Cooked Beetroot (Pantzaria)
Boil your own beetroot. It’s easy and they're so good for you. Beetroot are packed with vitamins and full of fiber 🙌 Perfect to add to salads, sandwiches and just snack on.
- Approx 6 beetroot with or without stems and leaves (greens)
- 2 large garlic cloves, crushed (optional)
- 1/2 cup olive oil, or less
- 1/3 cup vinegar.
- 1 tsp salt
- pepper to taste
- Trim the leaves from the beetroot but leave about 3cm of the stems attached to the beetroot. This is important to prevent bleeding while cooking and retain colour and nutrients.
- Reserve the stems and leaves if they are in good condition and still lovely and green.
- Wash the beetroot as much as possible to remove any dirt and grit.
- Place the beetroot in a pot and cover with water. Add some salt and bring the water to a boil.
- Reduce heat to medium, ensuring the beetroot is always covered with water. Cook the beetroot until they are fork tender. I use a skewer to make sure they are cooked through. You want them to still be firm and not soft. As an example, a beetroot that is 300g will take about 1 hr to cook.
- When the beetroot are ready, carefully pour them into a colander and run them under cold water. This prevents them from cooking further and also makes them easier to handle.
- Rub the skins off with your hands. Cut off the rough end bits and discard. If the skin doesn't come off easily, it usually means that they are not cooked enough. You can run them under the cold water again to clean them up.
- Slice or cut into wedges and add your favourite dressing. I add salt, pepper, red wine vinegar and olive oil. Traditionally crushed garlic is also added to the dressing.
- If you want to also use the stems and leaves of the beetroot, cut them into roughly 6 cm pieces. Rinse them well under cold water in a colander. Often there is a lot of sandy, grainy dirt on them and you want to get rid of this.
- Put enough water to cover the leaves into a medium sauce pan and bring it to a boil. Add about 1/2 teaspoon of salt and stir it in. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 8-10 minutes until the stems are soft when pierced with a fork.
- Drain the beetroot stems and leaves. Be sure to use a clean colander. You don’t want the dirt from before to end up on your cooked greens. Plate the beetroot stems and leaves, drizzle with a mixture of extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar and crushed garlic. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.
- Refrigerate and serve as required.
This dish tastes even better the day after 👌🏽