five ways with … a ton of beetroot

December 12, 2010 at 6:35 pm 17 comments

Beetroot was one of my star vegetables this year.  I harvested bunch after bunch in August/September and thanks to a late sowing in July I was still lifting beets in November.  With heaps of beetroot available you’d think I’d be trying a new recipe each week.  Quite the opposite is true – I love munching on freshly boiled, still warm, beetroots so much I’m hard pushed to venture to the B section of my recipe books.

I have from time to time you’ll be pleased to hear so my ‘5 ways with…‘ is not simply to boil/grate/roast/mash/soup them.  I am going to cheat a bit though by including a couple of recipes already put to the test but I think that’s forgivable in the run up to Christmas!

1.  Beetroot and Walnut Hummus
Hugh Fernley Whittingstalls recipe from River Cottage Everyday’

  • 50g walnuts
  • 1 tbsp cuminseeds
  • 25g stale bread, crusts removed
  • 200g cooked beetroot (not pickled), cut into cubes
  • 1 tbsp tahini (I didn’t have any so used whole sesame seeds)
  • 1 large garlic clove, crushed
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • A little olive or rapeseed oil (optional)
  • How to make beetroot and walnut hummus (serves 4)

    1. Put the walnuts on a baking tray and toast in an oven preheated to 180°C/Gas Mark 4 for 5-7 minutes, until fragrant. Leave to cool.

    2. Warm a small frying pan over a medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and dry-fry them, shaking the pan almost constantly, until they start to darken and release their aroma – this should take less than a minute, so be careful not to burn them. Crush the seeds with a pestle and mortar or a spice grinder.

    3. Break the bread into small chunks, put in a food processor or blender with the walnuts and blitz until fine. Add the beetroot, tahini, most of the garlic, a good pinch of the cumin, half the lemon juice, a little salt and a good grind of pepper, then blend to a thick paste.

    4. Taste the mixture and adjust it by adding a little more cumin, garlic, lemon, salt and/or pepper, blending again until you are happy with it. Loosen with a dash of oil if you think it needs it. Refrigerate until required but bring back to room temperature to serve.

    2. Beetroot Chutney
    from ‘Clearly Delicious: an illustrated guide to preserving, pickling.  and bottling’.
    A simple, low sugar recipe that can be eaten immediately.

  • 2 cooking apples
  • 1 onion
  • 240 ml (8 fl oz) malt vinegar
  • 10 ml (2 tsp) freshly grated root ginger
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) ground allspice
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 450g (cooked beetroots, leave unpeeled to cook to stop them ‘bleeding‘)
  • 50g (2 oz) dark muscovado sugar
  • 50g (2 oz) raisins
  • 1. Core and slice apples.  Peel and slice onion.  Put both into pan and bring to the boil with the vinegar, root ginger, allspice and cloves.  Simmer, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes.
    2. Peel the cooked beetroots, finely chop and add to the pan with the sugar and raisin.  Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes.
    3. Spoon into sterilized jars, seal and label.

    3. Beetroot and Horseradish Relish
    from ‘Recipes for self-healing; a lively 5 minute relish using cooked beetroot.

  • 4 beetroot
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tsp fresh parsley
  • 4 tbsp horseradish
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp mild honey
  • salt
    Chop or grate the beetroot finely.  Chop the onion and parsley finely and grate the horseradish or us ready prepared horseradish from a jar (in which case use a little less vinegar).  Combine all the ingredients and let them sit for a while, the longer the better, before serving.  The recipe will make 2-3 cups and will keep for weeks in a sealed container in the fridge 

    4. Beetroot and Chocolate Muffins
    recipe previously posted here

    5. Oven baked Beetroot Risotto
    recipe previously posted here


  • Entry filed under: 5 ways with ..., in the kitchen.

    reasons to be cheerful making raspberry vinegar

    17 Comments Add your own

    • 1. Rine  |  December 12, 2010 at 9:24 pm

      I’m really into beetroot at the moment and even little Joanna eats pickled ones now, so I’ll be trying the risotto and relish recipes sometime soon!

    • 2. Jacqueline  |  December 12, 2010 at 9:30 pm

      Yum, yum, yummy! I love beetroot. My mouth is now watering 🙂

    • 3. Janet/Plantaliscious  |  December 13, 2010 at 9:20 am

      Beetroot chocolate brownies are wonderful too – another Hugh F-W recipe – not that it looks like you need any more ideas! I’m not particularly fond of beetroot unless very well disguised but your pics make even me want to try the hummus and chutney.

