The beet goes on…
Date: 29-11-2018 published by Nick Baines
With an ability to bring bold, vivid colour to a dish, and its unmistakable earthy character, the humble beetroot brings a unique offering to the kitchen. Not only is this hardy root vegetable bang in season, but it’s getting some significant air time thanks to the unstoppable rise of plant based diets. Let’s discuss those diet choices a minute. We all know there’s been a significant increase in the number of people turning to traditional vegetarianism and veganism. However, we are also at a time when people are choosing to reduce their meat intake for sustainability reasons and also to bring about a new balance in their diet. Carnivorous eaters are becoming just as likely to order a veggie option on the menu as they are a steak or chop, so investing in your vegetarian options has never been so important.
But back to the beetroot and why this vegetable is getting so much attention. Depth of flavour is most certainly one of the prime reasons it’s getting so much use. When meat is left out of a meal, this hardy little number manages to bring back balance at a time of year when wholesome, big flavours are craved. Right now, supermarkets like Waitrose are launching bigger vegetarian ranges than ever before in the run up to Christmas and one of the star ingredients is beetroot. Whether it’s wrapped in duxelles, caramelised onions and puff pastry in a beetroot wellington, or boiled, peeled, marinated and fanned in a goats cheese tart, beetroot brings heft, meatiness and a flourish of rich colour to the plate. We’re also at a time of year when smoked salmon and gravlax begin to get some action too and beetroot has long been used in the cure to add earthiness and colour to the fish. The beetroots unique flavour works incredibly well with techniques and dishes like this, with Nordic cuisine still very popular during colder months, it can be interesting to play with these more interesting flavours that evoke bleaker climates. To be honest, it’s a good time of year to give the poor avocado a rest. After all, there’s only so much avo toast a chef can knock out without loosing his sanity. However, switching the sourdough toast for rye bread, and loading it up with items like goats cheese or cottage cheese alongside prepared beetroot can be a winter masterpiece on the brunch menu.
Whether you’re using your reliable purple beetroot, or opting for golden beets or the stripy Chioggia, what can be fascinating is the interplay of textures they offer you. Pickled,
you can retain some of their crunch, while toning down their strong natural flavour. This works well in warm winter salads, but can also be a great bar snack in high end gastro pubs.
So while beetroot remains a popular star ingredient everywhere from restaurant menus, to supermarket ready meals, it’s an ingredient certainly worthy of your attention. As always, Fresh Direct gives you fast track access to the very best of what each season has to offer and ensure it arrives in your kitchen in prime condition. If you want to capitalise on beetroot and work it into your seasonal menu offering, get in touch today and we’ll get some on your next order.
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