Beetroot: More than a Salad Side Dish

Whether as a spread, carpaccio, or soup: Fresh beetroot is healthy and can be prepared in many different ways. Recipes and tips for shopping and storage.

Beetroot is often sold in jars or pre-cooked and shrink-wrapped. By cooking and processing with vinegar, sugar, and salt, the beet loses its original, slightly earthy taste – and that’s a shame. If you want to enjoy the real taste of beetroot, you should therefore use fresh tubers. The delicious winter vegetables are in season from the end of September until spring.

Beetroot popular in salads or as carpaccio

Beetroot and their white, yellow, and red-and-white ringed sisters, which are somewhat milder in taste, have a pleasantly sweet aroma and can be prepared in a variety of ways. They not only taste good as a side dish but also as a carpaccio, creamy spread, vegetable side dish, juice, or soup. Freshly harvested beetroot is usually offered with leaves. These should not be thrown away, because the tender, smaller ones, in particular, are good in salads or, briefly steamed, as vegetables.

In the pot, oven, or as raw food: Prepare beetroot

For most recipes, the beets are cooked first. Wash the tubers and stalk well, place in a saucepan and cover with water. Add salt and some cumin if you like and cook for about 30 minutes. The cooking time varies depending on the size of the tubers. You can test whether they are soft enough with a fork or skewer. After cooking, the beets can be peeled like a jacket potato. It is advisable to wear gloves when doing this, as it rubs off heavily. However, the color can also be removed by washing your hands thoroughly.

Preparation in the oven is gentler because the tuber bleeds out during cooking and many healthy ingredients end up in the cooking water. Sprinkle the beets with a little sea salt, place in an ovenproof pot with a lid or wrap in baking paper and cook in the oven on a tray at 170 degrees for about 40 to 45 minutes. Then peel and process.

Incidentally, beetroot is also good as raw food. After peeling, simply grate finely or chop in a food processor. Season to taste with oil, a little lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

Buy and store beetroot properly

When bought, the tubers should be plump and the skin smooth and undamaged. Smaller tubers have a finer aroma than large ones. Juicy, green leaves are a sign of freshness – however, stored goods that are offered in winter are of course no longer green.

After removing the leaves, beetroots will keep in the refrigerator for up to four weeks, wrapped in paper. If you grow your own beets in the garden, you can store them after harvesting, just like potatoes. A cool, dark room, such as a basement, is best for this. Beetroot is also good for pickling.

Ingredients: Beetroot is so healthy

Beetroot is not only low in calories – there are just 40 calories per 100 grams – but also very healthy. It contains folic acid, iron, potassium, magnesium, zinc, vitamins B and C and also provides protein and plenty of fiber. The dye betanin (beetroot red) is responsible for their crimson appearance. It is one of the secondary plant substances (flavonoids), which, as antioxidants, intercept free radicals and thus strengthen the immune system.


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Written by John Myers

Professional Chef with 25 years of industry experience at the highest levels. Restaurant owner. Beverage Director with experience creating world-class nationally recognized cocktail programs. Food writer with a distinctive Chef-driven voice and point of view.

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