Town and Country Staff  loves cooking!  We all have our favourite ingredients and Beetroot is one of ours.

Beetroot has been eaten since Roman times and by the mid-nineteenth Century it had become a very popular vegetable. It is usually boiled, baked, braised or pickled in vinegar – but it is so much more versatile than that!  Red beetroot originated from Beta vulgaris, which is a native of Southern Europe. Beetroot is a good source of Vitamin C and folic acid.

Above all it is delicious and these are a couple of our favourite recipes!

Beetroot and Lentil Burgers

These vegetarian burger recipe is made with raw beetroot, puy lentils, chilli, garlic and ginger. It’s ready in just 30 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 325g raw beetroot
  • 250g pack cooked puy lentils
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 red chilli
  • 5cm piece fresh ginger
  • 6 fresh mint sprigs
  • 1 medium free-range egg
  • ½ tbsp curry powder
  • 2-3 tbsp plain flour
  • Oil for frying
    To serve
  • 60g crumbled feta
  • 4 good quality buns
  • Salad leaves
  • Lemon wedges

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 200°C/fan180°C/gas 6. Peel the beetroot, grate and wrap in a folded clean J-cloth. Squeeze out as much liquid as you can.
  2. Put the beetroot in a bowl with the lentils. Finely chop and add the garlic, chilli, ginger and mint. Crack in the egg. Mix in the curry powder, salt and pepper and 1-2 tbsp flour (just enough to hold it all together).
  3. Heat a glug of oil in a pan. Divide the beetroot mix into 4 and shape into burgers. Dust well with flour on both sides. Once the oil is very hot, fry the burgers for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden.
  4. Put the burgers in a baking tray and bake for 5-6 minutes until piping hot. Serve topped with feta on buttered, toasted buns, with salad leaves and a few lemon wedges.

Chocolate Beetroot Cake

The ingredients in this chocolate and beetroot cake work beautifully together – we dare you to try it.

Ingredients

  • 250g plain chocolate, broken up
  • 3 large free-range eggs
  • 200g light muscovado sugar
  • 100ml sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g self-raising flour
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 250g raw beetroot
    For the icing
  • 150g plain chocolate
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 100g soured cream

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4. Grease a 22cm round, loose-bottomed cake tin with a little butter and line the base with baking paper.
  2. Place the plain chocolate in a bowl and set over a pan of gently simmering water. Allow the chocolate to melt slowly until smooth, then set aside to cool.
  3. Place the eggs, sugar and sunflower oil in a large mixing bowl and whisk together, using an electric hand whisk, for about 3 minutes until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Stir in vanilla extract, then sift over self-raising flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and gently fold in, together with the ground almonds.
  4. Using a pair of rubber gloves to protect your fingers from staining, peel and grate the beetroot, then squeeze out the excess liquid. Fold the beetroot into the mixture with the cooled chocolate, until thoroughly mixed.
  5. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 50 minutes-1 hour. Cover with foil if the cake browns too quickly. Test the cake by inserting a skewer into the centre to see if it comes out clean. Cool for a little while, then remove from the tin and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
  6. For the icing, place the plain chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water. Allow to melt gently until smooth. Set aside to cool, then beat in the icing sugar and soured cream until you have a thick, creamy and spreadable icing. Spread it over the top and sides of the cooled cake and serve.

(Credit: http://www.deliciousmagazine.co.uk/recipes )