My husband is a keen gardener and we have a fantastic allotment and kitchen garden where we grow a vast array of vegetables and fruits. It has been a real eye-opener to see what we can grow, how much we can harvest, and what I can do with it all. I’ve really enjoyed having the freedom to try new recipes and ideas with lots of different vegetables.
One veg we have had huge success with is beetroot – the vegetable that has so many benefits, tastes great, can be used in so many different ways, yet not a lot of people eat it. I’ve made chocolate brownies, rich tasty juices (I have one of these to kick-start my morning every day), salads, coleslaw, houmous, cakes, beetballs….the list is endless. This week we picked a few from the allotment and I made the most delicious beetroot and goats cheese tart – see below for the recipe details. This tasted so good as a hot dinner choice, and even better the next day as a cold leftover with salad – I will definitely be making this again!
I’m guilty of thinking of beetroot as that pickled stuff in a jar that my Dad got out at Christmas, or had with his crackers occasionally. I never really tasted it as a youngster, or wanted to! But now, having grown it and researched it, and tried so many recipes with it, I can see how versatile, healthy, and nutritious it is – and it has so many health benefits.
Beetroot is a good source of iron and naturally occurring folic acid, so therefore is great for getting your daily intake (which most of us struggle with). It also contains nitrates, betaine, magnesium and other antioxidants.
Other research has shown that beetroot can support lowering blood pressure and even prevent dementia. And one that I am super impressed with is – it boosts exercise performance, which is why we see so many exercisers drinking its juice before,during and after exercise.
So, go on, give it a try – eat it, drink it, and reap the benefits. Oh, and
why not try baking or cooking it in a different way, like a cake 🙂
Oh, and useful tip – wear gloves when handling it!
Let me know what you do, and if you enjoy it.
Recipe details – Beetroot, spinach and feta cheese tart:
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 red onion, diced
500g peeled and grated beetroot
3 tablespoon white wine vinegar
3 tablespoon water
small knob butter
375g all-butter puff pastry
1 medium egg
200ml creme fraiche
200g feta cheese
two large handfuls spinach
8 cherry tomatoes, sliced
handful of olives, chopped
Heat oven to 220 degrees C. Heat oil in pan and fry the onion until softened. Add beetroot, vinegar, butter and water. Cook over low heat for 5-10 mins, stirring occasionally, until all liquid has evaporated. Set aside.
Roll out pastry, place on an oiled baking sheet and score line approx. 1.5 cm from edge. Brush with egg and score again. Cook in oven for 10 mins until golden and raised. Remove and press down with your hands on the centre.
Spread spinach leaves and tomatoes on pastry. Add creme fraiche to the beetroot mix and spread on top of spinach. Add feta cheese and olives on top and bake for 5 mins until cheese has melted.
Serve and enjoy!