Save 51% on your subscription
Plus, receive a copy of Good Food's Homemade Christmas
This deep purple root vegetable can be eaten raw or cooked. Find out how to store, prepare and cook beetroot and our favourite ways to serve it.
A favourite in 1970s British salads (cooked and pickled in vinegar), beetroot is a root vegetable with dark purple skin and pink/purple flesh. It has also enjoyed something of a deserved comeback in recent years – its earthy, rich, sweet flavour and vibrant colour lends itself to a variety of both sweet and savoury dishes.
Beetroot is a close relative of spinach and chard, and has good nutritional content – it's also reckoned to be a good detoxifier.
To cook whole, wash but don't peel, then cut the stalks to 2.5cm and leave the root at the bottom; if either are trimmed too much, the beetroot's colour will bleed. Bake in a low oven for 2-3 hrs, either wrapped in foil or in a little water in a lidded casserole dish. Alternatively, prepare it in the same way, then simmer for around 1 hr.
Roast, chop and dress with walnut oil and chives. Bake in olive oil and cumin seeds, then dot with feta and bake again. Boil for a few minutes, drain and serve with olive oil or butter. Juice from raw and mix with carrot juice for a vitamin-rich drink
Fresh beetroot will keep for several weeks in a cool, dark place. You can also buy vacuumed-packed cooked beetroot, which a great for pickling and roasting or simply chopping and adding to salads – these will last for several months in the fridge.
July through January, tapering off during February and March. You can try growing it in your garden or allotment, as it's generally trouble-free. Read more about growing beetroot at Garden Action.
Learn how to grow your own beetroot from the experts at Gardeners’ World.
Raw beetroot should have fresh (not wilted) stalks and firm roots intact.