Local, Seasonal, Wellbeing

This week, I joined Damien to talk all things Beetroot. We have the pleasure of chatting about everything from the history of Beetroot, its nutritional benefits, how versatile it is as an ingredient in cooking and I also shared some of my incredible delicious and seasonal Beetroot recipes, both sweet and savoury.

The humble Beetroot, currently in season from early summer to autumn,  most of us know of it but don’ t generally know a lot about it or its culinary uses. On the whole, It has a very distinct slightly sweet flavour, perfect for eating raw grated into a hearty salad or summer slaw, roasted in the oven until tender and charred, transformed into a beetroot galette, made into a fresh juice or my favourite mixed with dark chocolate. No part of the beetroot goes to waste in my house either, I even eat the leaves. Beet greens are some of the most nutrient-rich greens around, containing more antioxidants and other phytonutrients than the bulbous roots themselves. So if I had my choice between a plate of braised beet greens and one of braised kale, I’d pick the beet greens every time. They’re much sweeter than kale, and the leaves cook up as silky as spinach. Plus, beet greens and stems get tender faster than kale.

herby cheese and beetroot tart hazelnut brittle puff pastry base

We began with my fresh and light savoury summer tart recipe, a Herby Ricotta and Goats Cheese Puff Pastry Tart with Beetroot and Hazelnuts, perfect for lunch or entertaining guests in the garden, it is a delicious blend of herb creamy cheese, earthy beets and crunchy candied hazelnuts layered upon buttery puff pastry. I also love to serve this as a canapé, drizzled with a little of my Orange French Vinaigrette dressing and a little garnish of fresh dill.

To cook the beetroot for this recipe, I simply put 4 medium sized Beetroots into a pot of water, brought to a boil and cooked until tender, once drained and cooled slightly I then peeled and finely sliced them on top of my herby ricotta and puff pastry, utterly delicious. 

Next up, I shared my beautiful earthy and colour summer salad with Roasted Golden Beetroot Cavolo Nero with a Ricotta and Goats Cheese Puree.

I believe the best way to bring out the true flavours and sweeter side of beets is by roasting in a hot oven as it transforms from crunchy to silky and tender ingredient. Simply just give the beets a quick scrub, top and tail each end, cut into wedges and roast until caramelised and tender. 

The beauty about this recipe is that all ingredients can be prepped ahead of time and assembled when needed and if you cannot source golden beetroot, regular fresh beetroot and kale with also work great in this recipe.

golden beetroot cavolo nero summer salad herb ricotta
beetroot chocolate muffin high fibre ancient grains

Now I saved the best till last, my Chocolate & Beetroot Muffins with a Nutella Swirl and Crumbled Twirl. Unusual pairing but the complexity of the chocolate works great with the earthiness of the beetroot. The earthiness comes from the most prominent aroma molecule responsible for the earthy flavour  ’geosmin’.

This is a super recipe and  incredibly moist and packed full of fibre, thanks to the addition of a few simple ingredients and ancient grains, I love to use the grain mix from BiaSol in this recipe, around 50g or 2 heaped tablespoons in any baking recipe works a treat.

The vac-packed beetroot would work well in this recipe also if you do not have time to cook fresh. The swirl of Nutella is totally optional, but in my opinion it is essential for a bite of delicious indulgence. 

These muffins can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen for a longer shelf life. Each muffin has about 250kcal, 3g of saturated fat and 5g  of fibre

Crisps, but not as we know them. Hand-cooked beetroot vegetable crisps grown and cooked in Killeagh Co. Cork by Joe’s Farm Crisps, a small family business. Fresh from the farm, they offer the finest selection of vegetable crisps including potato, carrot and parsnips, all seasoned with Achill Island Sea Salt.

I really do love this product, especially the mixed potato medley crisps, now and again I will pop them into the kids lunch boxes or garnish a salad with them to dress it up and make it look extra fancy, they will definitely be in my picnic basket this summer at the beach. 

Aisling Signature