When I was approached by Love Beetroot and asked if I would like some complimentary beetroot sent to me, to sample and review, I said yes immediately as we all love beetroot in my family. My dad’s favourite packed lunch when he used to work was a round of beetroot sandwiches, and my husband also likes them for lunch now and then. My dad’s signature vegetarian dish (that I will share with you later) is roast Balsamic beetroot with garlic and olive oil, and we often enjoyed it as a light lunch with mum’s home-made bread for essential juice mopping. I often add beetroot, grated and raw, to my Cottage Pie meat mixture as well as home-made burgers for a “hidden” extra vegetable and to help towards our “5 A Day”. One of my favourite “dips” when I lived in Cyprus was the beetroot and yoghurt salad dip, and I have also been known to deep fry raw beetroot as “crisps” along with parsnips and carrots. The small hamper of beetroot that Love Beetroot sent was beautifully packed in a large box with a ice pack to keep it all cool; my ruby booty was nestled in yards of purple tissue paper and there was an informative facts and recipe leaflet enclosed alongside. I received 2 packs of natural cooked beetroot and a pack of baby beetroot in mild malt vinegar – all British of course. I particularly love hot beetroot, which is where I got the idea for this newly developed recipe from, a Hot Beetroot and Potato Salad with Smoked Trout and Dill Cream, a winter luncheon dish with an overtly Scandinavian feel, served with some home-made rye bread.
Not only is beetroot tasty and wonderful in all manner of recipes, as well as baking, it is also extremely healthy……just look at the facts that I found on the Love Beetroot site below if you don’t believe me………
Just eat it!
The benefits of drinking beetroot juice, from helping to boost stamina and make muscles work more efficiently to reducing blood pressure , have made the news recently.
But did you know that eating 200g of cooked beetroot provides just the same health benefits as drinking 500ml of juice?
So if you can’t stomach the idea of drinking 500ml of beetroot juice a day, why not try eating delicious ruby red beets instead? 3.5 cooked beetroot (approximately 200g) contain the same amount of nitrate as 500ml of beetroot juice, meaning you can reap similar rewards by incorporating a couple of tasty beetroot recipes into your daily diet instead.
- Hangover cure – Beta cyanin, the pigment that gives beetroot its colour, is an antioxidant so the humble beetroot could be the key to beating your hangover! Beta cyanin speeds up detoxification in your liver, which enables your body to turn the alcohol into a less harmful substance that can be excreted quicker than normal.
- Nature’s Viagra – One of the earliest known benefits of beetroot is its use as an aphrodisiac during the Roman times. And it wasn’t all folklore as it has been found to contain high amounts of boron, which is directly related to the production of human sex hormones.
- Getting in the mood - Beetroot contains betaine, a substance that relaxes the mind and is used in other forms to treat depression. It also contains trytophan which is also found in chocolate and contributes to a sense of well being.
- Getting in a jam – The red pigment in beetroot is used to colour strawberry jam as well as to improve the colour of tomato paste, sauces and strawberry ice cream.
- Food of love – The Lupanare, the official brothel of Pompeii, which still stands despite the best efforts of Vesuvius in 79AD, has its walls adorned with pictures of beetroots.
- Healing power – Hippocrates advocated the use of beet leaves as binding for wounds.
- Beware garlic – Platina recommended taking beetroot with garlic to nullify the effects of ‘garlic-breath’.
- The commander’s code - Field Marshal Montgomery, an army commander in WWII, is reputed to have exhorted his troops to ‘take favours in the beetroot fields’, a euphemism for visiting prostitutes
- Rags to riches – Sir Alan Sugar of Apprentice fame demonstrated early entrepreneurial flair when, while at school, he got a job boiling beetroots for the local greengrocer.
- Litmus test – You can use beetroot juice to measure acidity. When added to an acidic solution it turns pink, but when it is added to an alkali it turns yellow.
- Potent like horseradish – The Oracle at Delphi claimed that beetroot was second only in mystical potency to horseradish, and that it was worth its weight in silver.
- Everlasting love - In many cultures the belief persists that if a man and a woman eat from the same beetroot then they will fall in love.
