Edible garden: Beets

By Janice Marriott

Janice Marriott on beauty of the beets.

You can grow beetroots year round for a plentiful supply. Photo / Thinkstock
You can grow beetroots year round for a plentiful supply. Photo / Thinkstock

Beetroot is one of those great crops you can grow year round. Sow a row of it every six weeks so you always have some to eat.

To help the seeds germinate, soak them in water overnight before planting in soil rich with compost. The art of beetroot growing is to grow them quickly in rich soil with plenty of water. I like the Golden Globe variety from Kings Seeds, and the Italian ones that show red and white swirls when you cut them.

Don't let beets grow too big or they'll taste woody. Golf ball-sized roots are the most tender. Boil or roast them whole.

Never cut the tops off or they'll bleed and never cook them with other things or everything will end up pink.

Cut cooked beetroot into cubes and saute in oil with garlic and lots of chopped parsley.

The pretty red-stemmed dark green leaves are attractive in winter salads, too. Beetroot and feta go together well in a salad, or grated beetroot and carrot. Try pickling some beetroot with wine vinegar and dill seeds.

- NZ Herald

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