Beetroot has long filled the cells of mankind with mega antioxidants, and enough iron to make Popeye quake.
Beetroot puts the super into superfood (and sometimes the hell into healthy, if not cooked adequately). Sometimes I wish Vanilla Ice had included them in his big hit.
This earthy vegetable is a real friend to the kidneys, we’re told. So don’t freak out when your pee turns crimson. That red plant pigment holds a compound called betacyanin, commissioned to do all sorts of fancy ripostes in your bloodstream. The Russians have long known beet’s secret. This might help explain how the Russians can survive Siberia’s winter temperatures, and yet another term of Putin.
Freshly juiced, beets appear to enjoy great repute in cancer care clinics across the globe. I reckon it’s because they taste so sweet and gorgeous, rather than their nutritional currency. Nevertheless, beets are still ranked as one of the most underused and misunderstood veggies. Both cooked and raw beetroot are easy to find in supermarkets, yet doesn’t always mosey their way into our shopping trolleys. Shame that.
A side of beet, yoghurt and almond
Beetroot ain’t that fussy, so long as it has a lick of olive oil and lemon. This purple veg has helped propel Avoca into celebrity status on the restaurant circuit (you know the dish? Thinly sliced beetroot, thick yoghurt and flaked almonds). My husband once sang the soundtrack to Frozen in Polish for an extra helping from the dinner lady.
It really isn’t necessary to put your husband through that, so here’s the recipe. From them to me, and from me to you. Go bonkers.
3 tablespoons flaked almonds
4 tablespoons of natural yoghurt
Squeeze of lemon, plus a little zest
A few twists of the salt and pepper mill
1 small clove garlic, crushed
4 cooked beetroot (vacuum pack are handy)
Start by tanning your flaked almonds in a hot oven for 6 minutes until kissed by a golden zephyr. 200 Celsius will do the trick. If they turn a shade darker, your taste buds will be deeply disappointed.
While the flaked almonds are on the clock, whip your yoghurt with a little lemon and zest to taste, salt and pepper as you like it, and the crushed garlic.
Take the almonds out to cool.
Thinly slice the beetroot and let the yoghurt join the party. Finish with a flurry of tanned almonds on top. That’s all there is to it.
Change it up from time to time with capers, segments of orange, diced red onion or grated boiled egg. It’s a fabulously handy recipe.