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Beetroot & Orange Salad

7 Jul

Beetroots are sweet, juicy and perfect for salads. Sometimes the simplest dishes are the best and this one could not be more simple or more delicious.
Serves 4 Cook 30-40min Prep  5 min

  • 6 small to medium Beetroot
  • juice and finely grated rind from 1 orange
  • salt (to taste)
  • flat leaf parsley (optional)

Cut the leaves from the beetroots, leaving a 2cm top of leaf stalk. Scrub the roots well but be careful not to pierce the skin. Put the beets into a large pan of salted water, cover and boil for 30-40 minutes, or until tender. As soon as they are cool enough to handle push the skins, tails and tops off with your fingers, they should come away easily. Slice the beets and lay in a serving dish, grate the orange rind and squeeze the juice over the slices, sprinkle with salt and leave for an hour. Chop the parsley finely and sprinkle over the top before serving if using.

Cook’s Tip In Italy we make this salad with beetroot that have been cooked in a wood fired oven, the skins are all burnt and the flavour is smoky and intense.
Gardeners Note early beetroots are ready to harvest in April from a November sowing undercover. Then the main crop beets are available from early summer through until November.
Original post 23/5/2007


Beetroot & Cumin Soup

18 Jun

A deeply rich and warming soup it is sweet, earthy and spicy. Though simple to make, this soup looks exotic with intense velvety purple-red and a swirl of cooling white yogurt. I made this soup especially for my friend Maggie who loves beetroot and all things a little bit spicy.

* 500g, peeled and sliced (3-5 large beetroot )
* 2 onions, sliced (the Italian red torpedo is my favourite)
* 2-3 tbsp olive oil
* 3 cloves garlic, sliced
* 1 tsp black cumin seeds
* 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
* 1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
* 1 tsp verdurette
* 2 bay leaves (torn)
* 1 litre of water
* 1-3 tbsp red wine vinegar or verjus
* Pinch chilli powder or home made chilli oil taste
* Yogurt and garlic

Put a large soup pot over a medium heat, add the oil and onions and fry gently until the onions begin to brown, add the garlic, black pepper and cumin. Fry for a further minute then add the raw beetroot and saute for 5 minutes or so, add the liquid, bayleaves and verdurette. Cover and simmer until the beetroot is soft 20-50mins. Remove the bayleaves and using a hand blender or mouli puree the soup. Adjust seasoning, add the chilli and vinegar or souring agent to taste (the amount of vinegar needed will depend on the quality of the beetroot, very sweet beetroot will require a little more but it is all a matter of taste). Serve: with a swirl of yogurt thinned with a little water and seasoned with salt and crushed garlic.

Cook’s Tip
Black cumin seeds are smaller and thinner and have a slightly sweeter, more delicate flavour than normal cumin, I use both in this soup for a more robust flavour. A little chillis in this soup is fantastic I use ½ tsp crushed chilli flakes, 1whole red chilli de-seeded and sliced or ½ tsp paprika to taste.
To add an extra depth use fresh chicken stock instead of water. Make the stock by boiling the remains of a roasted free range chicken in 2 litres of water with 2 bayleaves, half an onion and some black peppercorns for 1 hour.
Recipe Source
The recipe for this soup came from Moro: The Cookbook by Sam and Sam Clark, their Beetroot soup with black cumin is the basis for this one. I have made minor changes to suit my taste and the vegetables I grow.

This recipe was originally posted on  18/06/2006

Beetroot & Cumin Salad

20 May

Sweet, freshly boiled beetroot, seasoned with a sour, salty and spicy dressing works perfectly and makes a lovely side salad or mezze dish. Our November sown beetroot are at their best now in the polytunnel and there’s plenty left to harvest.
Serves 4 as a side dish

  • 4-5 medium size beetroot
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, crushed
  • 1-2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic chives or green garlic
  • pinch sea salt to taste
  • juice of half a lemon
  • pinch of ground cayenne chilli

Scrub the beetroot and boil whole for 30-40 minutes until just tender. Drain and set aside to cool. Peel by pushing off the skin and chop into bite size cubes. Add all the other ingredients and stir well. Set aside for 30 minutes for the flavours to develop before serving cold or at room temperature.
Original post 20/5/2008

Beetroot & Yogurt Salad

24 Apr

This is more like a dip than a salad, a lovely fresh combination of grated raw beetroot, yogurt, garlic and herbs, very similar to Turkish Cacik but made with beetroot instead of cucumber. Great with grilled foods or as part of a mezze of small dishes. I make it with raw beetroot, as I really like the sweet earthy taste of freshly pulled beetroot but when I’ve eaten it elsewhere it is most often made with cooked beetroot. The herbs can be anything green and fresh tasting; mint, tarragon, parsley, chives whatever you like.

Serves 4 Prep 5mins

  • 250g natural yogurt
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 heaped tbsp grated raw beetroot
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • fresh or dried herbs to taste

Put the garlic, salt and yogurt in a dish and beat until smooth. Wash peel and finely grate the beetroot, I use a food processor because I hate grating anything by hand (who wants grated knuckle although at least the blood can’t be seen in a beetroot salad:-). Stir the beetroot into the yogurt sauce, sprinkle with chopped or crumbled herbs and serve chilled.

Variations drizzle a little home-made chilli oil on top to give it a little bite.
Original post 24/4/2008

Mache & Beetroot Salad

12 Feb

Mache or Lambs Lettuce is a lovely and fairly delicate winter salad leaf. It makes a great winter salad teamed with shredded raw beetroot and walnuts.

  • mache
  • 1-2 beetroot
  • handful shelled walnuts
  • Olive oil
  • white wine vinegar
  • salt

Peel the raw beetroot and shred or grate finely. Wash the lambs lettuce and spin dry. Bash the walnuts up a bit into smaller pieces. Lay the leaves in a wide bowl, scatter the beetroot and nuts. Give it a pinch of salt  and add a slosh of olive oil, toss gently then add a little vinegar. Serve as a starter or side salad.
Variations: Use truffle oil for an even earthier taste
original post 13/2/2008