Saturday, 28 April 2012

Last beetroot of the year

I've just found some nice heavy beetroot in my storeroom - I grew them last year and didn't they grow! I had a huge crop to keep over the winter, so I put them into a wooden box and layered them with damp sand. Then I forgot all about them :)

I've just rediscovered them, still healthy and starting to grow pale delicate reddish purple shoots.

I will use the shoots in my daily salads, but the roots will need cooking. They are not tender enough to eat raw, like summer beetroot is.

Don't even think of boiling them to put into vinegar - ugh! So many people are put off beetroot like that.

Bake them slowly, wrapped in foil, whenever you are using the oven anyway, for a roast, perhaps? Then when the beetroot are pierceable with a skewer, allow to cool a while, then rub off the skins.

Eat them hot or cold, with a sauce, maybe, cheese, parsley or tomato? They go well with gammon, carrots, garlic, cream and cumin.

baked beetroot

1 kg cooked beetroot, peeled and thickly sliced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
100ml cream
1tsp ground cumin
salt and pepper
4oz cheese and breadcrumbs, mixed

Preheat the oven to 170 C / gas 3, moderate.

Butter an oval or round shallow baking dish, big enough to take all the beetroot.
Place the beetroot slices in a large bowl  and salt and pepper them. In a small saucepan mix the cream with the garlic and cumin and heat through over a low heat for 15 mins. Put the beetroot into the baking dish and add the cream mix. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 40 mins. Uncover the beetroot,  sprinkle over the cheese mix and return to the oven to bake until brown and bubbling.

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