Beetroot is from the same family as the mangold or mangold-wurzel. The red – or purple – beetroot is most common but yellow ones and beets with red and white stripes are also found. They look best if you mix them.
Small beetroot are good as they are, boiled with a little butter and salt.
Thinly sliced raw beetroot brighten up most things on the table. You can also slice them into matchsticks and add to a salad.
Keep in mind
The color of red beetroot has a tendency to come off and stain your fingers. Take a drop of oil and grease your hands before setting to work and it will be easier to remove.
When mixing different types of beetroot, keep the red ones separate because the color runs onto the others and will destroy the whole impression.
How to cook beetroot
Beetroot of all colors are quite hard and need time to cook. If cooking them, remember to stop cooking in time so they don’t go soft and soggy but retain a bit of bite.
Boil beetroot: Clean the beetroot and cook them with the skin on for 20-45 minutes based on size. Drain and leave to cool, then pull off the peel. Or cut it off with a sharp knife.
Baked beetroot: Peel the beetroot and cut into chunks. Place on a baking tray with a little oil, thyme and sea salt. Bake in the oven at approximately 190°C until they are soft when you test them with a skewer. Top with goat’s cheese or another good cheese at the end and cook until it colors.
Salt-baked beetroot: Scrub the skin carefully. Cover the bottom of an ovenproof dish with coarse salt and put the beetroot on top. Bake in the oven at 150-175°C until soft. This method is a great way of concentrating the flavors.
You can get a good fried surface on beetroot. Boil them lightly first, before frying them in plenty of butter.
Beetroot that you pickle yourself are usually much better than the ones you buy. Cook them until they have the right amount of bite, before putting them in a 1-2-3 solution in a properly cleaned glass jar. Put in a jar in a cool place, waiting for the next time you have meatballs or a ploughman’s lunch.
Add diced beetroot to everything from quinoa and bulgur to pasta and you’ll have a colorful and delicious side dish.
Beetroots also go well in risotto. Peel and grate shred one large beetroot and add it to the rice when 5 or ten minutes of cooking/stirring remains. The risotto will, of course, turn a beautiful red.
All sorts of strong tasting cheeses go well with to beetroot; feta, goat’s cheese, pecorino, parmesan and manchego, for example. Thyme is good with beetroot and cheese.
One real classic is borscht, Russian beetroot soup with a big spoonful of sour cream.
Borscht with sour cream.