The Cottage Smallholder

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Beetroot recipes from The Chicken Lady

Raspberry and beetroot jelly

Raspberry and beetroot jelly

Both The Chicken Lady and I are growing beetroot on our allotments. TCL has started to harvest hers already and raced home with a vast bunch last week. She was planning to transform them into beetroot delicacies.

She mentioned pickled beets, a Crank’s beetroot salad and an intriguing raspberry and beetroot jelly. 

When I sowed my beetroot seed I had no plans beyond beetroot in a white sauce or a cold beetroot salad with yoghurt. Both delicious but not nearly as exotic as raspberry and beetroot jelly. Yesterday I drifted onto her blog Kitty’s Super Allotment and found the recipe here. Made with the sort of jelly squares that come in a packet and used to fill rabbit jelly moulds when I was growing up!

TCL appeared with a bulky bag on my allotment that afternoon. She presented me with a jar of pickled beetroot, a jar of the raspberry and beetroot jelly and an exciting extra. A jar of her new recipe – fragrant pear chutney.
“It needs to mature for a month or so.” She explained as she produced an opened jar of pear chutney and a teaspoon from her capacious bag.
“So I’ve brought this jar for you to have a taste.”

One of the traits that I love about TCL is that she is always so motherly when it comes to tasting. She feeds me with the teaspoon and then observes my reaction quizzically.
“Well, what do you think?”
My mind raced – the chutney was sweet and fragrant and absolutely superb. 
“It’s marvellous. Sweet and light and exceptional.”

Danny and I opened the raspberry and beetroot jelly last night and ended up guzzling it straight from the jar. The dark earthy flavour of the beetroot was perfectly balanced by the clean sweetness of the raspberry jelly. I can see why her Aunt Sylvie always brought this at Christmas – it would be excellent as an accompaniment to creamy cheese, meat or fish. Absolutely stunning.

Incidentally – if you are not keen on the earthy flavour of simmered beetroot try baking them in the oven (skins on). Apparently the earthy flavours are lost and you just get the sweetness smiling through. I haven’t tried this method myself so I’d love any feedback on the flavour of roasted beetroot.

TCL is a great gardener and superb, experienced cook. She is relatively new to blogging – I highly recommend a visit for newbie allotment tales and recipes that use her produce. Let’s hope that she posts the Fragrant Pear Chutney recipe very soon!

You can find TCL’s blog here Kitty’s Super Allotment.

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  1. I first grew beetroot when I had my allotment, and now always make space for it in my much smaller veg garden as I love it. I never boil it I always roast it – but I must say beetroot and chocolate cake sounds rather good!

  2. tenorissimo

    Yes wrapping foil and roasting is the best way. Do not forget Beetroot Brownies as championed by Hugh Fernley-Eatsitall. scrummy stuff.

    Also echo the warning about the frightening poo effect!

  3. I love beetroot as did my father who used to grow lots of if in our back garden when I was a child. I have harvested all of mine for this year now and have just pickled it. Unfortunately due to its strong pigment it has an unfortunate side effect on me!

  4. Tanya @ Lovely Greens

    The jam sounds delicious… I make a beetroot and chocolate cake that’s tasty as well so can understand how beetroot can enhance sweet dishes!

  5. I prepare my beetroot more or less in the same way as Jjt363 although I wrap mine in foil – the whole lot together, not individually – before roasting. Then I peel them, cut them into bite sized chunks and either open freeze and bag them, or put them back in the oven with a dash of olive oil, good balsamic vinegar, a little black pepper and fresh thyme. This year I’ve also made a beetroot and apple relish, which I think was a Nigella recipe, and it would be wonderful with a crumbly white cheese if only such a thing were available here. If the beetroot leaves are looking perky, wash them, wilt them in a pan and dress with a little olive oil – absolutely delicious. Beetroot crisps are great too, and if you don’t mind a bit of colour bleed try roasting beets with root veg to have with the Sunday roast. I™ve got a recipe somewhere for beetroot hummous “ not tried it yet because I couldn™t get any tahini, but I™ve finally found some so I must give it a go. I never boil beetroot. My Mum used to back in the 60s and I loathed the smell.

  6. (I think this came from a Nigel Slater book/article.)
    Wash the beetroot, trim off leaves and root, leaving abour 1″ each end, so they don’t bleed. Pack them into a dish with sides a few inches high (I use the pyrex dish I make rice pudding in!). Add about half an inch of water. Cover loosly with foil and bake for at least an hour. More if large. Once cool enough to handle, tease off the skins.

  7. kate (uk)

    Roast beetroot- sliced beets, sliced onions sliced apples,herbs, (red fruit/apple) juice, little bit of butter.Cover and roast.Lovely as a salad when cold too.

  8. Roasted beetroot is a favourite in our house. I tend to quarter the beetroot as they’ve always grown a bit too big, wrap them in foil and sprinkle with some olive oil and a jolly good glug of balsamic vinegar and some fresh thyme, s & p and then just bake in the oven at 180-200 till cooked. Can take a good hour.
    Also make a delicious beetroot curry which the first time I made it frightened me to death as I ended up with bright pink pee and poo so be warned!

  9. Chris Grogan

    ditto and ditto Joanna. I also made beetroot, apple & celery salad with a sesame and apple juice dressing for our Apple Day celebrations on Sunday. Mmmm

  10. Roast beetroot is lovely and sweet with a bit of crunch. Absolutely gorgeous. Beetroot chocolate cake is also wonderful, even our youngest ate it – good job as our daughter made it him for his birthday, a rather sneaky way of getting him to eat beetroot.

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