From Hate to Love – My Relationship With Beetroot

MoFo 2013 BannerI mentioned in my first MoFo post that I was hoping to use some of the official blogging prompts on my blog, partly because they really help with producing daily original content (blogging every day is tough!) and partly because there were some really lovely ideas. This particular post is following the A Food/Ingredient you didn’t used to like but now do, how did the transition happen? idea.For years and years and years I felt nothing but contempt for beetroot. It tasted like dirt, stained everything and made the entire flat stink every time you opened the fridge. Gross. They also came in shrunken, vacuum-packed plastic foil, which left dents in the actual beet and I found the whole concept rather disgusting. So for many years, until this spring, in fact, I was convinced beetroot was the devil’s minion.

…Sorry, I got distracted. There was a man outside walking what appears to be a Dachshund-Beagle mix, and it looked funny. Super-long dog. Anyway…

Then, earlier this year, my life changed drastically. We started ordering a weekly Veg Box. I’ve written quite a lot about this box so far, so I won’t let it take over this post as well, but my point is this: the fresh, organic beetroot we were given came straight from the earth, unpeeled, uncooked and unprocessed. To me, that immediately made all the difference. No stinky shrinky sensation, just pure earthy goodness. I prepared the vegetable in every way I could find described in my cookbooks and found that I really loved it. But my absolute favourite way to eat it is in Beetroot Risotto, which I will share here.

Beetroot Risotto

Beetroot Risotto

Serves 2

1 Onion
2 Cloves Garlic
4 Medium Beets, Peeled & Chopped into 1cm cubes
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
150g Risotto Rice
500ml Stock
1 Pre-Cooked Seitan Cutlet/Loaf (Optional)

In a non-stick pan, fry the onion and garlic in the olive oil until the onion appears see-through (I really need to find out the correct cooking term for this). Add the peeled & chopped beetroot, add a few tablespoons of the stock, cover your pan and let the whole thing simmer for 15-20 minutes, depending on how tender you would like your beets to be.
Add the risotto rice and stir thoroughly, then add one ladle of stock. Let the risotto simmer, stirring frequently, until all the stock has been absorbed and repeat the process until you have used up all the liquid. If you’re using seitan, chop it into approximately 1-cm cubes and add to the risotto at this stage. Cook for another 5 minutes, or until all ingredients are hot throughout, and serve immediately.

I’m not bothered about eating leftover risotto the next day, but Husband-To-Be says that’s disgusting, so it’s up to you whether you keep the leftovers for the next day.

If you really hate beetroot the way I did, I urge you to give it another try, perhaps prepared in a different way to what you are used to.

What are your thoughts on beetroot? Do you have a vegetable you just really can’t stand?



  1. September 10, 2013 / 10:55 am

    On the onion: translucent is the right term I believe ;)

  2. September 10, 2013 / 12:38 pm

    I felt the exact same way until this summer when Mum pickled our homegrown beetroot. First year we’ve grown it and it certainly won’t be the last! As a family of three we’ve eaten roughly twenty jans of the stuff in two months… I think I’ll give the risotto a go when I’m back at uni.

    • September 10, 2013 / 1:51 pm

      haha it’s funny how eating fresh things changes your perception of them!

      • September 10, 2013 / 2:13 pm

        Isn’t it just! We had broccoli from the allotment the other evening and it was even nicer than the shop stuff. It had a cabbagey taste but looked like a piece of asparagus topped with kelp. Tasted better than it looks. Soon it’ll be sprouts…

        • September 10, 2013 / 4:51 pm

          I hate sprouts, but I hear they’re amazing when you roast them. I might try that.

          • September 10, 2013 / 5:03 pm

            I hate strong tasting sprouts. They’re great im bubble and squeak

  3. September 10, 2013 / 1:58 pm

    I used to hate beetroot too and I only began to enjoy it last summer. I’ll definitely give this a go because it sounds great.

    • September 10, 2013 / 4:50 pm

      Thanks Jojo! I just love everything about it now, but it rules the risotto world :D

  4. September 10, 2013 / 7:05 pm

    I also don’t like beetroot. I do eat them roasted, wrapped in foil and seasoned with tons of garlic and rosemary. But that’s about it. I am weirdly fascinated by their dirt smell though.

    • September 10, 2013 / 8:01 pm

      I went from hating the smell to loving it over night. It is a strange piece of food though, that colour alone is a bit funky :D

  5. September 11, 2013 / 1:50 am

    Ooo, I have yet to try beetroot. I think the greatest thing about going solely plant-based is that we come to find out about so many foods and our palettes become bigger than ever before.

    • September 11, 2013 / 3:52 pm

      Absolutely. I’ve tried so many things that I would never have even considered before!

  6. September 13, 2013 / 11:51 am

    I’ve only just started eating beetroot too. I hated the pickled stuff when I was a kid. One of my favourite ways to have it is to buy a precooked pack of 4 beetroot and blend it up into homemade hummous with some ras el hanout seasoning.

    • September 13, 2013 / 11:51 am

      Ooh that sounds lovely, I’ll have to try that!

  7. Birdie
    February 21, 2014 / 10:00 pm

    Risotto on the second day is even better! You can squoosh it into patties and fry it up, as they do in Italy.

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