I was oh so excited to see bunches of early beetroot on supermarket shelves this week and cannot wait to experiment with some new recipes. Last year, despite creating what looked like a murder scene in the kitchen, I made batches of hearty beetroot soup (based on a trusty Delia recipe in her Soup Collection). This year, I’m going to attempt to create a lighter dish with the wonderful, succulent texture and delightful, intense colour.
My early memories of beetroot are tied to Tuesday Family Teas at my Gran’s House before swimming lessons. Alongside trays and trays and even ironing boards full of delicious home baking, we sat down to corned beef pie or a very English type of pizza (my Gran’s invention) with homemade crinkle cut chips and beetroot (sometimes pickled, sometimes boiled) on the side. There was something incredibly comforting about those gatherings and it’s probably because of this association that I believe in beetroot as a wholesome, good food. It also intrigued me as a bit of a rebel vegetable with its deceptive skin, vibrant colour and brilliant ability to stain, far removed from the humble pea or other boring, green alternatives.
So, I was looking for some inspiration and found the flavour combinations here. They really captured my imagination and if I can bring just an ounce of this style to Charlie and Evelyn’s Table, my beetroot daydreams will be fulfilled and I’ll have a dish that tastes every bit as good as it looks. And, if that is not enough to convince even the non beetroot fans, I didn’t just dream it, beetroot is also very good for you.