BEETROOT! BABY! Where have you been all my life?! As regular readers may know, I have begun ordering weekly organic fruit and veggie boxes. You can view my post on the benefits of using organic fruit and veggies here. It also incudes some tips on how to prioritise selecting some organic varieties over others if your budget can’t stretch to buy everything organic.
As the selection in my organic boxes is seasonal and random, I knew, and hoped, that I would probably be presented with a few vegetables which I never usually cook with. I was right, as four beetroot were contained in my first box. I always associate beetroot with my Dad eating pickled beetroot from the jar, and as a child detesting the strong smell! I have never liked pickled things very much and the smell deterred me from ever trying it.
A couple of years years ago I ordered risotto in a restaurant, and out it came with beetroot on top. I decided to be a big girl and tentatively nibbled a piece, and was surprised that I really liked it -the difference being that it was fresh and not pickled. I loved the earthy taste, and it really balanced the flavour of the creamy risotto. Despite this, apart from shredded in salad if I buy a falafel wrap for my lunch, I have never eaten it since. Quite strange for a veggie lover!
When the beets arrived in my organic box I was excited to try out cooking beetroot for myself, as I remembered my above positive encounter with fresh beetroot. I decided to start simple, and as they were older vegetables, I roasted them rather than having them raw. I paired it with carrots as I love roasted carrots and beetroot is often paired with carrots in salads. I always roast carrot with cumin as the flavours go really well together, and I figured it would go well with beetroot too. I chopped the beetroot and carrots, added cumin seeds, salt and pepper, rubbed them with plenty of organic extra virgin coconut oil, and roasted at 200 degrees celsius for about an hour until soft.
I really loved the flavour and am now converted -I will welcome any future beetroots in the box with open arms! Keep an eye on the blog next week to see what I did with the other two beetroot from the box -it was creamy and delicious!
However despite my new found love of beetroot, I’m not sure I am ready to try the pickled ones yet! What do you think? Will I also be pleasantly surprised if I give pickled beetroot a try, or are they best left on the shelf while the fresh ones steal the spotlight?