Monday, 24 September 2007

beetroot


There is one vegetable whose presence in the kitchen indicates that a gardener is close by: beetroot.
Supermarkets stock uncooked beetroot but not throughout its long season. They sometimes stock cooked, chilled beetroot.
However, when a vegetable gardener is nearby, beetroot is available from early summer until October and beyond.
Early, 'baby beets' are the small round 'thinnings' that sweeten early summer salads.
The plants remaining grow onto tennis ball size .
The modern kitchen does not welcome beetroot. The long boiling process makes steam and, shock horror, sometimes the red liquid that emerges from the boiling goes onto cookers or worktops!! It needs wiping off!! Modern kitchens, I understand, are only used for defrosting and ping cookery.
My favourite way of cooking beetroot is wrapped in foil and then oven baked. The flavour intensifies in this long slow heat and none is lost in the boiling.
The oven roasted beets are velvet in texture and deep burgandy in colour. And with a helpful purgative effect.
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