry gap, and have been using up our last stores of beets in beet keftedes, beet tzatziki, and beet hummus… and awaiting the spring harvest of fresh beet greens!

    • Liz says:

      I can see how it would work well in meatballs – I haven’t tried it (i only recently started eating red meat again so I’m not a particularly experienced cook when it comes to red meat), I really like beet hummus but haven’t tried a tzatziki – although I do make a beetroot salad with a yoghurt dressing that I really like.

  10. Sri Ranjani says:

    The beatroot salad looks so yum! I love the white and red beet root. Its core looks almost heart shaped.

  11. I think they are at their best young, fresh and preferably raw. I love making a simple quick pickle, chopping them into matchsticks and mixing with white wine vinegar, olive oil and a bit of sugar, salt and freshly chopped herbs. Dill goes really well with them. It looks spectacular when you use Chioggas. I also had a delicious breakfast at CERES in Melbourne a while ago that I now love making at home. It was poached eggs on toast with grated raw beetroot, feta and mint. I use beetroot chutney when I make it at home.

    • Liz says:

      I love the breakfast idea – sounds absolutely delicious. Your pickle also sounds good – I usually cook my beetroot so its probably about time I played with eating them raw a bit more. I just got back from CERES myself although I was just buying chook poo – I love their cafe but I’ve never been for breakfast. Will have to one day.

  12. Diana says:

    Beet root is actually a new vegetable for us. We grow and taste them for the first time last winter and like the sweetness of it. But I found that they don’t like sandy soil that much.

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