Tag Archives: beetroot

Beetroot – The Bossy Vegetable

Oven-Roasted Fresh Beetroot & Greens

Oven-Roasted Fresh Beetroot & Greens

Well-known English food writer and cook, the late Jane Grigson, called beetroot ‘the bossy vegetable’ because it can take over the kitchen including the cook and while it’s red colour does tend to stain everything it touches, it really is not a reason to avoid it, as it has so much else to offer.

Handling beetroot: Yes, it will stain your hands, but I find if you
immediately give them a really good wash, with plenty of soap and water, most of the stain is removed and after a couple more washes it is all gone. But, if it really bothers you, wear disposal gloves. The same cleaning principals apply to wooden chopping boards.

Native to the Mediterranean region beetroot, beta vulgaris, in its canned form has long been a Kiwi favourite and for many a must-have on burgers.

Belonging to the same family as chard and spinach, both the leaves and root can be eaten – the leaves have a similar flavour and
texture as chard and can be prepared and eaten in the same way.

While the most common form of beetroot is the rich purple coloured root, there are also golden and white varieties as well the
fashionable Chioggia or what is sometimes referred as candied striped beetroot.

Fresh beetroot is a wonderfully versatile vegetable which can be eaten raw or cooked and is considered by many to have
considerable health benefits including helping to stimulate the
liver’s detoxification processes, preventing constipation, lowering cholesterol levels and reducing blood pressure.

Beetroot also teams well with many other foods including:
anchovies; balsamic vinegar; bitter greens; cider vinegar; cottage cheese; cream; feta cheese; garlic; honey; horseradish; lemons;
mayonnaise; mustard; olive oil; onions; oranges; potatoes; red wine vinegar; smoked fish; smoked meats; sour cream; venison; and
walnuts.

Beetroot gets its vivant colour from a plant pigment called
betacyanin which is thought to help suppress some types of cancer.

The fibre in beetroot has been shown to increase antioxidant
enzymes in the body and it is also a rich source of the amino acid
glutamine which is essential for the health and maintenance of the intestinal tract.

A 100g serving of raw beetroot has about 221kJ (53 calories), 2g protein, 10g carbohydrate, 3g fibre and virtually no fat.

Do Not Be Alarmed: For some people, eating beetroot (particularly fresh beetroot) can induce a harmless condition known as beeturia – this is where your urine and/or stools take on a red or pink colour
after eating beetroot.

Chioggia Beetroot: This pretty heirloom beet, like the winter squash Marina Di Chioggia, originates from the Italian coastal town of
Chioggia which is situated on a small island in the Lagoon of Venice, about 25 kilometres south of Venice. Chioggia is loved by cooks and chefs for its hot pink skin and its pink and white striped flesh.
Unfortunately, on cooking the strips of the Chioggia beetroot fade and the beet cooks to a muddy pink colour. To get full visual impact, slice very thinly, dress and serve as a salad – see recipe below.

SELECTION, STORAGE, PREPARATION & USIN

Selection: The root should be firm and smooth with a good colour. If the tops are intact they should look green and fresh.

Preparation: Cut the leaves and stems from the root, leaving at least 2cm intact – this stops the beet from bleeding during cooking. Wash well to remove any surface dirt. Do not cut off the long tapering root – cutting this off will also cause the beet to bleed during cooking. Beetroot are not generally peeled prior to cooking, the exception is if making soup where you want the colour to run.

Storage: Store in a cool, airy, dark place or in the vegetable bin of the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. If leaves are still attach use these within a couple of days, cutting them at least 2cm from top of root, so that some of the stems are left intact

Using: Beetroot can be boiled, steamed, baked or eaten raw. Once cooked the skins slip off easily.

  • To boil: Place prepared beetroot in a saucepan of lightly salted cold water, bring to the boil and simmer until a skewer can be
    inserted into the beet without resistance – cooking time is
    dependent on the size of the root with small beets taking as little as 30 minutes while large ones can take up to 1½ hours.
  • To bake: Wrap prepared beets in lightly oiled foil and bake at 180°C until tender – once again the cooking time is dependent on the size of the root and when cooked you should be able to insert a skewer without resistance.

TWO EASY WAYS TO USE BEETROOT

Raw Chioggia Salad: Scrub and very thinly slice 1 bunch Chiogga beetroot, core and thinly slice 2 green apples and place in a bowl with some torn mint leaves. Make a dressing of ½ cup olive oil, ¼ cup lemon juice and a drizzle of honey. Season with a good grind of sea salt and black pepper, pour over beetroot mixture and toss to
combine. Just prior to serving, scatter with 250g crumbled feta cheese, ¼ cup toasted sunflower seeds and additional mint leaves. Serves 4-6.

