Bountiful beetroot.

Boris & Beetroot Full Size

Boris the cat getting a run for his money from one of my giant beetroots above…I really should have picked them earlier, I don’t know why I didn’t…maybe it was because they looked so pretty in the garden!  I ended up with more beetroot than I knew what to do with, so I was scrambling around for recipes to make sure they wouldn’t go to waste.  Here are a couple of the best.

Beetroot Relish

An Original Recipe By Not Quite Nigella – this is a winner folks, everyone i’ve given it to has LOVED it…and believe me, I had quite a few jars to go around!

Ingredients

  • 500g beetroot, roasted* instructions below
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 3/4 cup-1 cup white or brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Method

  1. To roast beetroot, wash the beetroot and place in a cast iron pot or a pot with a lid. Drizzle with oil and roll them in the oil to coat and then bake for 1 hour to 1.5 hours (depending on the size of the beetroot). I sometimes leave them in the oven overnight to cool and then peel the skin off the next morning when they’re while wearing gloves to stop my fingers staining. Chop the peeled beetroot into quarters and process in a food processor until you get a rough, grated texture. You can also start with raw beetroot and grate it although the cooking time on the stovetop will be a bit longer.
  2. Heat a saucepan on medium to high heat and without adding any oil, add the mustard seeds. They will start to pop. Turn the heat down to medium, add the oil and chopped onion and fry the onion with the mustard seeds until translucent. Add the sugar, water, allspice, cinnamon, vinegar, salt and beetroot and stir to combine. This will cook quite quickly in about 15-20 minutes as the beetroot is already roasted. If you’re cooking with raw, grated beetroot, check on the texture and it may need maybe 30-40 minutes. Simmer with the lid off to drain any excess liquid (you can keep a little syrup in it if you want).
  3. To place in preserving jars, preheat oven to 180C/350F. Place jars and heatproof lid in the oven for 10 minutes. Carefully remove and ladle the relish into the jars while still hot. Carefully using oven mitts or thick tea towels, place the lid on very tightly and upturn the jars for 10 minutes. Then turn right side up and press down on the “bubble” on the lid and the seal should depress.

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Naturally, no mention of beetroot recipes is complete without one for beetroot brownies, and this is my favourite – no surprise then it’s from my TV boyfriend, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

I love watching River Cottage, even if I am subjected to endless free to air re-runs…I never seem to get bored of it.  I just love HFW’s down to earth attitude, beautiful garden and of course delicious food.  I keep waiting for the Aussie version to make it to free TV, but no luck yet.  I live in hope!

Chocolate & Beetroot Brownies

Original recipe by HFW can be found here.

Ingredients

  • 250g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 250g 70% dark chocolate, broken into pieces (I used Lindt, of course)
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 250g caster sugar
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 150g wholemeal SR flour
  • 250g beetroot, boiled til tender, cooled, peeled & grated

Method

  1. Grease a shallow baking tin, approximately 20 x 25cm, and line the base with baking parchment.
  2. Put the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Set the oven at 180°C and put the bowl in it for a few minutes until the chocolate and butter start to melt. Stir, then put back into the oven for a few more minutes to melt completely. Of course, you could melt them together in the traditional way, over a pan of hot water, but it seems a shame not to exploit the warming oven.
  3. Whisk the eggs and sugar together in a large bowl until combined, then beat in the melted chocolate and butter until smooth. Combine the salt with the flour, sift them over the chocolate mixture, then gently fold in with a large metal spoon. Fold in the grated beetroot – be careful not to over-mix or it will make the brownies tough.
  4. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake for 20–25 minutes; when the brownies are done, a knife or skewer inserted in the centre should come out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it. Don’t be tempted to overcook them or they will be dry. Remove the tin from the oven and leave on a wire rack to cool before cutting into squares.
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