Last Updated: September 18, 2014

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Food

How to cook beetroot

Beetroot

Beetroot image. Source: Weekly Times Now

HOW to boil, oven roast, bake, steam and microwave beetroot.

TO BOIL

TRIM back the roots and leaf stalks to about 5cm then wash under cool, running water.

Be careful to not scrub the skin too hard when washing and do not cut or slice off any part of the vegetable so the skin stays intact (for best results when boiling, the skins need to be on to retain the colour and flavour).

Place them in a large saucepan, then cover with cold water.

Add salt and sugar, then cover (about 1 tsp of sugar and 1 tsp of salt for 2 litres of water).

Turn heat on high until the water begins to boil, then reduce heat to medium to keep water at a simmer.

Cook 45 minutes to an hour or until done (for large, fresh ones) or up to four hours (for large, older ones from storage).

When they're done, remove from heat, drain water and then plunge them quickly into cold water.

Remove from cold water, cut off root tips and stems, and you should be able to rub the skins off easily with a damp towel.

Serve them sliced or mashed with a bit of butter, salt and pepper to taste.

TO OVEN ROAST

PRE-HEAT the oven to 200C.

Wash, peel and quarter them (you can also slice them about 1cm thick instead of in quarters - cooking time will be a little less).

Arrange pieces on a baking sheet then drizzle with about 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil (or about 1 tablespoon of oil for every 500g).

Season generously with salt and pepper, then toss them until coated.

Cook in the oven for about 45 minutes or until they are tender right through, turning them at least once.

TO BAKE

PRE-HEAT the oven to 200C.

Wash and leave 5cm ends on the stalks and roots, and leave the skins on, then wrap in two layers of aluminium foil.

Place them on a baking tray and place in the oven. Cook for about an hour until they are tender.

When done, remove foil, trim off the stalk and root ends, then rub the skins off with a damp towel.

TO STEAM

WASH and trim stalks and roots to 5cm, leaving skins intact, then place in a steamer above boiling water.

Bring salted water to a boil in a saucepan or pot, positioning steamer on top.

After cleaning, arrange the beetroots in the steamer, cover, and cook for about 45 minutes or until tender.

Remove from heat, plunge them quickly in cold water, then remove skins with a damp cloth.

TO MICROWAVE

COOKING times may vary because of differences in microwaves.

Wash, peel and cube (about 2cm) the beetroots.

Arrange the cubes in a microwave-proof dish, add 2 tablespoons of water (for every 3 cups of beetroot).

Cover with a lid then cook on high for about 5 minutes, stir, then heat for another 3 minutes or until they are tender when pierced with a fork.

To preserve as much of the vitamins as possible, avoid overcooking them in the microwave and don't add more water than necessary.

If they are nearly done, but could use just a bit more cooking, allow to sit covered so they can finish cooking in their steam.

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Comments on this story

  • Sam B of London Posted at 11:44 PM September 05, 2014

    Excellent post- Beetroots are having a renaissance!

  • Judith Pugh of Greenethorpe Posted at 10:43 AM September 05, 2014

    Washed beetroot covered with lemon juice cook much faster than an hour on top of the stove or in the oven, and don't lose their colour. I pack quite tightly to save time squeezing lemons. Once they are done, use rubber gloves to squeeze off the skin, then pour over the juice: either to have hot or to keep in the fridge. As beet are full of sugar I don't add sugar in the cooking process, and have never salted beetroot

  • Ozwitch of Wodonga Posted at 12:00 PM August 10, 2014

    If you're making beetroot dip, save some of the boiled water for adding at the blending stage. More flavour, less waste. You can also freeze it for use in other recipes.

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