Monday 5 August 2013

Pulling up beetroot, dirt and all .....

Pulling up baby beetroot straight from the kitchen garden during the summer, these beets are as fresh as vegetables get. Each one is plucked directly from the soil with a quick yank.  They need to be washed and trimmed up, of course.  And yes, the preparation does take a little longer when you grow your own - there is grit, dirt and sand that needs to be washed off.  It makes me feel a little sheepish now, thinking back on all the times I have picked through vegetables at the supermarket, selecting only the "cleanest" vegetables with no traces of dirt on them, and somehow associating this with "freshness".  

The red veined leaves come away with a gentle twist, and are put aside.  These leaves are fresh as can be, not like the wilted, blackened ones that store bought beets often come with.  The best leaves are selected and reserved, for later use - they are a little like spinach and can be stir-fried together with the Swiss Chard that is growing in the garden.

Beetroot in the garden tends to be pretty trouble free - and unlike parsnips or carrots which grow underground, these globes grow above the ground so you can watch them eagerly as they get larger and you will always know when they are the right size for picking.

Tip:  Twisting the leaves off beetroot helps to prevent it from "bleeding".

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