Today is the last day of spring. The beetroot in the garden are getting too big, pushing their way out of the soil, begging to be harvested. My youngest and I go out in the early evening. Her little hands twist the huge bulbs gently, so as not to disturb the beetroot seedlings nearby. We fill a basket to overflowing then carry it together into the kitchen. I’ll boil these ones up to later be made all kinds of beetrooty deliciousness… Chocolate Beetroot Muffins, Beetroot Risotto, Beetroot and Lentil Salad, Roasted Beetroot & Carrot Salad.
To boil beetroot whole: wash well and trim off leaves, leaving a couple of centimetres of the stems, so the juices won’t bleed out into the cooking water.
Pop into a big pot, cover with water and boil until tender (ie a skewer will slide in easily). Don’t worry about times too much, the beetroot won’t suffer if you overcook it a little, but it can take a while if the beetroot are big like mine.
Allow the beetroot to cool in the cooking water, if you have time. I left the pot on the stove overnight in this case. This makes the skins slide off easily to reveal the deep magenta, silky flesh beneath. I tend to do this under a slowly running tap, just rubbing the skins off with my fingers. If they are a bit more stubborn you can use a peeler or sharp knife.
To make beetroot puree: from here you can roughly chop then blitz the peeled, boiled beetroot in your food processor to make beetroot puree, which freezes well and is fabulous to use in chocolate beetroot muffins and dips. I like to pre-weigh portions for different recipes to make things super easy for myself later.