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 red wine 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, helps retain their vivid colour and also makes them easier to handle.
- Rub the skins off with your hands. Cut off the rough end bits and discard. 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. Often there is a lot of sandy, grainy dirt on them and you want to get rid of this. I typically soak and shake the leaves in a large saucepan of water and let the grit fall to the bottom. Remove the stems and leaves from the saucepan and then discard the dirty water. Wash the saucepan of grit and fill with fresh water again. Repeat the soaking, shaking technique until there is no grit at the bottom of the saucepan.
- Put enough water to cover the leaves into a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Add about 1/2 teaspoon of salt and stir it in. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 5-6 minutes until the stems are tender when pierced with a fork.
- Pour the beetroot stems and leaves into a colander. Plate them after they have drained and 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 👌🏽