Sweet and earthy, they taste like no other vegetable.  The colour, somewhere between purple and blood, can be offputting. If you find it hard to deal with, there are other beetroot varieties of gentler hue to try: Burpee’s Golden (golden with a hint of pink), Albina Vereduna (white) and Chioggia (pink, with concentric white rings).  The shape of Cylindra, long and cylindrical as its name suggests, is good for grating and stops you grating your fingers off.  Personally, I like the intense colour, so good old Boltardy is the one for me.

Beetroot varieties L to R : Boltardy, Burpee’s Golden, Albina Vereduna, Chioggia

To cook beetroots, I cut off the leaves, being careful not to cut into the skin, as it will leach magenta juice when it cooks. Then I wrap them loosely in foil and cook them in the oven for about an hour and a half.  If I’m being efficient, I put them in when a cake or a casserole is cooking.  When they come out, I let them cool, and then the skin slips off easily.

And beetroot stains, so I wear an apron.

Below are two great recipes for beetroot salad, the first with cooked beetroot, the second with raw.



  • Beetroot, 2 largish ones, cooked
  • Feta cheese, 2 fat ‘fingers’
  • Red Gem lettuce
  • Mixed seeds, 2 TB
  • Fresh herbs of your choice, a handfull (I like golden marjoram, parsley and a bit of mint)
  • Balsamic vinegar, 2 TB
  • Cold pressed rapeseed oil, 1 TB
  • Sea salt and black pepper

To make:

  1. Arrange the lettuce leaves in two bowls.
  2. Slip the skin off the beetroot, slice and arrange on top of the lettuce.
  3. Sprinkle the seeds over the beetroot.
  4. Crumble the feta roughly over the seeds.
  5. Season with sea salt and plenty of black pepper.
  6. Chop the herbs roughly and scatter over the top.
  7. Mix the balsamic vinegar and the rapeseed oil together, and pour over the salad.
  8. Enjoy!



  • Beetroot, 1 large (or 2 smaller) raw
  • Carrots, 1 large
  • Alfalfa sprouts, two handfuls
  • Lettuce leaves
  • Avocado, 1
  • Orange, 1 large
  • Marigold bouillon powder, 1/2 tsp

To make:

  1. Arrange the lettuce leaves in two bowls.
  2. Grate the beetroot finely, and the carrot finely, and arrange in two mounds on the lettuce.
  3. Make a third mound with the alfalfa sprouts
  4. For the dressing: peel and mash the avocado till smooth, put in a bowl. Squeeze the juice of the orange and mix with the avocado.  Add the bouillon powder and mix to taste.  You should have a pale green, slightly sludgey, but nevertheless delicious, dressing to spoon over the grated veg.
  5. Enjoy!

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