Looking for something easy and inexpensive to add a buzz to your drinks menu? Serve with bread or toasts, gherkins or dill pickles, crisp radishes, sliced cucumber and cherry tomatoes, that sort of thing.
4 medium beetroot (beets) ½ tsp salt, or to taste ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper ½ cup chopped walnuts 2 Tbsp chopped mint, plus a few small leaves for garnishing 4 Tbsp chopped coriander (cilantro) Squirt of lemon ½ cup plain unsweetened yoghurt Croutes and dill pickles to serve
1 Wash beetroot under running water, scrubbing gently around the roots without nicking the skin. Put beetroot in a roomy saucepan, cover generously with cold water and bring to the boil. Lower heat, partially cover with a lid, and cook for about 30 minutes, until tender. Drain and cool. Remove skin and roots then grate coarsely (food gloves will prevent purple fingers!).
2 Transfer grated beetroot to a bowl and stir in salt and pepper and most of the walnuts, mint and coriander. Add a little lemon to brighten the flavour. Partially fold through most of the yoghurt. Taste and adjust salt and lemon if necessary. Transfer to a serving bowl. Garnish with a little more yoghurt, walnuts, coriander or mint leaves.
To test if beetroot is ready, lift one out of the water on a slotted spoon and rub your thumb over the skin with paper towels – if the skin wrinkles, it’s ready.
Instead of cooking beetroot in water, cook them in the oven. Wash beetroot under running water, scrubbing gently around the roots without nicking the skin. Trim stalks, but not too close to the top of the beetroot. Wrap beetroot in tin foil and transfer to a shallow dish. Bake for about 45 minutes, until tender. Unwrap beetroot and cool before rubbing each one with paper towels and removing skin and root.