Beetroot, Fennel and Mint Slaw: This colourful slaw is an easy and tasty addition to a summer salad table and teams well with
barbecued meats especially lamb or try it as a sandwich filling with ham or cold meats. Place 1 cup raisins in a bowl and pour 1 cup hot water to cover. Set aside to soak for 5 minutes. Drain. Peel and grate 3 medium-sized beetroot and place in a large bowl. Add 1 thinly sliced fennel bulb, 1 thinly sliced red onion and raisins. Whisk
together ½ cup olive oil and ¼ red wine vinegar and pour over
beetroot mixture to moisten well. Toss to combine ad season with a good grind of sea salt and black pepper. Cover and let stand at room temperature for at least ½ hour to allow flavours to mellow and blend. Just prior to serving toss again then scatter with 100g
crumbled feta and some shredded mint. Serves 6-8 as a salad.

So tell me, do you cook and enjoy beetroot?

Happy cooking and eating.

Information complied and recipes by Rachel Blackmore

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Recipes using beetroot you might like to try:

Beetroot, Herb & Feta Salad

Beetroot, Herb & Feta Salad

Smoked Fish & Potato Salad with Beetroot Dressing

Smoked Fish & Potato Salad with Beetroot Dressing

Beetroot Risotto

Oven-Roasted Fresh Beetroot & Greens

Middle Eastern Spiced Lamb & Beetroot Casserole

Beetroot & Walnut Dip

Smoked Fish & Potato Salad with Beetroot Dressing

Smoked Fish & Potato Salad with Beetroot DressingWe are loving beetroot at the moment so when I saw a recipe over on TLT (The Little Things) using beetroot as a dressing for a smoked fish salad, I knew it was something we would enjoy.

I have made quite a few changes to Denise’s Smoked Fish Superfood Salad, but the two dressings that I have used are very similar to hers.

Smoked Fish & Potato Salad with Beetroot Dressing

Serves 4

500g smoked fish of your choice, bones and skin removed, flesh flaked
500g potatoes, cooked
2 cups frozen peas, cooked
mixed salad leaves
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
BEETROOT DRESSING
1 small cooked beetroot, chopped
olive oil
GARLIC & LEMON DRESSING
2 tbsp mayonnaise
3 tbsp natural yogurt
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
lemon juice

1              For beetroot dressing, place beetroot, a good splash of olive oil and a good grind of salt in a mini food processor and process,
adding more olive oil, if necessary, to make puree. Add salt and
pepper to taste.

2              For the garlic dressing, place mayonnaise, yogurt, garlic and squeeze of lemon juice in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

3              Place fish, potatoes and peas in a large bowl and toss to
combine. Line a serving platter with salad leaves, pile fish mixture on top, the drizzle with Garlic & Lemon Dressing and dot with Beetroot Dressing.

Where did the ingredients for this dish come from:
Fish: Tangaroa Seafoods – Napier; Potatoes, lemon, garlic: Krismaw Gardens – Hastings; Beetroot, salad leaves: The Chef’s Garden @ Epicurean – Hastings; Yoghurt: Origin Earth – Havelock North;
Olive Oil: The Village Press – Hastings; Store Cupboard
Ingredients:
peas, mayonnaise, salt, black pepper.

Note: Many of these producers can be found at the Napier Urban Food Market each Saturday morning and/or at the Hawke’s Bay Farmers’
Market each Sunday morning.

Happy cooking and eating.

Recipe adapted by Rachel Blackmore

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Spicy Pan-roasted Cauliflower with Beet Purée

Spicy Pan-roasted Cauliflower with Beet Purée

In this recipe beetroot adds it dramatic colour and the spicy, sweet
cauliflower is a wonderful compliment to its earthiness.

Sometimes when I have weird combinations of ingredients in the fridge and/or pantry, I do a google to see what comes back and this is what I did the other day when I had some cooked beetroot and a cauliflower, both of which needed using.

The search returned quite a list of interesting sounding ideas – some salad ideas, but I didn’t feel like salad, a few soups, numerous bright pink cauliflower and beet mashes and several bakes, but the recipe that caught my eye over on Epicurious was Spice-Roasted
Cauliflower with Beetroot Emulsion.

I have played around with it a bit and given it a slight name change – only because I would rather have be eating a purée than an
emulsion!

Spicy Pan-roasted Cauliflower with Beet Purée

While I served this as a side to roast lamb rump it is substantial enough to a vegetable main dish – just add a salad of mixed leaves on the salad.

