Just got back from the kitchen garden and harvested the first of this years beetroot. Really simple to prepare, and full of that gorgeous beetroot flavour. I also think I read somewhere beetroot is supposed to be really good for you, especially your blood pressure?
As with my carrots I try to harvest them when they are young, ideally about the size of an over sized golf ball. I plant the seeds in a 5inch pot, in a medium compost, around late March. When the seedlings are large enough to handle, I prick them out into a larger seed tray, in two’s just in case I lose one. Then, I let them grow on until they are about 3 inches tall and plant them out into a well prepared piece of ground.
As with all my root veg I rake a handful of bone meal into the surface of the soil. This year I also added a little well rotted compost into the bottom of the planting hole, to see if helped to keep the beets clean, when it came time to lift them. Glad to say it worked, so next time you plant out your beetroot, give it a try.
I’m not fussy when it comes to cooking beetroot, but it does help if you can retain as much of the flavour as possible. I twist the tops off rather than cut them, as my grandmother told me once it helps to keep the flavour in, and stops the colour from leaking out.
Then I given them a good wash off under the tap, cut the roots off , leaving a little of the root intact, or they will leak all that lovely crimson colour, and you’ll end up with pale looking beetroot.
Then I put the beets into a saucepan of cold water, taking care not to bruise the outside. Then I bring them to the boil, and gently simmer for about 15 – 20 minutes, or until they are tender, but not too soft.
Finally, I drain the water off, and leave them in the saucepan until they have cooled. Then they go into the fridge with the skins on until I’m ready to use them.
I’m planning to lift the first of my Red Duke of York potatoes tomorrow, so should be fun!