Our kitchen garden cook reveals her favourite recipes with beetroot.
‘A pleasure to grow and pull up out of the ground, beetroot has a unique
earthy flavour that works really well in this risotto recipe, especially with
the horseradish. Don’t forget that young beetroot tops are just as delicious
as the bulbous root if added to salads or blanched and served
with olive oil, crushed garlic and sea salt’
Fillet of beef with beetroot and horseradish risotto (serves 4)
600g fillet of beef
2tbspn wholegrain mustard
200g beetroot (4 medium-sized)
A splash of olive oil
A splash of balsamic vinegar
1 sprig rosemary
3 sprigs thyme
A splash of olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
4 sprigs thyme
3 sprigs rosemary
400g Arborio rice
200ml red wine
1 litre beef stock
1tbspn creamed horseradish
A handful amaranth micro herbs
Preheat your oven to 200˚C/400˚F/gas mark 6. Cut the beef into four pieces and, using the back of a spoon, cover each with mustard and plenty of ground black pepper. Sear the beef on all sides in a hot frying pan before putting it in the oven for about 8–12 minutes, depending on how well you like your meat cooked.
Wash and peel the beetroot and cut it into 2cm (two-thirds of an inch) chunks. Line a roasting dish with foil and add the beetroot. Pour a splash of olive oil and balsamic over it and scatter the rosemary and thyme on top, plus seasoning. Cook in the oven for 20 minutes or until tender. Remove from the oven and pulse half of the pieces in a food processor, setting the others aside somewhere warm.
Heat a splash of olive oil in a heavy-bottomed dish (that has a lid). Fry the red onion until it’s translucent and add the sprigs of thyme and rosemary. Fry for a minute more, stirring well, then pour in the rice, mixing it around to ensure every grain of rice has a coating of olive oil, just for a minute or so.
Add a little more oil if it seems too dry. Pour the red wine over it, it will sizzle at first and stir until the wine is fully absorbed before adding a third of the beef stock. Allow the stock to absorb almost fully, continuing to stir the ingredients, before adding the next third. Repeat the process with the remaining stock.
When the stock is almost entirely absorbed, add the puréed beetroot and a tablespoon of creamed horseradish. Once the rice is cooked, take the dish from the heat and drop in the butter, stirring it in to make the grains glisten. Taste for seasoning and adjust before placing a lid on the dish and leaving to stand for about five minutes.
After leaving it to rest, remove the sprigs of herbs from the risotto and divide between plates. Add the fillet of beef and the cooked cubes of beetroot, plus a scattering of amaranth micro herbs.
More ways with beetroot
Combine 2 medium-sized cooked beetroots with one drained can of chickpeas, the juice and zest of a lemon, seasoning, 2tbspn tahini and 150ml olive oil. Pulse them all in a blender until they form a smooth paste. Serve with freshly toasted pitta bread.
Beetroot carpaccio with grilled halloumi
Finely slice cooked beetroot and arrange it on plates. Top with grilled halloumi and handfuls of rocket. Pour a dressing made from combining 3tbspn olive oil, 3tbspn white-wine vinegar, 1 clove crushed garlic, 2tspn orange-blossom water and seasoning over it.
Beetroot-and-herring Scandinavian salad
Boil 3 beetroots until tender and then cut into cubes before arranging them on a platter with a few handfuls of spinach leaves, mixed with the leaves from the beetroot, a chopped apple, 6 chopped pickled onions and 4 rolls of herrings. Pour a dressing made from half a cup of mayonnaise, a quarter cup of sour cream, a splash of olive oil and a quarter cup of apple-cider vinegar over the salad and serve with dark rye bread.