Serves 4-6 as a side dish

30g butter
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp turmeric
pinch dried red pepper flakes
sea salt and black pepper
1 cauliflower, cut into florets
¼ cup honey
1 medium cooked beetroot, peeled and chopped
juice of 1 lime
chopped fresh coriander, to scatter

1              Heat butter and half the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and when butter is foaming, add garlic, ground coriander,
cumin, turmeric, red pepper flakes and a good grind of salt and black pepper. Cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant.

2              Add cauliflower and honey, cover and cook, tossing every 5 minutes, for about 30 minutes or until cauliflower is tender.

3              Meanwhile, place beetroot, lime juice, remaining oil, 1-2 tbsp water and a good grind of salt in a food processor and process to make a purée. Place purée in a small saucepan over a medium heat and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes to heat through.

4             To serve, pile cauliflower onto a serving platter, top with beetroot puree and scatter with fresh coriander.

Where did the ingredients for this dish come from:
Cauliflower, garlic, lemon: Krismaw Gardens – Hastings; Beetroot, fresh coriander: The Chef’s Garden @ Epicurean – Hastings; Honey: The Naked Honey Pot – Napier; Store Cupboard Ingredients:
butter, vegetable oil, ground coriander, cumin, turmeric, dried red pepper flakes, salt, black pepper.

Note: Many of these producers can be found at the Napier Urban Food Market each Saturday morning and/or at the Hawke’s Bay Farmers’
Market each Sunday morning.

Happy cooking and eating.

Recipe adapted by Rachel Blackmore

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Other cauliflower recipes you might like to try:

Cauliflower & Smoked Salmon Bake

Cauliflower & Smoked Salmon Bake

Cauliflower & Garlic Mash

Cauliflower & Garlic Mash

Deli Cauliflower Salad

Deli Cauliflower Salad

 

Beetroot, Herb & Feta Salad

Beetroot, Herb & Feta Salad

The other day when I was making Beetroot Risotto I cooked all the beetroot I had, but only used about half in the risotto and am now using the remainder to make this easy salad.

Beetroot, Herb & Feta Salad

The salad can be made well in advance, but leave the scattering of the feta until just prior to serving, otherwise chances are you will have pink feta!

I used sheep feta here, as we have a local dairy who make it, and its pure white colour looks striking against the deep red of the beetroot.

Serves 4-6

4 medium beetroot, cooked and skin removed
100g feta cheese, crumbled
FRESH HERB DRESSING
¼ cup olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup chopped fresh mixed herbs – on this occasion I used dill, mint and parsley

1              Cut beetroot in wedges and place in a bowl.

2              To make dressing, place oil, vinegar and mustard in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Stir in about half the herbs and season to taste with a good grind of salt and black pepper.

3              Pour dressing over beetroot and toss to combine. Just prior to serving, scatter with feta and remaining herbs.

Where did the ingredients for this dish come from:
Beetroot: JJ’s Organics – Napier; Olive oil: The Village Press
Hastings; Fresh herbs: The Chef’s Garden @ Epicurean – Hastings; Feta: Origin Earth – Havelock North; Store Cupboard Ingredients: vinegar, mustard, salt, black pepper.

Note: Many of these producers can be found at the Napier Urban Food Market each Saturday morning and/or at the Hawke’s Bay Farmers’
Market each Sunday morning.

Happy cooking and eating.

Recipe by Rachel Blackmore

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Other beetroot recipes you might like to try:

Oven-Roasted Fresh Beetroot & Greens

Oven-Roasted Fresh Beetroot & Greens

Middle Eastern Spiced Lamb & Beetroot Casserole

Middle Eastern Spiced Lamb & Beetroot Casserole

Beetroot & Walnut Dip

Beetroot & Walnut Dip

 

Beetroot Risotto

Beetroot RisottoWith its shocking colour, beetroot risotto certainly adds colour to a meal!

I haven’t made beetroot risotto in ages, so when JR arrived home from the market with more beetroot than I knew what to do with, beetroot risotto seemed like a good option.

As a side dish it teams well with both beef and lamb, but for a really stunning match try it with baked salmon – colour and flavour wise they are a fantastic match.

But, don’t just keep this risotto as a side dish as it makes a satisfying vegetable meal, try topping it with some crumbled feta (as I have done here) or blue cheese, a dollop of horseradish cream or a
handful of rocket and few chopped walnuts and accompany with a salad of mixed leaves.

