Beetroot is a sweet and earthy flavoured root vegetable. It can be cooked and eaten a number of ways but you can rarely go wrong with a splash of red wine vinegar and a pinch of salt to bring out the flavour.

Beetroot ranges in colour from golden yellows to candy pink and white stripes as well as the classic deep purple.

These are a few of our favourite ways to cook with Beetroot.

Steamed beetroot

This is a simple way to keep all of the flavour and goodness locked into your beetroot. Preheat your oven to 175c and give your beetroot a wash to remove any dirt. Place two large pieces of tin foil on top of each other and place your whole beetroots in the middle. Drizzle with a little olive oil, sprinkle some salt and add either a small glug of red wine vinegar or a splash of water (either will create a bit steam as the parcel heats up).

Fold the tin foil over the beetroot and tightly fold up the three open edges to create a sealed parcel (don't make it too tight around the beetroot or the steam will have nowhere to go). Pop the parcel onto a baking tray and place it in the oven for 45 mins.

To test that the beetroots are cooked, place a small knife or cake tester through one of the beetroots. The knife will glide through a perfectly cooked beetroot with ease. If you feel some resistance, reseal the parcel and cook for a further 10 mins. This is a pretty forgiving cooking method for beetroot so a little over won't hurt.

Once cooked, allow your beetroots to cool slightly before removing the skin.

How to know when your beetroots are cooked →

Boiled beetroot

Beetroot (as the name would suggest) is a root vegetable and someone once taught me that when boiling root veg you should place it into cold water and bring it slowly up to the boil. This way everything in the pan rises in temperature together, making the cook nice and even rather than your root veg having a cooked outside and a tough centre.

Simply give your beetroot a wash to remove any dirt and place in a pan of cold water straight from the tap (it doesn't need to be ice cold). Place the pan on a medium heat and allow the water to reach a nice gentle simmer. Cook for roughly 20 minutes before checking to see if the beetroot is cooked.

Once cooked, allow your beetroots to cool slightly before removing the skin.

How to know when your beetroots are cooked →

Tips: Add a splash of red wine vinegar to the water to enhance the sweet beetroot flavour

Raw beetroot

Raw beetroot is a delicious addition to salads or can be the main ingredient in a slaw. Simply peel the beetroot and coarsely grate with a box grater or food processor.

Peeling cooked beetroot

This can be a messy business as the purple juice will stain your hands for a day or two. Whichever way you cook your beetroot, allow it to cool a little before sticking on a pair of washing up gloves and pushing the skin away with your thumbs to reveal the sweet earthy beetroot beneath.

Tips: Keep your beetroot covered whilst it cools. The steam will help loosen the skin from the flesh underneath and make it much easier to peel.

How to know when beetroot is cooked?

Like most things in the kitchen, this is an easy one when you know how. An uncooked beetroot is quite tough and it is difficult to prod a knife through the flesh. Once a beetroot is cooked nicely, a knife or cake tester should easily insert right through the flesh. Time this right as you can overcook a beetroot and it will become too soft - It's better to check often than to check too late.

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