Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Favourite Vegetable - Beetroot

i never used to like beetroot. maybe it was because i had only tried the nasty pickled stuff you buy in a jar, or maybe, like many other things (fish, shellfish, mushrooms etc) i tried it once as a child decided there and then that hated it and refused to try it again. if have found recentlyby retrying many foods that my taste buds have matured and have found a new love for many foods. if you do have a food you "think" you don't like give it a try again, you may be surprised.

or if you have kids take a look at The Great Vegetable Challenge. A superb mother and son, in fact whole family effort.

so to beetroot. well, from my previous post you will see i've had great success growing it this year. and when i found my new love for this under-rated vegetable, i then planted some more seeds, however although they have grown to the size of mini/baby beetroot, i think i may have left it too late and i'm not sure if they will grow any more. however if they don't, i was reading last night, in my research for this post that if you leave them over winter and then let them grow for a second season, this is when they then flower and produce seed.

in fact i'm preciously treasuring the few i have left that are a good size in my own garden that i have been buying them from a lady in the village who has a large garden and fruit trees and sells lots of the veg she grows. from her its 50p for a bunch which normally contains about 8 large golf ball sized beet.

  • Tescos only have about 5 in a bunch i think for a lot more money (i can't find it on their website, they only have cooked beetroot and jarred beetroot on there).
  • Sainsburys fresh beetroot is £1.39 for 500g. however i did find a different variety of beetroot in my local recently

if you compare this to a few organic veg sites from a google search though:

i also found beetroot juice at a local farmers market, which i tried. It's by James White. it's 90% beetroot and 10% apple. a quick solution when i can't be bothered to get my juicer out and juice my own.

so how do you grow beetroot? well i'm aware that this post is getting longer than i planned (as usual!) so have a look here. my method - make a shallow trench plant seed at about every 4 inches, cover with soil, leave to its own devices, remember to water now and again and thin out when you remember to. i did try it in pots but they didn't even grow to the size of baby beets.
As for eating and cooking, it makes a fab risotto

i tried beetroot crisps (but got impatient and turned it to grill which them burnt half of them - shall try again today on a high heat but oven NOT grill!)

they should have looked like this

raw in a salad is lovely

grated and then layered with goats cheese in a ring mould and baked in the oven for about 15 mins is another favourite.

of course beetroot soup

and last night i added it to a cauliflower cheese so it was a "Beetroot and cauliflower cheese", as mum is always saying how well it goes with cheese.

cooked and sliced with salad leaves and soft goats cheese.

raw grated mixed with raw grated pumpkin in a pitta with salad leaves and soft cheese

one i keep meaning to try is baking them sweet as a dessert.

want to learn more on beetroot? have a look at these websites:

so go on give it a go - just please DON'T try the pickled jar stuff first!

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