Beetroot harvesting

Harvest time in the garden is always a pleasure and this year is no different with beetroot coming to centre stage recently.

This easy to grow vegetable was sown in modules in early April, and planted into the ground about five weeks later, along with other items, in two rows in one of the potager beds.

Initially I was harvesting some of the young leaves for mixed salad, however once they began to grow, they were left to their own devices for the summer months. So as I went about cleaning up the potager bed a few weeks ago I noted it was time to start picking them, with one or two having reached quite a size!

Once the beetroots were harvested, the leaves were cut to about an inch above the crown. Next step was to gently clean them, being careful not to bruise or damage the outer skin to avoid any loss of juice during the cooking process. I choose to slow cook the beetroot this year, although they can also be boiled or oven baked. Each beetroot was wrapped in foil, with a little olive oil and pepper added, and cooked for a number of hours (bigger ones left longer).

While I've been enjoying the freshly cooked beetroot, I also went a head and preserved some too. This process was easy mixing two cups of malt vinegar with one cup of water and some sugar to sweeten. The mix was heated gently (not boiled) with sliced beetroot added. Of course while this was going on I had jars and lids heating in the oven and then it was a simple matter of potting up (to use a gardening term ... Lol).

I have to say I'm pretty pleased with the results, which I know will keep me going in the winter months. 

Friends on social media tell me I can use beetroot in all sorts of other dishes and cakes, so if anyone has samples of these, I'd be happy to try them ... 

In the meantime I do have some remaining fresh beetroot to cook and enjoy. 

Happy gardening.