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How To Cook Beetroot

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Although technically a vegetable, beetroot are most frequently used in salads and require a special method of cooking unlike other root vegetables.
What you'll need: 
10 fresh beetroots
Saucepan of boiling, salted water
To boil beetroots, wash them well in cold water to remove the soil. Be careful not to damage the skin and roots or they will ‘bleed’ when boiling and lose their colour.
Trim off the leaves but do not cut off the beard or top roots. If the skin or root is cut, seal it by singeing quickly over a flame.
Put the beetroots in a large saucepan of boiling salted water, cover and simmer for 1 – 4 hours, depending upon size, until tender.
To test if the beetroots are cooked, do not prod with a fork as this will also cause ‘bleeding’. Take a root out of the water and press it gently with your fingers. If the skin rubs off, the beetroot is cooked.
When the beetroots are tender, drain them well and peel by rubbing off the skin and roots. Slice off the top.
Beetroot and onion salad makes a refreshing and tasty accompaniment to cold meats, chicken or fish. Cool and skin the beetroots and cut into thin slices. Put in a salad bowl. Blend 2 tablespoons spoons of cider vinegar; 5 tablespoons of olive oil; 1 teaspoon of sugar with pepper and salt to taste. Pour the mixture over the beetroots, cover the bowl with foil and place in the fridge for an hour. Remove from the fridge and add one large onion, very thinly sliced into rings. Toss the salad well and serve.
Beetroot Piquante is served hot with veal and ham pie, cottage pie or chicken. Cool and skin the beetroots and chop into small pieces. In a medium-sized saucepan combine the beetroot, 5 teaspoons vinegar, 2 teaspoons sugar, pepper and salt to taste. Warm the mixture over a moderate heat, stirring continuously, until the beetroot pieces are very hot. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in with a wooden spoon 1 tablespoon of butter, adding a little at a time. Transfer to a serving dish and serve immediately.
These sweet-tasting root vegetables, which have been popular in Britain since Tudor times, will grow in most gardens that are fertile and not waterlogged. The colourful leaves mean they will also look attractive in a flower border in an open, sunny site.


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