    • 4. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes  |  December 13, 2010 at 11:44 am

      Heehee I ended up with 2 kgs of giant monster beetroots from a relative’s garden. So made HFW’s beetroot soup with cumin and Pam Corbins’ roast tomato/beetroot/horseradish relish. I looked at the hoummos recipe you have done so beautifully here. I ended up peeling them all raw first as they would never have roasted. Chopped them up into cubes, covered in oil and in a covered dish in the oven for hours. But it came out deliciously in the end. I bought a Kenwood this year, my first food processor ever, with the thought of grating beetroots very much in mind 🙂

    • 5. nina - tabiboo  |  December 13, 2010 at 5:18 pm

      I’m not a big fan of beetroot – I blame my mum!! But after seeing Hugh’s recipes I’ve always wanted to try it with chocolate though I still haven’t plucked up the courage. I know I’m a big whimp when it comes to beetroot.

      Nina xxx

    • 6. Mark Willis  |  December 13, 2010 at 7:19 pm

      Beetroot is the Marmite of vegetables — you either love it or hate it. I personally love it, and I agree with you that the best way to eat it is plain boiled. A sprinkling of balsamic vinegar and a few snipped chives can enhance it if you feel the need. Have you ever had it as a hot veg, covered in cheese sauce? It’s nice…

    • 7. mangocheeks  |  December 13, 2010 at 8:30 pm

      I remember your beetroot risotto and beetroot and choc muffins 🙂

      I’ve just made a Beetroot Bulgar ‘Pilau’ dish, who would have thought the malign beetroot would be so versatile in the kitchen.

    • 8. Ann  |  December 13, 2010 at 9:45 pm

      Your beetroots did do well, mine were tiny! The beetroot chutney I made was delicious too, I fancy the one with the horseradish you made.

    • 9. A life less simple  |  December 14, 2010 at 8:53 am

      Beetroot did not go so well for me this year, not one of my three sowings (not even from the same packet) came up, fingers crossed for a better crop next year

    • 10. Nip it in the bud  |  December 14, 2010 at 8:48 pm

      Rine – Johanna’s a girl after my own heart then!

      Jaq – my mouth starts watering just thinking about pickled beetroot!

      Janet – the hummus is quite something. I preferred the relish to the chutney. Tongue and brain don’t quite compute when eating beetroot as a soft, sweet chutney

      Johanna – experimental dishes that work out for the better are just fab. I’ve not ventured down the root of soup – just can’t get my head round that when one of the things I love about beets so much is their texture

      NIna – try them in a choc pud recipe and you really won’t know they’re there. They make it lovely and moist with just a hint of suggestion in the browny/purple hue

      Mark – warm with cheese sauce, now there’s an idea. I like it in sandwiches with soft cheese

      MC – you’re right. We would have been alright in wartime Britain!

      Ann – I loved the relish, especially as you can make as much or as little depending on how many beets you have. I get tired of eating something for the 3rd or 4th day just because I can’t bear seeing food go to waste

      Poppy – mine wasn’t good last year and after the success of this years crop I put last years failings down to problems germinating because the seed was so old

      • 11. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes  |  December 16, 2010 at 2:33 pm

        If you ever do venture soupwards…. you can always puree part of the beets and reserve a good portion in cubes or in shreds and that way you have the lovely texture and the soup together…. I usually do that for that reason! Just got some more beets from a local farm in Long Ashton and am going to try that hummus of yours this time 🙂

    • 12. Growing Vegetables  |  December 15, 2010 at 6:33 pm

      I have never realy liked beetroot and have not done so since childhood, yet everyone else in the family loves it. so i would have to say that Mark is right about it being the Marmite of the vegtable world.

      Even though I dislike it I still grow it for the rest of the family to enjoy.

    • 13. Nip it in the bud  |  December 17, 2010 at 2:53 pm

      Joanna – what a good soup suggestion. I shall bear it in mind next time there’s a glut ;o

      growing veg – what a generous gardener you are putting all that effort in to grow something you don’t like. I’m sure the family savour your beets all the more

    • 14. Stephanie M at Together In Food  |  December 21, 2010 at 7:12 pm

      I hope to be in your situation next year with tons of beets! In my first beet growing season this year, I didn’t thin them properly so ended up with beetlets–sad and funny simultaneously ( beetlets/). Like the muffin idea–sort of like virtuous red velvet cake!

    • 15. Chocolate Cake Heart’s Desire | Zeb Bakes  |  January 4, 2011 at 9:49 am

      […] happy; I decided we needed a pudding, friend coming over at short notice, and so, in between making beetroot and walnut hummous, Thai carrot salad, couscous with pomegranate molasses and tomato, Dan’s perfect pitta bread […]

    • 16. Oxo Tots baking Granny style | Nip it in the bud  |  September 29, 2013 at 1:29 pm

      […] year I’m usually gathering ingredients for chutney making:  using up a glut of courgettes or beetroot or damsons. With no allotment grown veggies this year I’m using up my preserve stores instead […]

    • 17. lynnep  |  October 20, 2014 at 2:59 pm

      George has just made the beetroot chutney and WOW! It’s fab!! Thank you Nic x


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