February into March (The Time of Beetroot)

February into March

Aside from the turning of the time to spring, I like this time of year because beetroot comes into season. I think it is an often overlooked and sometimes maligned vegetable, which many of us only ever encounter when it comes pickled from a jar. But it doesn’t have to be that way. The beetroot, garden beet, table beet, red beet, or as many American’s would have it – simply ‘the beet’, tends to be found in North America, Central America and Britain. Certainly, in Britain we have used it since medieval times, notably for avoiding garlic breath. Yet, you wonder if they didn’t know more than they were letting on: according to the American Heart Association beetroot juice lowers blood pressure: hypertension is slowed by drinking 500ml of ‘beetjuice’, and within one hour there is a general reduction, which becomes more noticeable after four hours and can still be traced after twenty-four hours.

Well, apart from all of that I think it tastes good. Its real success is that it has both an earthy but sweet combination of flavour, and so if you find an ingredient that it sour, salty or both it is an ideal mix.

So, what does it go with? You can try it with wasbi, as in this Emma Russell recipe and beetroot and chocolate makes for a light and smooth cake. Beetroot and goats cheese is a wonderful salad, and beetroot cured salmon is still sold by London fish smokers. My favourite is the simple beetroot and goats cheese salad, and the recipes for the cake, and the salad will follow on the blog as soon as they have been made by me. The venison and beetroot recipe is already on this blog.

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