Beetroot has come a long way since the pre-cooked vacuum packed stuff we used to have as kids! Try cooking some fresh in a risotto or a Sri Lankan curry. Or keep it classic and pair up with goats’ cheese for a simple, but delicious, salad. Just look for bunches with the leaves attached; they’re as tasty as the bulbs themselves. Try them raw in salads, wilted down like spinach or simply stirred into a stew or soup for extra texture and flavour.
Cream cheese goes a long way in this risotto!
3 large beetroots, peeled and chopped (if you have the greens, wash and roughly chop)
4 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
3 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
200g arborio rice
100 ml white wine and 900 ml chicken stock
2 tbsp full fat cream cheese
Knob of butter
Salt and pepper for seasoning
1) Preheat the oven to 190C or Gas Mark 5.
2) Toss the beetroot in 2 tbsp of oil and place in an ovenproof dish. Add the garlic cloves and thyme. Place in the oven and cook for around 40 minutes.
3) Fry the onion in a tbsp of oil in a medium sized pan over a medium heat.
4) Once the onion has softened, add the rice and mix to coat in the oil. Cook until it is turning translucent. Add the wine and cook until it is fully absorbed.
5) Then start adding the stock, a ladle at a time, allowing it to absorb before adding more. Stir regularly to ensure the rice doesn’t start to stick to the pan.
6) Once you’ve used half of the stock, add the beetroot and squeeze in the garlic.
7) Continue adding the stock and once it’s all been absorbed, stir in the beetroot greens along with the cream cheese and butter. Season with salt and pepper and cover with a lid. Rest for around 5 minutes, then serve.
Beetroot and Goats’ Cheese Salad
1kg fresh beetroot, peeled and chopped
2 red onions, peeled and quartered
3 cloves of garlic
10tbsp rapeseed oil, for roasting
1 bag of Sheffield Organic Growers salad leaves
50g walnut halves
100g Yellison’s Goats’ Cheese
2 tbsp Charlie’s Country Garden Raspberry Vinegar
Salt and pepper, to season
1) Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas Mark 5.
2) Place the beetroot and onion in a roasting dish. Drizzle over 4tbsp of rapeseed oil, stir to coat, and roast in the oven for about 40-45 minutes, until the beetroot is softened.
3) Once cooked, remove the dish from the oven and allow everything to cool.
5) In the meantime, make a simple dressing by whisking the rapeseed oil and raspberry vinegar together. Season and set to one side.
6) Take the walnut halves and crush lightly with a rolling pin.
7) Crumble the goats’ cheese into a bowl using your fingers.
8) When you’re ready to serve, place a good handful of salad leaves on each plate, top with the red onion and beetroot before scattering the walnut pieces and goats’ cheese over the salads – ensuring for an even coverage on each. Finally drizzle with a little of the dressing.
Sri Lankan Beetroot Curry
Both colourful and vegan, this curry is a great way to enjoy seasonal beetroot.
600g beetroot, bulbs peeled and chopped into matchsticks, leaves washed
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely sliced
3 bird’s eye chillies, finely chopped
1 sprig of fresh curry leaves
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp ground coriander
Juice of 1 lime
400ml can full fat coconut milk
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
Large handful of chopped coriander, roughly chopped
1) Place a large pan over a medium heat and add the rapeseed oil. Add the mustard seeds and allow them to cook in the oil until they start to make popping sounds.
2) Turn the heat down as soon as the seeds pop to avoid burning them. 3) Stir in the ground coriander, curry leaves, chillies and cinnamon and cook until fragrant.
5) Add the garlic, onion, and salt and cook until softened. Take care not to burn them and add more rapeseed oil if required.
6) Now add the beetroot and stir in the coconut milk, ensuring everything is coated. Turn the heat up a little and once the curry is simmering, reduce the heat and cover with a lid.
7) Allow the curry to simmer, but not boil, until the beetroot is tender, around 15 minutes.
8) Roughly chop the beetroot leaves and stems and add to the pan. Continue to cook until the leaves have wilted into the sauce, for about 3-5 minutes. If the curry appears a little dry at any stage add a little water.
9) Just before serving, stir in the lime juice and sugar. Test for seasoning and add a little more salt if required. Finally, stir in the chopped coriander and serve with freshly cooked rice.