Alright that title is a quick shuffle down memory lane for those of you who fondly remember the character of Norman Gunston, created by the actor Gary Macdonald in the 1970’s
(Image courtesy of the ABC)
but like Norman, who was known for his social faux pas, I too must admit to having a problem with that other little Aussie bleeder, the beetroot. I wear it just about every time I eat it.
Now I love my beetroot – no not the tinned stuff we were bought up on – but the home grown variety. Here we like to eat it baked, or preserved in a sweet and spicy pickle or a la your Turkish dip (Pancar Salatasi). I had never really thought that there might be a non-stain inducing method of enjoying beetroot, that is until we harvested our first of the over-wintering beetroots this week.
The beetroot in question was an Italian variety, Tonda di Chioggia. You may have seen pictures of this variety before, it has a pink and white candy stripe appearance when it is cut.
We had purchased our seeds from The Italian Gardener, but you may also be able to find similar varieties in Italian delicatessens (Canberrans can try Tutti il Mondo in Mawson which stocks a range of Italian vegetable seeds).
For our first beetroot meal of the season TB made his version of the Turkish beetroot dip. If you want detailed instructions you can follow the version through the link above otherwise here’s TB’s version. Of course this can be made with any variety of beetroot you have.
First bring some water to the boil throw in your beetroot (skin on) and simmer beetroot until it is tender (up to an hour or longer if it is a big one). See how pale this one is on the inside.
While the beetroot is cooking fry off some thinly sliced leek or onion with some carraway seeds in some olive oil. Once the beetroot is cooked peel the skin off and grate it into the fried leek mix.
Add several tablespoons of yoghurt to the mix, use your judgement, you don’t want to swamp the beetroot with too much yoghurt
Mix and its ready to go! We had ours for lunch served on TBs flatbread, or you can have it with toast or as an accompaniment with your meal.
You can see how pale the resulting salad is. The next day when we gobbled the remainder down the beetroot had turned to the palest shade of blush pink.
Now is a good time to be planting out your beetroot seeds so get on the web or down to your local deli, find some of these babies and get planting. In fact I’m off to do that now.