I love beetroot and think it is a real celebratory vegetable and I am always looking for new ways to cook it!
My favourite way to eat it is raw of course…just coarsely grated and tossed with some extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and cracked black pepper and a whisper of vinocotto or rich balsamic vinegar.
I also love to pickle it. Firstly boiling it in its skin and then removing the skin once they are tender. They can then be pickled in a mixture of vinegar (I like to use verjuice too) and water (1:1), black pepper corns, bay leaves and a tbs or two of sweetness (sometimes I use sugar, other times I use a syrup like maple or agave)…they last for ages in a sealed container in the fridge soaking in this brine and are delicious served with a salad, on a cheese and nibble plate or as a sneaky treat!
I have made a few really good dips out of beetroot too. Cook the beetroot and then skin and all blitz together in a food processor (I use my vitamix) with a hint of cumin, dill and about a 1/3 of the quantity of beetroot to plain or green yoghurt… Serve with homemade flat breads and a series of other dips as a delicious mezze starter to any special springtime occasion!
The most celebratory thing to do in spring is indulge in a little sweetness and the other FAB thing to do with beetroot is to sneak it into your chocolate muffins or cakes! It adds a surprising moistness and earthy flavour that everyone loves!
I LOVE Stephanie Alexanders recipe…and have replaced the gluten based flours with gluten free and always use raw cacoa/chocolate in the recipe and replace dairy with soy or almond!
· 250g raw beetroot
· 175g plain flour
· 1 tsp baking powder
· 2 tbsp cocoa powder
· 2 free-range eggs
· 1/4 cup milk
· 60g softened butter
· 1/4 cup vegetable oil
· 1/4 cup caster sugar
· 1/2 cup soft brown sugar
· 100g best-quality dark chocolate
Lightly grease a 12-hole muffin tin, or drop paper cases into the holes.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius.
Peel beetroot and grate in food processor with grating disc. Set aside and wash processor.
Sift flour, baking powder and cocoa into a large mixing bowl.
Lightly whisk eggs with milk.
Process butter, oil and sugars until creamy. Gradually add egg/milk mixture, alternating with flour mixture.
Tip into the large bowl and stir in beetroot. Mix well.
Spoon mixture into muffin holes. Break chocolate into 12 pieces and poke a piece into the top of each muffin.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until well-risen and springy to the touch.
Cool in tin for a few minutes then turn onto a rack.
So, what are you going to do with your beetroots this spring?
Whatever it is....enjoy them, they are so good for you!