April 5, 2009

Beet it!

If I had to choose my top five favourite foods (impossible to choose one), then beetroot and capsicum would definitely be on the list. Probably at the top of the list. For me beetroot is so earthy and luscious and it has this amazing affect on my body. It has this ability to slow me down and I find I relish each bite.

This really, is the way we are supposed to eat anyway, but sadly scoffing our food is often reality. I just couldn't rush eating beetroot. It demands my attention and it demands my respect and by golly it gets it. I probably want to enjoy my efforts too, after all it takes some preparation and so I want to savour the love and effort that goes into it. I treat roasted capsicum with the same affection but that deserves a post all on it's own.

If you hadn't guessed by now I am not talking about the canned variety. There was a time I loved beetroot from the can, but after using fresh beetroot I simply cannot go back. Fresh beetroot is far superior and even more superior if you can literally pull it from the earth like mine.

This photo is from our home-grown garden and the beetroot I am extracting was one of the biggest we had ever seen! Isn't it amazing? Full credit goes to hubby who is the home gardener but I am good at weeding. Sometimes.

Here is my favourite way for preparing beetroot.

Roasted Beetroot

4 or 5 fresh average sized beetroot, washed & scrubbed, stalks cut off, tails intact (cut off if preferred)
2 cloves crushed garlic
1 tablespoon balsamic syrup
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
freshly cracked black pepper
1/4 teaspoon good quality sea salt flakes, crushed
Chopped continental parsley if available

If the beetroot is very uneven in size then halve bigger ones, otherwise leave whole. Place the beetroot onto a baking tray, throw in some roughly chopped garlic if desired (sometimes I do sometimes I don't). Add some water, about 1/4 cup is heaps; cover really well with foil. Sometimes I put baking paper over the beetroot then foil over that because I have this thing about aluminium foil directly touching the food.

Bake in a moderate oven for about one hour. Test; it should still be firmish; if too firm then bake a little longer. Take out; leave in the baking tray to cool.

When cooled; peel beetroot; cut into wedges; place in bowl; add the balsamic syrup, olive oil, pepper, salt & crushed garlic. Mix well. Scatter with some chopped parsely if desired. It's best left in the fridge for a couple of days, if you can wait that long.

Make sure you mix it well before use so it is well coated with the luscious dressing. Enjoy it and enjoy it slowly.

Balsamic Syrup

Simply put 1/2 cup of good quality balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan with 1/4 cup of castor sugar. Mix well. Simmer over a low heat for about 10 or 15 minutes until it has reduced by half. Pour into a small glass jar. I refrigerate mine and it thickens up even more. Absolutely delicious. Lasts for ages.


  1. What a beautiful blog! You photos are gorgeous, your writing is beautiful and your recipes sound wonderful. I'll be back often and am going to include you in my blogroll.

  2. Oh, I love beetroot too, particularly roasted as you've done here. When I do them, I leave the garlic whole, unpeeled (less work, which is never a bad thing!) and just bash them with the back of a knife so they can release all of their flavour. I also sometimes throw in a sprig or two of thyme and a bay leaf. I love the idea of the syrup - it sounds delicious!

  3. I am a huge fan of beets as well! Once you have fresh, you will never go back to canned. Have you tried golden beets? They are my absolute favorite. I have never grown beets myself, but I think you and your husband are inspiring me.

  4. I love roasted beets, too, but have never had them with a balsamic syrup. WIll try next go-round for sure. Thanks!

  5. Mary - how very kind of you to offer those lovely comments. I suppose I will keep evolving as I learn and I look forward to developing relationships with bloggers I respect such as yourself. Many thanks.

    Thanks for the tip Debora, I rather like the addition of thyme. Yes balsamic syrup is to die for with so many applications. I use it heaps.

    Wow, I do feel privileged that you dropped in Apples and Butter. No I haven't tried golden beets. I actually haven't seen them too often. Oh well, I better get hubby to find some seeds and get cracking.

    Yes, Catherine you must, must, must. Let me know what you think.