Friday, March 20, 2009

Golden Beetroot

So I have a new obsession - Golden Beetroot. As a child I hated beetroot, it was soggy and dangerous to eat. Guaranteed the times Mum would serve it I would slop it down my front and cause all sorts of crankiness for she-who-washed-my-clothes (I am meaning dearest mother here - come on I am talking about when I was a kid, not like when I was 26 and still living at home and ...) It also had a wierd flavour, kind of metallic but like dye, like earthy waterpaint, or something. When I got older I used to spend weekends at my boyfriend-at-the-time's house and occasionally he and his housemate would cook up the world's best roast. I'm not being overly generous here, this really was the world's best roast. I lived in England for two years, I know a darn good roast but this, in its supreme succulence and flavour beat them all. Honestly I still salivate when I think about these nights (about the roast not the boy). With it he would generally serve roasted beetroot. Like a good girl I eat all I am given when out for a meal at someone's house. The process of roasting using wonderful oils and meat juices made these beetroots so lovely and soft ans tender. I became addicted.

I now cook with beetroot whenever I get the opportunity. Beetroot risotto is awesome, and borscht is something I am working towards perfecting. Now I am a gardener of sorts I am trying my hand at growing beetroot. I have the usual bulls blood beetroot and a supposed white beetroot and a collection of mixed beetroot seeds that prove to be pot luck when you plant them. However my all time new favourite is golden beetroot. I keep picking them way too young, eating the leaves raw or steamed and utilising the baby beet in whatever way possible. When I say baby beet, i mean baby beet, they are positively tiny. In fact, when I roasted them last weekend totally awesome housemate and Hurricane J both remarked that while the steamed beet leaves were lovely they were not at all sure when or if they had consumed the golden beetroot itself.

I used one the other night in a stirfry. So delicious. More tasty and less likely to cause discolouration of attire (at least it won't make it red) But I need to learn to wait until they get a little bigger, then i could make golden borscht or golden risotto. I have already planted a second lot and will await them. In fact I have considered multiple plantings, one to leave to grow big, the other to sate my ever increasing hunger for this less messy cousin to the dark red beetroot.

What's your opinion on beetroots in all their many colours?


Gardeness said...

I've never grown this. They look lovely, and sound delicious. Maybe I'll give them a go.

Chandramouli S said...

I never knew they also come in white! Beetroot for me is that dark magenta-ish veggie and I still prefer it being cooked with potato rather than alone.

Ran said...

i grew a tricolour mix this year including golden beetroot and i am in love!

my last seeds didnt germinate though, i think the heat killed them

Fern @ Life on the Balcony said...

The only beets I've ever eaten are the ones I grew this past year: Detroit Red. They were good. I ate the roots and the greens. I never thought about using them in a stir fry, good idea!

Anonymous said...

Beets are every bit as pretty as flowers. At least the purple ones. I don't grow many vegetables but I'm thinking roasted beets--yum. (We call them beets here in the states.) I might have to remember this when the farmers' markets open.

hayko said...

They are AMAZING! you have done very well with them. I am most impressed :)still, i am waiting to see these purple carrots you keep talking about...

prue said...

Hi Gardeness - always worth a try I say! Let me know how it goes if you decide to give it a shot.

Chandramouli - same here, beetroot was always simply beet red, but now with all these other varieties it is like all my Christmases have come at once

Ran - yay for tricolour mix, glad to meet another golden convert out there

Fern - I think there are some detroit red in my crazy potluck beetroot mix, will look out for them, though not sure how i will tell them from the other red ones! Good idea to grate them if in a stir fry, or slice them very thinly.

Grace - when I say beets (rather than beetroot) I think of that old book, Jitterbug Perfume. One of my faves, but puts an interesting spin on the old beet.

Hayko - yay even another Golden Beetroot lover! The purple carrots are still babies and may never fully grow given how hard it is to grow carrots in a pot - but we will see