beetroot, first success!

I’ve been trying to grow beetroot for a few years, mainly because I love small roast beetroot, but til now haven’t had much success, they’ve not really germinated before. However this year we had loads, I sowed them, well chucked a load of seed at the ground, in 2 blocks about 1 metre by 30cm at the end of April, between the broad beans when I planted them out. I think they need a lot more water than I have given them before, after the show in August they got a lot more water than before and suddenly they started to grow. There are still a load in the ground, I’m hoping they’ll keep better there, they won’t get frozen in as they’re in the polytunnel. (Some purple sprouting broccoli plants went in when I took the broad beans out). We had quite a few tiny beets that weren’t worth the bother, but lots of lovely ideal roasting size…

Recipe: Roast Beetroot
Scrub, top and tail, at least one, 3-4cm diameter beetroot per person.
Lightly crush and peel a clove of garlic for each beet.
Use a piece of foil big enough to enclose all the beets.
Spread a little olive oil on the foil, put on the beetroot and sprinkle with thyme, (ideally fresh), a dash more oil and the garlic cloves.
Seal up the foil and cook in a hot oven (around 200 celsius) for about 40 minutes.

Recipe: “Borscht”
Equal quantities of beetroot and red cabbage roughly chopped, approx half a cabbage and 4-5 med beetroot.
Two (preferably red) onion, chopped, and garlic.
Saute gently in oil for a little bit,
add 1 tblsp cumin and some thyme.
Add 3 pints of water (or stock), bring to the boil and simmer until largest bits are soft, approx and hour.
Add an optional dash of balsamic vinegar to give a little sharpness, if using yoghurt you may not need it.
Puree and serve hot or cold with a dollop of yoghurt or sour cream.

After a visit to my parents last weekend Dad was “miffed” that I hadn’t credited him for this recipe, so there you go!

(After eating either of these, the next day on the loo, remember what you have eaten and you’re not dying of internal bleeding!)