Beetroot Risotto

Handling beetroot – yes, it will stain your hands, but I find if you
immediately give them a really good wash, with plenty of soap and water, most of the stain is removed and after a couple more washes it is all gone. But, if it really bothers you wear disposal gloves.

Serves 4 as a main or 6-8 as an entrée or side

500g fresh beetroot, trimmed
1 red onion, chopped
butter
olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
½ tsp dried mixed herbs
1 cup Arborio or risotto rice
5-6 cups hot vegetable or chicken stock
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1              Scrub beetroot, place in a saucepan and pour water to cover. Cover pan, place over a medium-high heat and bring to the boil,
reduce heat and simmer for 30-45 minutes or until beetroot is
tender and can easily be pierced with a knife – cooking time will vary depending on the size of the beetroot. Remove pan from heat, drain and set aside until cool enough to handle.

2              Peel beetroot, roughly chop and place in a food processor or blender with about ½ cup stock. Process to make a thick purée – you should have about 2 cups of purée.

3              Place onion, a knob of butter and splash of oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes or until soft and translucent. Add garlic and herbs, and cook, stirring, for 30-60 seconds or until fragrant.

4              Stir in rice and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes to toast and coat with oil mixture. Increase the heat, add ¼ cup stock and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes or until almost absorbed. Add a ladle (about 1 cup) of stock and cook, stirring, until nearly absorbed – continue in this way, adding stock and stirring until rice is just cooked – this will take about 20 minutes.

5              Stir in half the beetroot purée and season with a good grind of salt and black pepper. Stir in remaining purée, cover and stand for 2-3 minutes before serving.

Where did the ingredients for this dish come from:
Onion, garlic: Krismaw Gardens – Hastings; Beetroot: JJ’s Organics – Napier; Olive oil: The Village Press – Hastings; Store Cupboard
Ingredients:
rice butter, stock, herbs, salt, black pepper.

Note: Many of these producers can be found at the Napier Urban Food Market each Saturday morning and/or at the Hawke’s Bay Farmers’ Market each Sunday morning.

Happy cooking and eating.

Recipe by Rachel Blackmore

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Oven-Roasted Fresh Beetroot & Greens

Roasted Beetroot & Greens 009b

Whenever I cook beetroot, I always think I really don’t use it enough, but when I see lovely bunches of medium-sized beetroot with their greens as I did last weekend at the Napier Urban Market at JJ’s
Organics I find them hard to resist.

Why I get so excited about the beetroot with the greens still on, is that, the greens are a delicious vegetable in their own right, which can be cooked like chard or silverbeet or added to soups and stews.

Roasting the beetroot enhance their natural sweetness. Roasted beetroot can be served as vegetable or used to make salad.

Oven-Roasted Fresh Beetroot & Greens

On this occasion I served the roasted beetroot with corned beef and cooked the beet greens in the same water as I had cooked the beef in and so the flavours really married together.

Serves 4-6

1 bunch (about 6) medium-sized beetroot, with green tops intact
olive oil
sea salt
sprigs of fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme or savoury

1              Preheat oven to 180°C.

2              Cut tops from beetroot, leaving about 2 cm attached to tops. Set greens aside. Wash and scrub beetroot to remove any dirt. Trim bottom of beetroot, if you wish, but this not really necessary.

3              Take a sheet of aluminium foil that will be large enough to enclose the beetroot. Place beetroot, a drizzle of oil and a good grind of salt in a bowl and toss to coat. Place beetroot on foil and place a few sprigs of your chosen herb on top, then draw foil up around beetroot and crunch up to make a parcel. Place foil parcel on a
baking tray and bake for 1-1½ hours or until tender – exact cooking time will depend on size of beetroot.

4              Unwrap beetroot and when cool, enough to handle, peel off the skin and discard – if properly cooked, the skins should easily slip off by pushing with your fingers. Cut beetroot into large chunks.

5              Wash the beetroot greens well and when beetroot is
removed from the oven, bring a large saucepan of lightly salted to the boil. Add reserved beetroot greens and cook for 5-7 minutes or until tender. Alternatively, place beetroot greens in a large skillet over a medium heat, cover and cook, tossing from time to time, for 5-7 minutes or until leaves are tender and wilted. Serve with warm or room temperature beetroot.

Happy cooking and eating.

