Sunday, 9 October 2011

Beetroot (Warning: some viewers may find some scenes disturbing)

The Beetroot is ready for harvesting, and we have rather a lot of it. This is because when I sowed the seeds, I used most of the packet, and  wrongly assuming most of them wouldn't grow, so when they did I didn't have the heart to thin them. Nevertheless they are all a good size.
Having gathered my crop I went home to prepare them.

Cut away the leaves with 3 cm of stalk and the roots remaining . Wash the beetroot under cold running water.I use my pressure cooker which I love, it takes 15 to 20 minutes to cook a large batch. I know people are nervous of pressure cookers, so if you prefer to boil, put the beetroot in a saucepan of cold water bring to the boil, cover and simmer gently for 1-2 hours. This will depend on the size of the beetroot.

There is a somewhat earthy smell during and after cooking the beetroot, to avoid this you can wrap each one in foil and bake them in the oven at 400°F/200°C Gas mark 6 they take can take 2-3 hours but no smell.Whilst warm remove the skin, I always use latex gloves, so the process takes the appearance of a medical procedure, so please excuse the gruesome photographs, but it is so simple this way and less messy and rather satisfying.

Once cooked you can do with them what you will. I am pickling some and making a Jelly with the rest.

Sweet Pickled Beetroot
1 kg of cooked Beetroot 
1 Litre of vinegar it can be pickling but I think cider is nicer.
6 tablespoons of sugar Heat the vinegar and add the sugar, keep stirring till the sugar has dissolved.Make sure you have sterilised jars ready. (I sterilise mine by putting them on a hot cycle in the dishwasher).
Put slices of beetroot in the jars and cover them with the vinegar.Seal with the Lid straight away.I kept some of the small beets and left them whole, placed them in a jar poured over the vinegar.
Label and date.

The next recipe is so simple but is delicious with cold meats or Cheese. My Aunt would always bring this over on Boxing Day.

Aunt Shirley's Beetroot and Raspberry Jelly.

1 Raspberry jelly 2 tsp caster sugar 1 lb 450g) cooked and diced beetroot.
Quarter pint/142ml Cider vinegar
Dissolve jelly in half pint water plus sugar. Add vinegar and diced beetroot.
Leave to set. Keep in fridge.



  1. OH MY GOD!! Beetroot Atrocities, joking. I nearly did the same in sowing a lot of beetroot at once. I started 12 off in modules every 3 weeks since March and they have provided a long succession of beetroot. You should try to make beetroot cake, its delicious :P

  2. anthonysgarden Well it did come with a warning! I've just googled Beetroot cake and will indeed be making it, thanks for that. I find thinning out the weedy seedlings very difficult, I feel they all deserve a chance, I'm sure I will toughen up with more experience.

  3. I've just plundered my beetroot crop so your post is very timely- the jelly does sound good!

  4. These looks tasty Kitty, thanks!

    Got a good glut to use up, and to just pickle the beets kind of feels like a waste sometimes.

    Have you seen this Loads of delicious looking recipes on there. Am trying to eat a beetroot based meal once a day all this week...

  5. Thrifty Household The Jelly is great, and so easy. Still looking for ways to use Beetroot, I hate waste.

    Jono Thanks for the lovebeetroot site, very helpful, I still have loads of Beetroot on the allotment, I am quite shocked at just how well it grows.

  6. I know, its such a great veg for that. I've found you can almost sow it and leave it, and the beets will grow whatever the conditions!

  7. Yum - I will certainly try the beetroot and raspberry jelly sounds great.

  8. The beetroot and raspberry Jelly is fabulous I used marginally less water in the 2nd jar as I wanted a slightly firmer set. I have this with cold meat even in cheese sandwiches on 2nd large jar. YUMMY.I will make this continually year round. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  9. I have made quite a few jars of the raspberry and beetroot jelly but I grated the beetroot and used red wine vinegar (that I had in the fridge) - it is beautiful!! If the jars are sealed up, how long will it last? Not that I think it will last THAT long - it just tastes too good.

  10. You know that beetroot leaves when young taste lovely in a mixed leaves salad. Perhaps you could eat your 'thinnings' then you would feel better about doing it?

  11. When I made the beetroot and raspberry jelly, I grated the beetroot (a tip from a senior country dweller). It gave it a lovely texture. This same lady said that she had also done it with blackcurrant jelly but I haven't tried that yet !