Confession alert – I’m a fairly useless gardener. I try very hard, spend hours tilling the soil and dreaming bold dreams of harvesting bountiful vegetables from my raised garden beds (made from 100% recycled materials) but the reality is that I’m really more of a ‘brown thumb’ than a green one. In the past 12 months I’ve tried (and failed) to grow potatoes, onions, carrots, watermelon and a multitude of other crops that are apparently bomb proof. My fennel failed to develop bulbs, my chillies wither on the bush and even the invincible basil has given up…
I’ve added various manures, regularly mixed in organic fertilisers and religiously watered in seaweed solution. Sadly, it’s all been to no avail.
So given the Killing Fields* that make up my veggie garden, you can imagine my delight when my beetroot plants actually grew to an edible size! Admittedly, they weren’t quite the bountiful harvest of baby beets that I was hoping for, but at least it made it to the table!
For something a little different this Meat Free Monday, why not try some of the below ways of using fresh beetroot?
Fresh Beetroot Leaves in a Salad
Use in the same way as spinach or lettuce. Just wash and dry thoroughly before using as the base of a salad. I like to throw in some cucumber, tomatoes, feta, and capsicum before dressing with some homemade salad dressing (lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, wholegrain mustard and honey).
Beetroot Stems in a Stir fry / Risotto or Satay
Last night we tried something different and added all the beetroot stems (cut to 2.5cm lengths) into a chicken satay. Not only did it reduce our waste and taste delicious, as an added bonus it turned our satay into a very delicate pink! Bonus!
Grated Baby Beets
Baby beets (the bulb part) are absolutely delicious and can be used raw in so many fabulous ways. My personal favourite is to grate finely and toss through a fresh salad, but they can also be used in frittatas, muffins, rice paper rolls and sandwiches!
So instead of reaching for tinned beetroot, why not have a shot at growing some? If I can do it, anyone can!
I’d love to hear some of your gardening disasters or recipes for fresh beetroot. Please share in the comments.
*I’m very sad to report that despite daily watering, shade protection and generous insulation even my worms have succumbed to the relentless heat, leaving me without an accelerated composting process. As a result, it’s been even more important for us to reduce our fruit and veggie waste.