Recipe by Rachel Blackmore

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Other beetroot recipes you might like to try:

Beetroot & Walnut Dip

Beetroot & Walnut Dip

Middle Eastern Spiced Lamb & Beetroot Casserole

Middle Eastern Spiced Lamb & Beetroot Casserole

 

Middle Eastern Spiced Lamb & Beetroot Casserole

Lamb & Beet Casserole 007aWith its pink hue and flecks of green this lamb and beetroot
casserole is one of the prettiest you will ever serve. Not only does the beetroot give the casserole a wonderful colour, but it also
contributes a lovely earthy flavour which works well with the lamb

Beetroot are low in kilojoules, a good source of fibre, folate and
vitamin B. Their red colour comes from betanin, a phytochemical which is believed to boost immunity. Beetroot is proclaimed by many to be a wonder or superfood and is said to be a blood cleanser.

Middle Eastern Spiced Lamb & Beetroot Casserole

I used baby beetroot in this casserole, but if they are not available use regular size beets, but cut them into chunks. As my beetroot had lovely fresh red tops I used these as well, but if your beets don’t have tops or they aren’t as fresh as they could be use some shredded chard or
silverbeet instead.

Serves 4

olive oil
600g lamb leg steaks, cubed or diced leg lamb
2 medium red onions, cut into wedges
1 clove garlic
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp Orcona Smoked Sweet Paprika
1 bunch (5-6) baby beetroot, scrubbed and quartered, beet leaves chopped
1½ cups beef or chicken stock
2 tbsp maize cornflour blended with a little water
salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup chopped fresh coriander

1              Preheat oven to 180°C.

2              Season lamb with salt. Heat a heavy-based, flame- and ovenproof casserole dish over a medium-high heat. Add just enough oil to cover the base of the pan. Add lamb and cook, turning several times, for 5-6 minutes or until to brown. Remove lamb and set aside.

3              Reduce heat to medium, add onions and garlic to pan, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes or until onions start to soften.

4              Add cumin, ground coriander and paprika to pan and cook, stirring for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant.

5              Add beetroot and beetroot tops to pan, then return lamb with any juices and mix to combine. Pour over stock, increase heat, bring to simmering, stirring occasionally, cover, transfer to the oven and cook for 1 hour or until meat and beets are tender.

6              Place dish over a medium heat, stir in cornflour mixture, bring to simmering and cook, stirring, until casserole thickens.
Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Just prior to serving, stir in fresh coriander.

Happy cooking and eating.

Recipe by Rachel Blackmore

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Another beetroot recipe you might like to try:

Beetroot & Walnut Dip

Beetroot & Walnut Dip

 

Beetroot & Walnut Dip

Beetroot Dip 002aThis bright red dip has a festive appearance so is perfect when entertaining at this time of year – it’s also inexpensive, simple to make and can be made in advance.

Roasting the beetroot does take some time, but once it is in the oven no attention is required, so it can be left to cook while you are doing other things. The beetroot could be cooked in the microwave which is much quicker but roasting gives a more intense flavour to the finished dip, so I think it is worth cooking them this way.

Beetroot are low in kilojoules, a good source of fibre, folate and vitamin B. Their red colour comes from betanin, a phytochemical which is believed to boost immunity. They are however, messy to prepare with their red colour tending to colour anything they come in contact with. To avoid ending up with beetroot coloured stained hands wear disposable gloves and to protect your clothing wear an apron (even if you don’t usually wear an apron this is the one time it is worth getting it out of the drawer and putting it to use!)

Beetroot & Walnut Dip

With its bright red colour this dip fits in perfectly at any festive occasion and will take you right through summer, but best of all it is also healthy. Wrapping the beetroot in foil helps shorten the cooking time as it steams as it roasts.

Makes a medium-sized bowl

2 medium (300-400g each) beetroot
½ cup walnuts
1 large garlic clove, roughly chopped
1 tbsp tahini
1 tsp ground cumin
juice of 1 lemon, or to taste
3-4 tbsp olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
crackers, to serve

1              Loosely wrap beetroot in foil, place in a baking dish and bake at 180°C for 1½ to 2 hours or until tender – you should be able to easily pierce the beetroot with a skewer.
Remove beetroot from foil and set aside until cool enough to handle.
2              Place walnuts on a baking tray and place in the oven for 5 minutes or until lightly toasted – this can be done while the beetroot are cooking.
3              Once beetroot have cooled a little, remove skin, if they are properly cooked the skin should easily slip off. Cut cooked beetroot into chunks and place in the bowl of a food
processor.
4              Add walnuts, garlic, tahini, cumin, lemon juice and 3 tbsp oil to the food processor bowl and process to make a smooth dip. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper – add a little more lemon juice and remaining oil, if necessary. Transfer dip to a serving bowl and accompany with crackers.

Happy cooking and eating.

Recipe by Rachel Blackmore