welcome to the begining of a three part beetroot bonanza! ive decided to dedicate the next three posts and recipes to this, king of root veg. the earthy sweetness of beetroot makes it perfect for an array of recipes even cakes and sweets! it comes in all sorts of colours, the 'chioggia' being the trendy one at the moment, with its pink and white bulls eye patterning. but my all time favourite has to be golden beetroot, especially because im finding it hard to source seeds here in ireland. its been tempting me to smuggle some in the post next year. anyone flying over from the states, perhaps? the golden beetroot is great for salads and paired with its bloodier brother adds a bright suprise to a sunday roast. the best part is that golden beetroots don't dye your hands or other foods - they're just polite that way. they can also be used in the same recipes as regular red beetroots.
|triple planted beetroot|
disregard my love for golden beetroots, because the next three recipes are all going to feature the red guys. ive got a recipe for a minted beetroot hummus, candied beetroot truffles, and another -veggie cocktail! you're listening now, right?
i've only actually tried one of these recipes, so i hope i can pull the other two off with out too much blood (or juice) on my hands. and since its raining everyday (bar today and yesterday!) ive got an extra couple hours to spend in the kitchen. but there's some great news i've learned from a new book i'm reading: How to Grow Winter Vegetables, by Charles Dowding, he says that wet crappy summers are great for winter veggies! (without the 'crappy' part) and summer blogging (he didn't say that, either) so its not so bad, really!
Growing beetroot: i once read in a companion planting article its a good idea to plant beetroot with onions , and the past two years i've grow them side by side in the same drill and i had beetroot harvests within 3 months of growing, as well as big onions. this year i grew them seperate and they have taken longer to mature. i always sow my beetroot direct into the ground, ive found it hard to transplant beets without losing a few in the process.
while the roots are forming its ok to take a few leaves for salad every so often, just don't take too many leaves or the roots may take longer to develop.
for the best flavour its best to harvest beetroot once it reaches the size of a golf ball or as large as a snooker ball.
beetroot is a biennial plant, which means it flowers in its second year. they do keep pretty well in the ground in winter and store well in a cold larder, if dug up, for a good few weeks.