I have one plan for my winter vegetable garden. When - or if - the wind drops and the rain stops - I'm going to plan beetroot by the dozen. Their beautiful green and crimson leaves will look quite fetching on grey winter days and the roots will be protected from the wild weather, packed in cacao husks and zoo compost. At least, that's the plan. In the meantime, I've made a list of my five favourite ways with beetroot, including a truly addictive dip. If I don't get my own harvest sorted, I'll be doing my bit to support local beetroot growers.
1. Beetroot, Feta And Wasabi Dip
This dip is super easy to make if you use vacuum-packed ready-cooked beetroot (now finally widely available in New Zealand supermarkets - look for the LeaderBrand packs near the salad vegetables in your supermarket). I dollop it on crostini or crackers with a bit of cream cheese or strained Greek yoghurt, then sprinkle something green on top. The only other thing you have to do is not tip it down your front, especially when wearing anything white.
250g cooked beetroot
1 clove garlic, squashed to a paste with 1/4 tsp salt
100g feta, diced
2 Tbsp Greek yoghurt
1/2 tsp wasabi (or horseradish)
1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
Put all ingredients in a food processor and whizz until a smooth puree forms (stop to scrape down the sides of the processor as necessary). Taste for seasoning, then scrape into a bowl and serve. Makes about two cups - store any leftovers in the fridge for up to three days.
2. Shocking Pink Beetroot Bread
This is a true 'do not adjust your set' representation of what this Beetroot Bread looks like in real life - it really IS that pink. It doesn't have any discernable beet-y flavour, but the pinkness is pretty fun.
3. Raw Beetroot With Caraway, Fennel And Feta
One day I sent my beloved to the shops to buy caraway seeds - and he helpfully came back with a 500g bag. I've resisted the urge to make endless seed cakes, but I have found a use for them in this salad, which combines caraway with raw grated beetroot, fennel and feta.
4. Raw Beetroot Bliss Balls
These Raw Beetroot Bliss Balls are another pretty-in-pink flight of fancy - the colour is all-natural. Think of the anti-oxidants! If you're trying to get your children (or other friends and family) to eat more vegetables, this is a very easy way to do it.
5. Big Bold Beetroot Soup
Beetroot is a key ingredient in this hearty winter soup for people who don't like following recipes (particularly husbands, I have found). It's big, bold, red - and delicious.
What's your favourite thing to do with beetroot?