It’s really easy to cook fresh beetroot at home: read on for our top tips!
With its earthy taste and deep ruby colour, fresh beetroot is such a treat. It’s an inexpensive vegetable, and packed with vitamins and fibre. Beetroot is delicious served hot as a side dish, or cold in a salad, and is also glorious in soups and dips.
- We recommend that you buy your beetroot loose, in bunches, with their leaves still attached.
- Choose small or medium-sized beetroot, because the bigger, older ones take a long time to cook. The beetroot should be firm to the touch, with unwrinkled skins.
- Look out for new and interesting varieties of beetroot, such as golden and ‘stripy’ beetroot.
HOW TO TRIM BEETROOT
- Remove the leaves and stalks, but be sure to trim them off at least 3 cm above the beetroot. Don’t slice off the root, or make any other cuts in the beetroot, which will cause the colour to ‘bleed’ out during cooking.
- TOP TIP:
If the leaves are young, tender and fresh, try steaming or stir-frying them – they’re delicious sprinkled with a Knorr Salad Dressing, or with a simple dressing of olive oil, salt and fresh lemon juice. Add some crumbled feta cheese and toasted pumpkin or sunflower seeds, and you have a meal fit for a king!
BOILING & PEELING BEETROOT
- Trim the beetroot, as described above. Bring a large pot of water to a fast boil, and add a big pinch of salt.
- Add the whole beetroot, turn the heat down to medium, and boil - partially covered with a lid - for 30-60 minutes (depending on their size).
- To test whether the beetroot is done, pierce the biggest one with the tip of a sharp knife. The knife should slide smoothly into the beetroot, with no resistance.
- Tip the beetroot into a colander set in the sink, and leave to drain and cool for 10 minutes.
- You can now peel the warm beetroot by trimming off their tops and bottoms, and slipping off their skins.
It’s best to wear a pair of kitchen gloves when you’re peeling beetroot, or the pink colour will stain your hands.
- Heat the oven to 190ºC, and place your beetroot on a large sheet of tin foil. Add a splash of olive oil, plus a pinch of salt and pepper, and any other flavourings you like – some unpeeled cloves of garlic, a sprig of fresh thyme, a dash of white wine or lemon juice, and so.
- Tightly close the foil parcel, slide it onto a baking sheet, and bake for 1-2 hours, or until the beetroot is very tender.
- You can speed up the cooking time by microwaving the beetroot before it goes into the oven (see below).
- TOP TIP:
You can roast your beetroot in a Knorr Cook-In-Bag! Cut into thick wedges or quarters, and place in a Garlic & Rosemary Knorr Cook-In Bag. Sprinkle the seasoning mix over the beetroot, drizzle with a little oil and knot the bag loosely to seal. Hold the bag closed and roll gently to coat the beetroot evenly. Pierce the top of the bag three times with the tip of a sharp knife. Place on a baking tray in the centre of the oven and bake for 55 minutes, or until they tender. Ensure that the grill is off at all times.
- Try roasting your beetroot ‘open’ in the oven. Slice them in half lengthways, place on a baking sheet, sprinkle with olive oil and roast until tender. This method slightly shrinks the beetroot and wonderfully concentrates its flavour.
- Beetroot is so easy to cook in a microwave! Here’s how: trim the beetroot as described above. Prick each beetroot with a fork, in 2-3 places, to prevent it from exploding in the microwave.
- Place the beetroot in a large microwave-safe jug or bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of water, cover loosely with clingfilm or a plate, and microwave on high for about 8-12 minutes, or until the beetroot is very tender.
- Tip the beetroot into a colander and allow it to cool before you peel it.
- For a hot side dish, place the cooked, peeled beetroot in pan, warm it up and stir in a Knorr Chicken or Vegetable Stock Pot. When the stock ‘jelly’ has melted, add a dash of fresh lemon juice, and any of the ingredients listed below.
- Cooked fresh beetroot is wonderful in a warm or cold salad. Slice or quarter the peeled beetroot, place in a bowl, and sprinkle with a Knorr Salad Dressing of your choice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Now add any of the following ingredients, all of which go so well with beetroot:
- Olive oil
- Lemon juice or white-wine vinegar
- Crumbled feta cheese or blue cheese
- Sour cream, maas or yoghurt
- Fresh herbs such as dill, rocket, parsley, mint or finely snipped chives
- Apple or orange wedges
- Spring onions
- Cooked or tinned lentils or chickpeas
- Crispy bacon bits
- Walnuts or pecan nuts
- Toasted sunflower or pumpkin seeds
- How about a crunchy raw beetroot salad? Grate whole beetroot on the coarse side of a cheese-grater, tip into a bowl, and dress with Knorr Creamy Garlic and Herb Salad Dressing. Now add grated carrot, finely sliced celery and/or red cabbage, plus any of the ingredients mentioned above.
- Make a lovely beetroot soup. Here’s Chef Wendy’s Classic Beetroot Soup recipe.