How to boil or roast fresh beetroot

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You can buy pre-cooked and vacuum-packed beetroot but nothing matches the fresh version for its intensity of flavour and colour.

How to boil beetroot
Remove the leaves from the beetroot with a sharp knife, then scrub and rinse them. Place in a large saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil, then simmer at a steady pace for up to 45 minutes with the lid on the saucepan. They are done when a knife will pierce the beetroot easily. Drain, taking them from the pan carefully as they will stain everything. Place the beetroot on a plate and rub or scrape off the skins with a small sharp knife or paper towel (if you use a clean tea towel it will dye it purple). Remove the beetroot stem and slice, segment or chop the flesh depending on how you are going to use it.

How to roast beetroot
Remove the leaves from the beetroot and rinse. Place on a large piece of tinfoil, drizzle with vegetable or olive oil and close the foil loosely around them (if you close the package too tightly the beetroot won’t steam). Bake at 200C/Gas Mark 6 for about 35-40 minutes or until you can pierce them easily with a knife. Place the beetroot on a plate and rub or scrape off the skins with a small sharp knife. Remove the stem with a sharp knife.

If you are cooking small beetroot, you don’t need to bother rubbing off the skin whether you boil or bake them.

Beetroot Salad with Orange and Balsamic Dressing Recipe

Serve this salad on its own or with a simple rocket salad. It’s also excellent spooned around a piece of grilled fish.

Serves 4


4 medium beetroots (bought cooked beetroot are fine for this recipe)
120ml balsamic vinegar
60ml olive oil
Pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons runny honey or maple syrup
1 large orange, cut into segments


1. Cut the beetroot into small dice.

2. Whisk the balsamic vinegar and olive oil together. Add enough to coat the beetroot, season with salt and black pepper and stir gently.

3. To plate the salad divide the beetroot onto four plates, add a few dots of mustard, drizzle over the honey or maple syrup and add the orange segments.


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