B is for Beetroot

For most of life I avoided beetroot, having only encountered the pickled variety. Then last winter I got a 1kg bag of the stuff in my vegetable box. After asking around, I was recommended a recipe for Beetroot Chutney. My preconceptions of how it might taste were totally blown away – the other ingredients give the chutney a deliciously sweet taste. I found that it goes particularly well with boiled ham, or with bread & cheese.

1kg cooked beetroot
500g onions – chopped
400g apples, chopped
250ml white wine (or cider) vinegar
130g brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp ground coriander

 

 

Place all ingredients into a pot, bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a very gentle simmer and cook for about an hour or until it thickens.

Other suggestions I have come across are:

  • Simply baked: Peel, and cube. Wrap loosely in foil and bake at 180 degrees C for about an hour, until soft
  • Beetroot Risotto
  • Beetroot Soup (Borscht)
  • Beetroot Cake, or even better – Chocolate Beetroot Cake
  • Beetroot Crisps
  • Various salads (apparently combining with orange works well)

Beetroot is packed with vitamins, and has many medical uses – from being used as a headache cure, to being used for burns, or as an antiseptic.

In ancient times, people believed the colour of beetroot showed how powerful it is.

The Greeks used beetroot to ‘cool’ blood, and Romans used it to fight fever.

Legend also dictates that the patron of Beetroot is Aphrodite, and that if 2 people eat from the same beetroot, then they will fall in love. At the very least, it is considered to be an aphrodisiac.

In early times, the dye properties were used as make up – lipstick and rouge.

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