How to Cook Beetroot (& 10 ways to eat them!) January 4, 2018
We’re going to go ahead and state the obvious here: you only get one dinner a day. So although it doesn’t have to be fancy, gourmet, or time-consuming, it should definitely be fun. This is why everyone – kitchen newbies and master chefs alike – should get cooking with beets.
They’re surprisingly simple to work with, incredibly versatile, and really nutritious. From easing inflammation to cleansing the liver, there’s not much beetroot can’t do! They boast the highest sugar content of any vegetable and, believe it or not, were even considered an aphrodisiac in Roman times.
How to Cook Beetroot:
Simply wash the roots (with skin intact) before wrapping them individually in foil and placing on a baking sheet. Roast at 400ºF until easily pierced with a fork, 45 minutes to an hour. Once cool, peel away the skin.
Bring a large pot of water to boil. While you’re waiting, wash the roots (with skin intact) and prepare a bowl of ice water. Once the water boils, add the beets. (Tip: If you’re working with different coloured beetroot, boil them in separate pots otherwise they’ll discolour!) Boil until skin can easily be removed, 25-30 minutes. Remove beets from boiling water and immediately submerge in ice water. Dry and peel away the skin.
Now comes the fun part! We hope you’re hungry (and not wearing a white shirt)…
10 Ways to Enjoy Beets:
1. Bountiful Buddha Bowl
Cooking is non-scientifically proven to make you happy, and dinners in bowls are non-scientifically proven to taste more delicious. Trust us, we’ve done thorough research. Don’t be fooled by the fancy name, though. Buddha bowls are just wholesome, plant-based meals combining greens, raw or roasted veggies, beans, and good-for-you grains. And the best part is that they’re perfect for feeding a crowd. Prep all your toppings in advance, set them out salad bar-style, and let everyone have fun building their own bowl.
Step 1: Pick a grain of your choice as a base . Quinoa, farro, brown rice, freekeh… the opportunities are endless. (Well not exactly endless, but you get the point.)
Step 2: Load on the toppings! We’re talking a gooey fried or hard boiled egg, sautéed kale or spinach, roasted sweet potato, sliced avocado, nuts, and – of course – sliced beets.
2. Beet and Goat Cheese Tart
A tart for dinner? You better believe it. This beauty combines the flaky, buttery puff pasty we practically drool over come dessert with creamy goat cheese and bold rosemary. We’d say it’s the perfect side dish or appetiser, but let’s be honest: no one will want to share.
- 1 egg
- Puff pastry, thawed
- 350g crumbled goat cheese
- 4 cooked beets (2 red and 2 golden)
- Salt and pepper
- Rosemary sprigs, picked
- Preheat oven to 180ºC. Crack egg into a small bowl and whisk to create an egg wash.
- Place puff pastry on baking sheet and brush with egg wash.
- Sprinkle half the goat cheese over puff pastry. Add sliced beets, alternating between a row of red and a row of golden.
- Season with salt and pepper, top with remaining crumbled goat cheese, and sprinkle with rosemary.
- Bake until cheese is melted and pastry is golden brown, 25-30 minutes.
3. Pickled Beets
You know when pickled vegetables taste so, well, vinegary? Beets are not one of those. The apple cider vinegar complements their natural sweetness for a result that’ll have you begging for more.
- 7 medium red beets, roasted and sliced
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp sugar
- Coarse sea salt
- In a large bowl, combine sliced beets, vinegar, sugar, and a large pinch of salt. Set aside to marinate 30-45 minutes. Voila! You’re done.
4. Beet and Carrot Slaw
Beets and carrots are similar in more ways than you might imagine. They can both be eaten raw, they’re both deliciously crunchy, and – our personal favourite – they’re both surprisingly sweet. So we figured it would only make sense for these two veggies to join forces in the slaw of all slaws. And it would only make sense for us to scarf down every. last. bite. of said slaw, right?
- 6 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 medium beetroot, peeled and thinly sliced
- 3/4 cup parsley, roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup red onion, finely diced
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3/4 cup toasted pine nuts
- Combine lemon juice, vinegar, onions, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.
- Add honey and whisk in olive oil.
- Add carrots, beets, and parsley.
- Toss and adjust with more salt and pepper if necessary. Sprinkle with pine nuts before serving.
5. Beetroot Chips
You know how a really good movie snack is sweet and savoury? These crispy chips are the perfect maelstrom of the two.
- 5 medium beetroot, peeled
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Coarse sea salt
- Preheat oven to 180ºC and line 2-3 (depending on size) baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Use a mandolin to thinly slice beets.
- Toss with olive oil and arrange slices in a single layer on baking sheet.
- Bake until crisp, about 30 minutes.
- Let cool, then sprinkle with coarse sea salt.
6. Crushed Beets and Whole Wheat Spaghetti
Beets, caramelized red onion, lemon, and garlic really do create an insanely delicious pasta sauce. Drizzled with garlic-infused oil and sprinkled with toasted hazelnuts, this dish will certainly push you out of your recipe rut. Waaaaaayyyy out. Don’t be skimpy with that fresh ricotta, either. Snag the recipe here.
7. Roasted Beetroot Hummus
Although the base for hummus is standard — cooked chickpeas, lemon juice, garlic, and olive or sesame oil — it lends itself to an infinite amount of creativity. Some swear by a generous swirl of tahini or a kick of zest, while others can’t fathom the dip without herbs. But us? We’re all about beets. How could anyone resist taking a double dip into something as beautiful as this? Get the recipe here.
8. Lentil & Beetroot Salad with Feta
Did you know New Zealand has a love affair with beetroots? We consume more beetroot per head of population than any other country in the world, and unlike our borscht loving Northern European cousins, we don’t mind it cold either. And why not? Life’s too short to bother with stewing and stirring sometimes. These cooked Love Beets will leave your heart racing, as they frolic along in a veritable cacophony of feta, green beans and walnuts. Time to get the recipe.
9. Bunless Lentil Burger with Beetroot Relish
This bunless burger is the perfect light, yet filling dinner. We’ve subbed bread for crunchy lettuce leaves, but with all the trimmings – relish, tomatoes and sweet potato wedges, you won’t even know it’s missing. Who knew a lentil burger could taste so good! The secret? Why, beetroot of course. Check out the recipe here.
10. Beetroot Brownies
What, you thought we weren’t going to offer you dessert? Don’t worry – beetroot’s unique sweetness means it can lend it’s nutritious benefits to sweet treats. Like this amazing brownie!
Chocolate Beetroot Brownies
230g butter (half for icing and half for brownies)
2 cups icing sugar
1 tbsp beet purée*
Splash of milk
3-4 medium cooked beets
1 cup dark chocolate chips
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup self raising flour
*To make beat purée: simply blend cooked beets in a food processor or blender, adding a little water if need be to form a smooth paste.
- Preheat oven to 180°C.
- Line baking tin with butter. Cut remaining butter into cubes, and place in a food processor with beets, chocolate, and vanilla extract. Blend until smooth.
- Crack eggs into large bowl. Add sugar and beat with electronic mixer until thick, about 2-3 minutes. Incorporate beet mixture into whipped eggs. Gradually sift in flour and cocoa powder, folding until it reaches a smooth consistency.
- Transfer mixture to tin. Bake 28-30 minutes, until a wooden skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- To make the icing, beat butter with electronic mixer while gradually adding sugar. Mix in beet puree, and add milk until it reaches a spreadable consistency.
- Let brownies cool completely (about 30-45 minutes) before icing. Cut into squares and dig in!