One of my favourite things is eating beetroots fresh from the garden. They are wonderful vegetables in that they do keep for weeks at end in storage, but when they are newly picked they have a special crisp and earthy taste that I just love. As with carrots, it is one of the vegetables I alway grow.
When it comes to varieties of beets, I find that I can never choose just one so I always get the mixed beetroot selection from Runåbergs Fröer as they have such a great variety of different coloured beets. There are dark red ones, orange, bright yellow, white and of course polka which are beautifully striped pink in the flesh.
In the beginning of the season I harvest them as they turn up, small and delightful. But as the season turns towards the autumn there is still an abundance of them left in the garden, and then they grow large and wild.
The bigger they are, the earthier the flavour. Sometimes when they are as big as these I leave them peeled, cut and prepared in the fridge over night in a marinade of lemon and olive oil to soften the taste before I roast them in the oven.
With oven roasted smaller beets I usually keep it simple, and just peel and dice them before chucking them in with herbs, olive oil, salt and pepper. I quite like to separate the colours so that one day we will have read ones, and other days yellow or white ones.
When they are small and new in the season, I also love making beetroot carpaccio and just serve them raw after having marinated them overnight in olive oil, lime, ginger and basil.
As I was clearing the garden a few weeks ago I found one that had grown to enormous proportions! It had sprung from a misplaced seed amongst the carrots, and been left to its own devices. I think it is the biggest one I have grown yet.