Beetroot is a surprisingly good vegetable; it looks and tastes fabulous, and grows well on our Mountain.
Recently for Eat local Week I ran a bus tour to some of the producers on the mountain. We called into Bruce’s organic farm and he asked the group a question – “What do you think the most nutritious vegetable is? “And of course I thought Kale, everyone knows that. But….his answer was that he thinks it is the vegetable that takes the most nutrition out of the soil, and that is….Beetroot.!!!
Whether you roast it whole, blend into a classic soup or drink as juice like the Olympians do. It is low in fat, full of vitamins and minerals and packed with powerful antioxidants – a health-food titan. When I get my juice from the vegie shop near the Vets, Tayla always knows I like my blend number 6 because it has beetroot in it.
I can remember when I had my first non-tinned beetroot; it had been just simply steamed and served as a rocket goats cheese and walnut salad. Delicious. Then the beautiful gold and candy striped ones became readily available and I haven’t looked back. I use beetroot wherever I can. Even though you can get it most of the year it is best in winter and early spring, and that is now!!
Bursting with colour and sweet, earthy, flavours, beetroot is the supreme support act of the foodie world. From gourmet canapés to a slice on a simple burger, tossed in a salad, sliced thinly and made into chips, or with your roast vegies, with sour cream. Enjoy it fresh and now
But beetroots haven’t always been popular, we are reminded of white bread sandwiches stained a soggy red, and over vinegary pickled ones. Also it takes a while to cook, so it’s not something done on impulse.
The favored way to cook them is unpeeled, wrapped in foil with a splash of water, seasoning and a sprig of thyme. If they are large cut them, but baby ones are best left whole. They will take up to an hour in the oven, so I always make sure I am cooking something else, even a cake on the other shelf, for economic reasons.
Use them diced in salads, they pair particularly well with fetta, goats cheese, oranges, pumpkin, smoked salmon, horseradish and all game meats.
At the Cooking School, we use them in Hummus and Tzatziki dips. It is a surprising ingredient when pureed in a chocolate cake for richer colour and added moisture. It shines in a beetroot, apple and raisin Vol au Vent topped with goats cheese mouse. Beetroot and Orange relish is the most popular of our chutneys and pickles.
December 18, 2016 / Uncategorized / thechef