Last Updated: March 30, 2015

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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.

 

READ MORE: How to cook rhubarb

 

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

  • Charlie of Castlemaine of Castlemaine Posted at 9:24 AM March 20, 2015

    Good to see Beetroot finally getting the recognition it deserves...

  • Alan of Australia Posted at 2:59 PM December 19, 2014

    1) Draining of the water is important if you're sensitive to oxalates (some of the oxalic acid goes with the water). 2) I presume salt water maybe to increase the boiling point of the water, thus reducing cooking time (like with hard boiling eggs in high altitude). Personally, I'd have to search in the pantry to find salt - haven't used it in years.

  • John of Newcastly Posted at 6:01 PM October 18, 2014

    Why does one use salted water when steaming? If baking, why isn't sugar used? are these traditional ways that don't really need the detail...like hard-boiling eggs in salt water...Maybe some one can tell me as I like freshly cooked beetroot and notice the sugar content of some cans in the stores (obviously no freshly cooked) has very high levels of sugar...some worse than others (as also do baked beans). Am looking for an answer if someone can assist.

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