One of my other interests is cooking. I've thought for a while about putting bits of cooking information of here, and after cooking beetroot this afternoon to have with our dinner, I thought I'd start my journey of food and drink here with... beetroot.
I loved beetroot as a child, sliced, straight from the tin, it was added to many meals. One recollection of cooked "real" beetroot as a child was pickled beetroot in vinegar - yuk! Lately I've rediscovered it.
It has been a neglected vegie in my opinion until the last few years. It is now appearing more and more in the fruit and vegie markets. Buy it in bunches as baby beets (about the size of a golf balls) or regular beetroots (maybe up to the size of a tennis ball).
To cook - it's simple. Cut the beetroot from the stalk, leaving a few centimetres of stalk attached to the beet (no need to peel - if you peel the beetroot it will "bleed", you won't loose any flavour, but it will make a big mess). Pour some water into a saucepan and place a steamer into the saucepan. Pop the beets into the steaming basket, place the lid onto the saucepan and cook. Steam for about 30 minutes (for the baby beets) and between 1 - 1.5 hours for the large ones. Allow to cool. Once cooled, you can now peel the beetroot but rubbing your fingers over the surface. The skin should just slip away from the beetroot.
Some people bake their beetroots instead of steaming, I think you end up with similar results, the baked version may have a slightly sweeter taste.
Now for a couple of serving ideas...
- While warm, I cut the beetroot into cubes, drizzle (not drown) with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Serve as a vegetable with dinner.
- One of my favourite beetroot salads... Use beetroot as above, allow to cool completely, crumble feta cheese over the beetroot and mix through LIGHTLY. Garnish with walnuts. Add some extra olive oil and balsamic vinegar if desired.
So what's for dinner at your house tonight???
Oh, by the way, don't throw out the leaves and stalks that come attached to the beetroots. I juice mine with carrots, celery and oranges. You still get the earthy beetroot flavour in the juice!