So… we’re all back from holiday. The traffic is horrible again and most of us are wondering how soon we can go on holiday again. The heat here in Cape Town has been quite incredible – granted, we do live in AFRICA, so some heat is to be expected… but considering we live closer to the South Pole than Egypt you’d think there would be more snow and less heat. Although to be truthful – I love the heat. I revel in it. I adore it. If it could be summer all year round I’d be happy. I love wearing t-shirts and still being warm. I love waking up in the morning and it’s light outside. I love the fact that it only gets dark at about 8pm. I love the colour of the sky. I really, really, love summer. One thing I do struggle with, however, is cooking in this heat. That’s not so much fun! So we tend to end up eating things like lamb chops and salad. Or chicken and salad. Or… something else with salad. As few pots as possible and as little time in front of the stove as possible = one happy me.
So when we went to a friend’s house for dinner the other night, and she had some homemade beetroot– I was intrigued. I had had some raw beetroot languishing (don’t you think that’s a nice word? I do. La-a-a-nguishing. It even sounds like what it means!) at the bottom of my fridge which I was avoiding cooking, as the thought of having root vegetables boiling in a pot for ages just didn’t do it for me. And for some reason, I thought that beetroot was one of those veggies which are inedible raw – like potatoes. Turns out they’re more like carrots – better raw than they are cooked! Who knew?
Anyway, back to my friend and her homemade beetroot. When she said it was homemade my first thought was that she must have pickled it herself. But no – she told me just grated it and added a couple of ingredients and served. Well. My poor hubby. I think he saw the twinkle in my eye and knew that before the week was out he’d have yet another experiment on his plate. Good thing he’s very open to new things!
The end result was – even if I do say so myself – extraordinary. I grated it, mixed it with five ingredients – including salt and pepper – and then couldn’t stay out of it. I was literally craving it! Which, considering it’s really very healthy, is quite an achievement for me. And I’m already thinking of ways to spice it up or change it in the future.
One small piece of advice: you know that beetroot juice that comes in the jar? That’s naturally a part of the beetroot – even if it’s raw. I had always assumed that the juice would be released during cooking or something like that – but nope, it’s there from the moment you peel your beetroot. And I have the stained wooden cutting board to prove it… 😉
- 4-5 small-medium beetroots, thoroughly washed, peeled if you so wish. (I peeled mine – next time I’ll leave the skin on and see if there’s a difference.)
- 3-4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
Grate the beetroot. Mix with the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Let sit while you prepare the rest of the meal, then eat. Do try not to eat it before the rest of the meal is ready – you’ll spoil your dinner!
Notes: Use the best balsamic vinegar and olive oil you can. You’ll be eating them raw and you really will taste them – so if you don’t like the taste of the vinegar and olive oil to start with, you won’t like it in the salad. Also, my mom gave me some of her Pink Himalayan Salt – and promptly got me hooked. That stuff is amazing! Tastes so much better than normal table salt – and is full of minerals and good stuff. So that’s the salt I used – but use whatever you have and/or like.
Variations: This is the starting point for so many good possibilities. Add some chilli powder for a bit of kick. Or add some chopped walnuts/toasted pine nuts and apple for texture and flavour. Use a garlic infused olive oil or add blue cheese. Seriously – the possibilities are practically endless! Only – if you do add something which makes your eyes roll to the back of your head in giddy delight – please drop a line in the comments. I want to try it to!
Have an fantabulerrific weekend everyone!
G O A S-S B 🙂