Sunday, November 26, 2006

Weekend Herb Blogging #60

A quick reminder that you still have time to get your posts into this edition of Weekend Herb Blogging - just send an email with your post link to me at hellohaaloATgmailDOTcom.

The subject of my post this week is the humble beetroot, as it's know here.


I must admit that this wouldn't be my most favourite vegetable in the world. As a child I refused to even get in close proximity to canned beetroot. Just the sight of those white bread sandwiches stained in beet juice was enough to turn my stomach, the smell was another. Actually, truth be told I still don't want anything to do with canned beetroot!

Fresh beetroot like this one, especially those smaller varieties and those wonderfully coloured golden beetroots, are something that I will happily come into contact with. From their leaves to their roots they are completely edible. In fact, Romans used to only eat the leaves, they also thought they were useful for treating constipation and fevers.

Beetroots are high in vitamin c and their leaves are high in vitamin A. They also contain folates and various antioxidants. Beetroot juice is considered to be an aphrodisiac due to it's boron content. It's also thought to help fight heart disease due to the presence of Betaine.

One of negatives with beetroot is that it can take a bit of time to cook, but this quick and easy recipe from Stephanie Alexander solves that problem. Grated raw beetroot is cooked in a little butter and a touch of balsamic vinegar to produce a wonderfully glossy accompaniment that's just perfect with roasts.

buttered beetroot

Buttered Grated Beetroot
[Serves 4]

300 grams grated raw beetroot
40 grams butter
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Place the grated beetroot, butter, water and vinegar into a saucepan, cover and cook for about 8 minutes under a gentle heat. Stir to ensure even cooking.

Once the beetroot is just tender, remove the lid, and if there is any excess liquid, turn up the heat and boil it off.

Season to taste and serve.

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  1. Haalo,

    I admit I haven't cooked beetroot at all. Just wondering how long did it take you to grate the beetroot? And how did you do it without getting all the red juices everywhere? :)

    Anh (White_poplar)

  2. You can eat it raw too, just like grated carrots, to get all the vitamins!

  3. I believe this is the 'lost' recipe for my mother's 'Vinegar Beets'. It sounds about right - I'll try it. Even if it's not the same ...who sounds delicious!

  4. Hi Anh - it didn't take very long to grate the beetroot, less than a minute. I just used one of those box type graters, you could also use a food processor with a grating disc. Most of the juice is contained within the grater so there wasn't a lot of loose juice - you could also set the grater into a bowl so any spray is caught. For a precaution I did this on the drainer of the kitchen sink. It's also a good idea to wear those disposable gloves to limit the staining on her hands. Hope that helps.

    Hi Plume - must admit that I've never eaten it raw.

    Hi Katie - the original recipe calls for red wine vinegar so you might like to try that version too. I used Balsamic as I think it works well with the sweetness of the beetroot. Do let me know how this compares to your mother's recipe.

  5. Very interesting recipe. I've never cooked fresh beets either, although I do buy beet greens at the farmer's market quite regularly. This sounds delicious to me. Your photo of the beets in the bowl is beautiful.

  6. i love beetroot. i could eat it in any format, although i must confess i'm partial to the can :)
    must be because it's pickled and soft.

  7. Thanks Kalyn - we never used to see beet greens, usually you'd just buy these overly large single decapitated beetroots. There certainly is a lot more variety in colour and size now and the leaves are just beautiful.

    Hi Anna - I've had to learn to cope with the canned especially since they started placing them in see-through containers!

  8. Haalo,

    My mother used to make lots of beetroot for me, I love it!

  9. God that looks fabulous. Definitely on the menu for tomorrow!

  10. Hi Patricia - I hope you will share some of those beetroot recipes!

    Thanks Ruth - hope you enjoy it!


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