- Head and shoulders – If you boil beetroots in water and then massage the water into your scalp each night, it works as an effective cure for dandruff.
- Out of this world - In 1975, during the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, cosmonauts from the USSR’s Soyuz 19 welcomed the Apollo 18 astronauts by preparing a banquet of borscht (beetroot soup) in zero gravity.
- Wonders of the world – Around 800 BC, an Assyrian text describes beets growing in the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the wonders of the ancient world.
- Turning heads – Since the 16th century, beet juice has been used as a natural red dye. The Victorians used beetroot to dye their hair.
- Bottoms up – Beetroot can be made into a wine that tastes similar to port .
- Vanish – Beetroot is a water-soluble dye, and hot water seems to ‘fix’ the colour stain more, so use lukewarm or cold water to avoid staining. To cure the inevitable ‘pink fingers’, rub with lemon juice and salt before washing with soap and water. On fabrics, try rubbing a slice of raw pear on the stain before washing, or rinse in cold water before washing in a biological powder.
- Beetroot burgers – In Australia, a true Oz-style burger must have a slice or two of beetroot. Even McDonalds and Burger King have had to toe the line and include it in their menus.
- A diet for cricketers – The Beetroot Diet involves followers eating beetroot three times a day, alongside other vegetables and whole foods. The Warwickshire County Cricket Club adopted the Beetroot Diet in 2004 and won the county championship that season!
- Record breakers – The world’s heaviest beetroot weighed 23.4kg (51.48lb) and was grown by Ian Neale from Somerset in 2001.
- Sugar rush – Beetroot has one of the highest sugar contents of any vegetable. Up to 10 per cent of beetroot is sugar, but it is released slowly into the body rather than the sudden rush that results from eating chocolate.
- Messy business – The Elizabethans prepared beetroot by wiping it with fresh dung before cooking it.
- Darling buds of May – Catherine Zeta Jones is reported to have become addicted to beetroot after eating it while pregnant with her two children.
The recipe that I developed uses natural cooked beetroot; the beetroot is roasted for 25 minutes with some cooked potatoes, this can all be done ahead of time, then reheated at the last minute if required. It is just a case of an assembly job then, with the dill cream being made just before serving. The additional roasting of the already cooked beetroot adds a sweetness and depth of favour, enhancing the earthiness of the root…..a perfect foil for the salty smoked trout – this is a dish with impeccable table manners and is very well behaved in a cool Scandinavian way……it’s a medley of textures with hot and cold, sweet and salty and creamy and fresh. We ate it for lunch with some thinly sliced rye bread and unsalted butter. Try to source high quality smoked trout; in the manner of the dish, I only sourced British ingredients, so the trout was Scottish. This would make an elegant starter dish, serving four people instead of two people as served for lunch. With thanks to Love Beetroot for sending me the beetroot to sample, I will be back with more recipes over the next week or so….I managed to develop three new recipes from the beetroot I received. See you later with a sweet treat and Happy Burns Night – my Burns Supper Menu will be featured tomorrow. Karen
|Hot Beetroot and Potato Salad with Smoked Trout and Dill Cream||
- 2 cooked potatoes, cubed
- 4 large cooked natural beetroot, cubed (not in vinegar)
- 2 tablespoons rapeseed oil
- 1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
- 100g smoked trout
- 4 tablespoons sour cream or crème fraîche
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill tips & some extra for the garnish
- 1/4 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced into rings
- Rocket leaves
- Black pepper
- Preheat oven to 180C/360F/Gas 4.
- Put the cubed beetroot and potatoes into a roasting tin, add the oil and vinegar and mix well, then roast for 20 to 25 minutes.
- Take out of the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
- Arrange the rocket leaves on a plate and mix the chopped dill with the sour cream (crème fraîche) then season to taste with back pepper.
- Scatter the onion rings over the leaves and then add the warm beetroot and potato cubes. Spoon the dill cream over the top and the tear the smoked trout into small pieces and arrange over the top.
- Garnish with fresh dill tips and drizzle the cooking juices over the salad leaves.
- Serve with thin slices of buttered rye bread.