These sweet, earthy, bright purple roots add a splash of colour to roasted root veg, gratins, soups, slaws and salads. Freshly picked, they are a world away from the vinegary pickles of yore - give them a try, you may be surprised!
Storage & prep
Will keep for about a week or 2
Storage: Younger beetroot will last a good week or two in the fridge. Remove the leaves as soon as they arrive to avoid water being drawn away from the root. If they are in good condition the leaves can be kept and cooked too.
Prep: Remove the stalks but don’t crop too close to the root. If cooking whole you won’t need to do much more than give the beets a good wash and scrub. If peeling and chopping you may want to consider wearing gloves as they have a tendency to stain the hands. If the leaves are in good condition then wash, dry and use them within a couple of days.
Beets will retain their flavour, colour and goodness much better if cooked unpeeled, especially when boiled. Give them a good scrub, remove the stalks and boil or roast whole until tender. Slip away the skins to eat. Peel and wash well if grating or thinly slicing to eat raw. The leaves will wilt and cook just like spinach and chard.
Raw slaw: Add some peeled and grated beetroot to a slaw; it will turn everything shades of pink and purple. A little grated beet dressed with desiccated coconut, chopped green chilli and black onion seeds makes a good side to a curry.
Dip: Blend cooked beetroot with some yogurt or crème fraîche until you have a vivid dip. Flavour with a squeeze of lemon juice or a dash of balsamic vinegar, a little warm spicing and some salt & pepper. You could add some chickpeas, tahini and garlic and make a bright beetroot hummus.
Scandi salad: Boil the beets whole, with their skins on, in salted water until tender. Slip away the skins and slice into wedges, season with salt, pepper and a little red wine vinegar. Dress with chopped dill and a little soured cream for a Scandinavian feel. This works happily mixed with a few boiled potatoes and sliced radishes. Perfect with smoked or pickled fish. You can blanch, cool and finely chop any useable leaves. Fold them through for a flash of green.
Bunched beetroot recipe
Beetroot and orange salad
Full of flavour and simple to make. The acid sweetness of the orange and the earthy sweetness of the beetroot are a lovely combination. To turn this a light meal, mix it with a handful of rocket and some grilled halloumi; or watercress and smoked mackerel. Another addition is black olives, whose saltiness is a nice counterpoint to the sweetness of the beets and oranges.
Serves 4 - 20 min
Bunched beetroots work well with:
Cheese – cottage cheese, blue cheese, goat’s cheese, feta
Dairy – soured cream, yoghurt, crème fraîche
Herbs – dill, parsley, mint, lovage
Nuts – hazelnuts, walnuts
Oily fish – cured salmon, smoked mackerel, pickled herring
Seeds – pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, including tahini