Food Series: Root Veg – Beetroots

On this week’s food series, we’re looking at beetroots.

Beetroot is another great root veg, that is in season in Ireland between June and February so it’s available almost all year round. They’re also full of nutrients, including fibre, vitamin C and folic acid. Like carrots, beetroots can be cooked lots of different ways from boiling to baking to braising and pickling.

This week we have included some of our favourite beetroot based recipes. Why not mix it up this week and add beetroots to your weekly meals? Make it the main dish, like this tart or have it as a starter like the warm salad or hummus dip. Check out the recipes below.

Beetroot and caramelised onion tart

Ingredients: 175g wholemeal flour
100g porridge oats
100g butter
100g grated carrot
3 large onions,
sliced 3 medium beetroots, peeled and grated
3 medium eggs
250ml milk (either cow’s, goat or oat milk)

Directions: Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Blitz the flour, oats and butter in a food processor into a crumb-like texture. Next, add the grated carrot and continue to blitz until it all comes together to form a ball. Then, roll out the pastry and line a  shallow tart case, then allow to chill. Cook the onions gently in oil for 15-20 mins until they start to caramelise. Put the beetroot in the pastry case and cover with the onions. Whisk together the eggs and milk, season and add to pastry case with the onions and beetroot. Bake in the oven, lower the oven to 160C/140C fan/ gas 3 after 15 mins, for 40 mins (until firm and golden).

Warm beetroot, chorizo and pear salad

Ingredients: 1kg mixed beets, leaves trimmed
200g chorizo, skinned and thickly sliced
100g whole blanched almonds (use Marcona if it’s a special occasion)
2 tbsp membrillo (quince paste)
4 tbsp sherry vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice, plus an extra squeeze
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large pear or 2 small firm pears (I used Red Williams)
small pack parsley leaves picked and roughly torn
50g manchego shaved

Directions: Put the beets in a large pan of water, bring the water to the boil, cover and let simmer (20-40 mins, depending on the size of the beets). Use a skewer to check that they’re tender in the middle. Drain the beets and leave to cool. When cool, peel away the skins, stalks and root and roughly chop. Put the chorizo in a cold frying pan and fry over a medium heat (until crisp). Lift out the chorizo and keep warm. Pour in the almonds, fry until just turning brown on the edges, then remove from pan and place on kitchen paper to dry. Make the dressing by melting the membrillo in the pan (using the chorizo oil), with sherry vinegar and 1 tbsp lemon juice, next mix in olive oil and season. Core the pear and slice thinly, toss with some lemon juice (prevents browning), then arrange on a plate with the beets, chorizo and almonds. Toss with the dressing or serve it on the side. Sprinkle the parsley and manchego over it and serve immediately.

Beetroot hummus with homemade flatbreads

Ingredients for the hummus: 4 cooked beetroot,
1 roughly chopped garlic clove,
2 tsp of ground cumin
2 tbsp of pomegranate molasses, plus extra to drizzle
1 tbsp of tahini
Juice of 1 lemon
Sea salt and ground black pepper
2 tbsp of sesame seeds, toasted, to serve

Ingredients for the flatbreads: 500g bread flour, plus extra for dusting
2 x 7.5g sachet of easy blend dried yeast
1 tsp of sea salt, plus extra to sprinkle
350ml of tepid water
1 tbsp of honey
1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for oiling
2 tbsp of nigella seeds or poppy seeds
1 egg, lightly beaten
Dried polenta, to sprinkle

Directions: For the hummus, blitz together all the ingredients (except the sesame seeds), in a food processor until smooth. Season with salt, black pepper and add a little more lemon juice to taste if needed. Move to a serving bowl, drizzle with pomegranate molasses, chopped beetroot and sprinkle with sesame seeds to serve.
For the flatbreads, combine the flour, yeast, seeds and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the mixture, pour in the water, honey and olive oil, then using your fingertips, bring the flour in slowly from the sides, continue to mix until a rough dough forms. Put the dough on a floured work surface, knead for about 5 minutes (if the dough is too sticky add a little extra flour until it’s smooth). Make the dough into a ball, leave in an oiled bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and set aside in a warm spot for about 45 minutes (until doubled in size). Preheat the oven to 120°C/450°F/Gas mark 8. Punch the dough down on a lightly floured surface, divide into 8-12 pieces and roll into rounds as thinly as possible. Sprinkle polenta onto a baking sheet which has been preheated in the oven and place a flatbread on it. Brush with some beaten egg then bake in the oven for 5-8 minutes (until puffed up and golden), repeat for each flatbread. Keep warm before serving with the beetroot hummus dip.

Or if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, try these:

Beetroot brownies

Ingredients: 500g whole raw beetroot (3-4 medium beets)
100g unsalted butter, plus extra for the tin
200g bar plain chocolate (70% cocoa)
1 tsp vanilla extract
250g golden caster sugar
3 eggs
100g plain flour
25g cocoa powder

Directions: Wearing a pair of rubber gloves (to prevent staining), top, tail and peel the beetroot – about 400g flesh. Chop roughly and move to a large bowl, add a drop of water, cover with cling film and microwave on High for 12 mins (until tender). Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. As the beetroot is cooking, butter and line a 20 x 30cm traybake. Cut the butter into cubes and chop the chocolate. Drain the cooked beetroots, getting rid of any excess liquid, then add to a food processor with the butter, chocolate and vanilla. Blitz until as smooth as you can get it, (the chocolate and butter will melt with the heat of the beetroots). Beat together the sugar and eggs in a large bowl with an electric whisk until thick, pale and foamy (approx. 2 mins). Spoon the beetroot mix into the bowl, using a large spoon, fold in the whisked eggs (trying to maintain as much air as possible). Next, sift in the flour and cocoa powder. Gently fold into a smooth batter. Pour into the tin and bake for 25 mins (until risen all over) with the slightest quiver under the centre of the crust when you shake it. Allow to cool entirely before cutting into0 squares.

We hope you like this weeks food series and that you mix up your meals this week! Even if you think you don’t like beetroot, you might be surprised by how much you like these recipes.

The My Fertility Check Team

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