My first time growing beetroot and I was not sure what to expect as I took some seeds out of the packet to plant this spring. As luck would have it, I was buzzed about by a couple of bumblebees visiting the last of the kale flowers in the adjacent raised bed which made me instinctively wave my hand about and …yes you guessed it ..spilled the beetroot seeds on the damp soil!
Just had to pick them all up and find an extra space to plant the rest as I didn’t want to put them back into the packet. So note to self: take out seeds to be planted in a small container and seal the rest back in the packet, before going to sow them! As a result, I have ended up planting twice as many beetroot. They needed a little thinning where they were crowded and some regular watering but apart from that they have been brilliant performers.
Early summer now sees the popping up of the first couple of little beetroots!
As this week is seeing a long heatwave, there could be no better way of enjoying these in a raita. A raita is a savoury yoghurt that has been lightly seasoned and spiced with one or more vegetables grated into it. You may have enjoyed the coolness of a cucumber raita or the crunch of a carrot one but there is none that is more dramatic than the beetroot raita.
So here’s how I made it: Simply grate a small beetroot (or half of a larger one that has been peeled) into one cup of thick yoghurt of your choice. You can use dairy or non-dairy for a vegan diet. Add a pinch of cumin powder and season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle some chopped chives as a garnish. Delicious and with such a vibrant colour!
Beetroot greens are also great and can be eaten as a salad, added to stir fries or even enjoyed steamed as a side dish. Easy to grow, even easier to harvest and gorgeous to enjoy in a meal … are you tempted to have a go?