Colourful and full of flavour, the beetroot is a versatile root vegetable with a number of different uses. Today, people mainly eat beetroot for the deliciously sweet and earthy flavour. Throughout history, however, people have used beetroot for teas, dyes, to treat various medical ailments (including fever, skin problems and constipation to name but a few) and even as an aphrodisiac!
Beetroot is generally associated with the deep ruby red colour that stains our hands and chopping boards during preparation. The other beetroot varieties – golden and stripy a.k.a. chioggia – are generally less common but very often feature in our veg boxes and in shop.
In terms of preparing beetroot, it can be eaten raw, cooked, and even juiced. Beetroot is a popular vegetable in Eastern European cuisine – it is, for example, the main ingredient of the famous Russian/Ukrainian soup dish, borscht. Simple and delightfully warming, it is definitely worth giving a go: meat version, meatless version.
You could also try roasting the beetroot and whizzing it up into a vibrant pink hummus or grating then grilling the beetroot into delicious burgers. Or why not try juicing them with oranges and ginger or home-pickling them for a tart little snack? If you’re feeling adventurous, you could even bake them into brownies.
The leaves that sprout out the top of the beetroot can be used much in the same way as spinach. The baby beetroot we grow at our market garden is harvested and available at the shop at various times of the year with the leaves or ‘beet greens’ still intact.