Wednesday, July 28
In praise of pink things II
Another vegetable I don't exactly yearn for, I bought the beetroot seed on the basis that a) it grows in shade b) it was 38p. I then proceeded to drop most of the packet when I was trying to sow it, so that far more got planted than I was planning. It has grown well enough under the mini fruit trees and the pink-ribbed leaves are pretty, and edible. I am told that when you have beetroot with leaves on you should remove the leaves as soon as possible as they draw moisture from the root. As you can see from the photo my beets are tiny (about 1.5 inches long). This may be due to the shade or it could be my desperation to pull them up and see what they look like.
A couple of weekends ago I mentioned the beetroot to P's mum. Her immediate reaction was 'You can make Prickley salad!' Cool name, I thought. The only thing I can actually remember from her list of ingredients is sultanas.
P did a bit of googling, and found a recipe which I proceeded to almost completely ignore, leading to the following:
Prickley Green Beetroot Salad*
1 raw beetroot, grated (or chopped small if you prefer to avoid the pink splatter factor)
a couple of delicious spring onions
a handful of sultanas
Chopped beetroot stalks (if available)
a slosh of vinegary salad dressing (I used half vinegar half oil: will try lemon juice another time.)
half a tsp cumin seeds
Combine the ingredients in a bowl and leave for 15 minutes for the sultanas to swell and the flavours to combine. I'd have served it with some fresh coriander on top, had I had any.
The earthy sweetness of the beetroot and sultanas are nicely balanced by the acidic dressing and spring onions. The cumin was a last minute impulse addition but I thought it worked really well.
*why on earth is it called prickley and green when it is neither?!