“What, will these hands ne’er be clean?” Thus quoth Lady M, stained with the blood of King Duncan. And thus quoth I after dealing with this week’s glut – beetroot.
Purple, orange, white, stripy, round, flat, long, short – beetroot comes in all shapes and sizes and isn’t all meant for the pickling jar. I’ve grown the classic Detroit variety this year, but I can also recommend the very beautiful Chioggia which has pink and white rings inside it and is jolly pretty atop a salad. Some golden beetroot has come my way too this week, which does make the glut look even more stunning, but only adds to the volume of beetroot to dispatch.
Beetroot stores rather well in a cool dry potting shed. The Urban Veg Patch blog has more details on how best to do this. However, if, like me, you have something of a habit when it comes to beetroot, you may like to enjoy it at every meal as I have done today:
Beetroot, Apple and Ginger Juice
It’s not like me to have a juice for breakfast. To me, a liquid breakfast screams “Listen sunshine, I’m so important I’m too busy to chew so I have my people juice my breakfast for me. Time is money, kid”. And I don’t approve. However, for my Eat Beets Day I’ll make an exception:
- 3 medium sized beetroot
- Apple juice
If you have a juicer: chuck it all in, whizz it and drink it. If you don’t – and I don’t – then it’s a bit more work, but still worth it.
First, peel the beetroot and puree it in a mixer with a dash of water. Once finely mushed, transfer to a muslin and hang it over a bowl to drip for an hour or two. Give the muslin an appreciative squeeze to help it along. You’re aiming to collect all the juice in the bowl below whilst the fibre remains in the muslin sack. (Yes, I know, a juicer would be much easier.)
Once you have your beetroot juice, you’re ready to mix. I’m going to do this like a cocktail so you can adapt the volumes accordingly. I found 3 beetroot made 400ml of blood:
- 1 part beetroot juice
- 1 part apple juice
- 2 cm³ fresh grated ginger
Mix it all up, leave it to infuse for a few minutes then strain through a sieve into a glass and enjoy.
Beetroot and Salsa Verde
Lunch is a toss up between the quite wonderful Valentine Warner with his perfect pairing of sweet roasted beetroot and tangy green sauce (here’s his recipe) and the equally yummy River Cottage beetroot tarte tatin (here). It has to be Val, right?
Afternoon snack and it’s time for crisps.
- 4 beetroot
- olive oil
- sea salt
Shave the beetroot into big disks using a speed peeler or a mandolin if you’re brave. Toss the shavings lightly in a little drizzle of olive oil and season. Lay out on a silicone sheet and roast at 210 degrees for around 8 minutes. Keep watching them: it’s a fine line between crispy and cremated.
Smoked Salmon, Pickled Beetroot and Buckwheat Blinis
- 1-2 large buckwheat blinis made to this recipe (they freeze like a dream so I just whipped some out of the freezer this time)
- a few slices of smoked salmon, or trout
- a dollop of plain yogurt
- 2 medium sized beetroot
- 150g caster sugar
- 175ml cider vinegar
First make the pickled beetroot. Mix the sugar and cider in a pan and bring to the boil. Meanwhile, slice the beetroot very thinly, again using the mandolin cautiously. Add the beetroot to the boiling liquor, remove from the heat and allow to cool til needed. This will store in a jar in the fridge for a few days. (Thanks to my chef work mates for that recipe)
Next assemble the dish. Warm the blinis briefly in the oven then pile the salmon, beetroot and yogurt on top. Finish with a twist of pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice.
Phew! Even by the standards of a proper beetroot addict that was a bit of a gorge. I can’t bring myself to try Beetroot Brownies for dessert. But if you can, here’s a good recipe by Gourmet Chick which you might like to try…