I’ve always liked beetroot, but beetroot for me growing up was out of a tin. I think beetroot is one of the few vegetables that is actually not too bad out of a tin. It’s pretty close to homecooked beetroot (unlike, say, tinned asparagus, which bears no relation to homecooked asparagus whatsoever). But I’ve been slow to get more fresh beetroot into my cooking and I’m not sure why that is.
Because of that, a bunch of beetroot can last me ages — lucky it stores so well — but now that I’m eating more seasonally, I find that at this time of year, beetroot is one of the main vegetables available so I’m cooking and eating it a lot more. Maybe I’ve hesitated because of the time it takes to cook, but that’s a bit silly now I think about it. All I’ve had to do is plan a tiny bit more and throw some in the oven about an hour before I start to make dinner. As someone who isn’t particularly into cooking, this simple change in thinking has been a small epiphany for me. If I couldn’t be home early enough to get it into the oven in time, I’ve cooked it in the morning, or the day before. It’s revelational, I tell you!
This is one small example of how eating locally grown food can influence how you cook and eat. I don’t think I’ll ever be super into cooking, but just by making this small change, I’ve increased the repertoire of flavours on my family’s plates, I’m exposing my kids to new meals and I’ve supported the local food system by eating what it’s producing.
So, eat more beetroot!
Also: juicing raw beetroot with some other veg and an apple is amazing.
Chard & roasted beetroot saladPrint This
- 3 or 4 beetroots, peeled, cut into sizeable chunks (not too small)
- 1/2 bunch chard, shredded, no stems
- roughly same amount of mixed salad leaves
- 1/2 cup pistachios, shelled
- 1/2 cup seed mix (we used sunflower, pumpkin and linseed)
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (spend the money to get the real stuff)
- juice of half an orange
- 1/2 punnet microgreens
Start with the beetroot (this can be done well ahead, if preferred)
- Preheat oven to about 170deg.
- Place in a shallow baking tray and liberally douse with olive oil. Make sure the pieces are fully covered with oil and not touching each other.
- Season with salt and pepper, if you like.
- Roast for about 30 minutes, but use your own judgement. Check from time to time until they are as firm or soft as you like.
- Remove from the oven and let cool.
- While the beetroot is in the oven, lightly toast the pistachios and seed mix in a dry frying pan (no oil) over a low heat.
- Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, pour over the vinegar and juice, toss and serve.
- Sprinkle with microgreens.
This recipe will make enough for 2 if eating it as a meal, or 4 if as a side dish.