Until about three years ago I had never eaten beetroot other than pickled and sliced from a jar with salads, and I think I thought that was the sole way to eat them. Unlike many, I did actually enjoy it this way – and still do – but when I realised there were many other ways to cook beetroot, I certainly felt encouraged to try them.
I have always understood that beetroot is good for high blood pressure – in that it lowers and now it seem that this has even bee endorsed by the NHS – something that I think they do not do lightly! It may even, they say, increase blood flow to the brain improving cognitive function.
Beetroot can be enjoyed as a vegetable accompaniment to any meal. They are easiest to cook baked in the oven – and the long slow cook brings out their sweetness.
If you have never cooked beetroot before, do try baking it and serve with a quiche, roast meat or anything you like. Small to medium sized beetroots are best, being sweeter. If you are baking beetroot, choose some around the same size so that they will cook at the same rate.
As you serve it, be aware that it will ‘bleed’ and the juice my colour any adjoining food, so place it carefully on the plate to minimise this effect!
- Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C
- Wash the beetroot carefully, leaving the skin intact along with any stems or roots
- Place in a baking dish and loosely cover with foil
- Bake in the oven for about 2 hours
- The skin will wrinkle. Once they are cool the skin will slip off easily
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I roast beetroot in the oven when it’s on and then peel it when it’s cool, it keeps really well in the fridge and goes well sliced in sandwiches, with or without cheese. My mum swears by microwaving it, but cut the long root off first, her’s started glowing once and she was worried it would catch fire!
I also put a layer of sliced beetroot in the bottom of a quiche, and cover with other stuff (such as witled spinach leaves, fried onions and sliced tomatoes, oh and add some cottage cheese to the eggs before you pour them on, makes it slightly tangy, goes well with that filling). Then, when the quiche is sliced it has a really nice pinky red stripe across the bottom, looks great as well as tasting good.