Veg Box Newsletter 24th October: Beetroot

In the Veg Boxes This Week

Subject to last minute changes

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The Nice Bit

Beetroot? More like treat-root. I’m not exactly suggesting giving bunches of beetroot out to trick-or-treaters, but I am suggesting that we take a moment to appreciate the rich sweetness of this delicious and plentiful vegetable. We have beetroot in all the boxes this week- and the XL boxes have both golden and red roots- and we’re not likely to stop seeing it crop up in the boxes for a good while yet. So let’s think of as many ways as possible to eat beetroot, so we can enjoy it as thoroughly as it deserves and keep loving it anew, all season long. 

Nigel Slater has a very good point when he writes about balancing out the “sugar and soil” of beetroot with acid and heat. To that end, he makes a salad with blood oranges. Acid and heat is a theme we can keep an eye out for in these recipes, like in Meera Sodha’s two beetroot recipes- a simple soup with ginger and chilli with yoghurt on top for acidity and a Sri Lankan curry with lime juice.  Nigel writes, not in so many words, that he’s gone off beetroot in risotto, as the soft rich rice doesn’t offer any balance; that’s so, but in this recipe feta serves to cut through the sweetness, and as such it may still be worth consideration.

Sometimes it’s about taking a good idea and pairing it with another good idea. Beetroot gnocchi sounds OK, but what about beetroot gnocchi subbed into Ruby Tandoh’s very reliable gnocchi with capers and chilli crisp recipe? Suddenly it’s very exciting indeed. Beetroot latkes will miss the incredible addictive crisp texture of potato ones, but the way they pair with sour cream may make up for it.

Its love of acidity makes beetroot a wonderful component in a salad, and need I mention the potential to pickle? But it’s also a tool you can use to make other dishes with beetroot work a little better, like in this red cabbage, beetroot, and sausage hotpot which is spiked with a generous pour of red wine vinegar.