For a while now, I've been talking to my Mum about wanting to start a proper vege garden. She must be getting sick of me going on about it because Mum and Dad gave me a NZ Gardener Garden Diary for Christmas (thanks!). It tells you what you should be planting and harvesting each month - this is exactly what I need!
My garden area is tiny, so I have to carefully choose what I want to grow. My philosophy is that I'll grow things that are bit beyond my usual vegetable staples - so no cabbage or Agria potatoes in my garden. After carefully reading through the January list of things to sow and plant, I popped down to the local plant store to buy my supplies for the month.
Beetroot is a vege that I've become more interested in over the last few of years. Growing up, I was used to eating beetroot out of a can and didn't like the flavour of fresh beetroot at all. A slice or two of tinned beetroot in your burger was the best way to eat it... or so I thought.
These days, I've discovered that I love fresh beetroot in a salad, or sliced thinly and roasted into chips. Either way, they need to be boiled first. Another idea is to make a chinese casserole of layers of pork and beetroot - I will have to ask Mum for a recipe.
While I wait for my little beetroot plants to grow and reward me with some juicy beets, I will have to buy them from the local vege store instead. When they are ready, this beetroot salad is how we will be eating them - I can't wait.
- Select beetroot of similar size for even cooking
- Lightly wipe any dirt off the beetroot and trim stalks to about 1/2cm away from the flesh. Don't trim the root
- Boil in a pot of water until cooked. Test by poking with a skewer or sharp knife. The skewer or knife will sink into the beetroot fairly easily when done
- Drain and rub off the beetroot skin with your fingers
- Cut off the stalks and root
Beetroot and Goat Cheese Salad (Serves 6)
6-8 medium sized beetroot
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
200g goat's feta
lettuce / salad greens
- Boil the beetroot as above
- Heat an oven to 200 degrees C and cut beetroot into wedges
- Toss the wedges with the olive oil and roast for 20-30 minutes. It should look roasted and caramelised
- Transfer the beetroot to a bowl and toss with the balsamic vinegar. Add pepper to taste
- Put the lettuce or salad greens in a large salad bowl and roughly mix in the beetroot
- Slice or crumble over the goat's cheese and mix lightly
- Although more expensive, goat's feta has a nicer flavour than cow's feta
- Don't toss the salad too much as the deep red beetroot juice shouldn't cover the whole salad. You want the feta to remain mostly white
By Andrea Wong
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