To cook 1 lb (450 g) of winter-stored beetroot in the oven – try to use even-sized beetroot if you can – begin by pre-heating the oven to gas mark 3, 325 F (170°C). Now prepare the beetroot by leaving the trailing root intact but trimming the green stalk so only 1 inch (2.5 cm) is left. Wash well under cold running water, but leave the peel on. Now place the beetroot in a parcel of double foil, sealing well. Place the parcel on a baking sheet and bake on the middle shelf of the pre-heated oven for three hours. To test if it’s cooked, you should be able to ease the skin away with your thumbs.
For boiled beetroot, take one bunch of small summer beetroot, prepare as above and place it in a medium saucepan, then add salt and enough boiling water to barely cover. Simmer, covered, for 20-30 minutes, until the skin eases away when pushed with your thumbs.
Peel and serve hot as a vegetable or cold with vinaigrette in a salad.
Beetroot is either loved or hated – mostly the latter I suspect, because in this country people have a surfeit of it doused in strong vinegar. But its lovers know of its earthy charm and delicious but distinctive flavour. It makes wonderful soup...
Cheap, nutritious and packed with flavour, the humble herring deserves wider recognition, according to Delia. This recipe shows off its tasty potential really well.
Preserved properly, beetroot has none of the overpowering vinegar flavour that you all too often find in jars. Instead, it has a wonderful sweetness and flavour that makes it ideal with all cold meats and cheese.