I love beetroot, not only for the taste and its versatility (you can make pretty much anything from beetroot; enjoy it in a salad, make a soup and much more), but also because of its colour. Just by grating or slicing small pieces of the crop onto a salad livens up the plate instantly and when you grow your own you can find the crop produces many different patterns and shades. Not only does each and every crop give you something a bit different, you can also experiment with the varieties that are available to you.
Beetroot varieties include:
Growing your Beetroot (Sow March to July)
• The best way I have found to grow beetroot is to sow the seeds about 5cm apart in rows 23cm apart. With early sowings protect them with a cloche or fleece, but with later sowing protect with wire netting as this will deter birds away.
• When the crop is large enough to handle, you can begin to thin them out. However, this is less important if you are growing the beetroot as a salad leaf. If they are growing for the intention for picking, leave about 5cm between each, but if they are being grown for salads and cooking leave about 10cm.
• It is very important to keep the crops weed free and watered well during dry spells and should be repeated every two weeks.
• The beetroot should be ready for harvesting between 12 to 16 weeks, but remember to water the rows the day prior.
An appetising Beetroot recipe
You can see how much I love beetroot and the dishes you can create with it, as it was my Veg of the Month in June last year. Last time I shared with you a great beetroot risotto recipe and I must say it went down quite well with the family; they couldn’t get enough of it! So this time around, I am going to share with you how wonderful beetroot is when tossed into a salad, a warm mackerel and beetroot salad. Looking around for inspiration to put a new twist to the much loved English salad, I came across this on Good Food, and it looks delicious, so had to try my hand at it.
450g new potatoes , cut into bite-size pieces 3 smoked mackerel fillets, skinned
250g pack cooked beetroot 100g bag mixed salad leaves
2 celery sticks, finely sliced 50g walnut pieces
6 tbsp good-quality salad dressing 2 tsp creamed horseradish sauce
1. While you are boiling the potatoes until tender (about 12-15minutes) prepare the mackerel fillets and beetroot. You want to flake the mackerel into large pieces and cut the beetroot into chunks.
2. Drain the potatoes and when allowing them to cool slightly mix the salad dressing and horseradish sauce together in a salad bowl and season. When the potatoes have cooled a little tip them into the sauce.
3. Add the salad leaves, mackerel, beetroot, celery and walnuts, and toss gently.
Simplistic yet full of flavour,