You Can’t Beat a Beetroot!

You Can’t Beat a Beetroot!
You can;t beat a beetroot, says The Butler's Pantry Executive Chef Niall Hill who reckons he has cracked this beautiful purple gem. Luckily, Niall loves to share his recipes using traditional Irish ingredients that are in season and easily accessible; taking a classic ingredient and putting his own modern twist on it.

“I love experimenting with every new season’s ingredients, their different flavours, colour and textures.  In season this month we will start to see root vegetables such as celery, beetroot, carrots, parsnips and swede.  Beetroot is one of my favourites as there are so many ways to enjoy this purple jewel and awaken your taste senses”.

Root vegetables were very accessible as they were not difficult to grow and store. Beetroot evolved from wild seabeet, which is a native of coastlines from India to Britain.   As with a lot of traditional ingredients in Ireland throughout the last century, they have been influenced by what was accessible across the British Isles.

Nutritionally beetroot is famed for its ability to purify the blood and kick start the liver. Many people are averse to beetroot, familiar only with the pickled variety. Fresh beetroot has so much more to share in terms of flavour (sweet, slightly earthy), texture (smooth and velvety) and colour (dark red/purple).

In the kitchen, try it cooked, peeled and in a salad, roasted for Sunday lunch, as a refreshing consommé or create a delightful feast for the eyes in a delicious risotto.

Beetroot makes a great ketchup which goes fantastic with a rosemary grilled chicken, cold cuts and a cheese board – see Niall’s recipe below and he also has a smoked beetroot variety available in The Butler’s Pantry shops.

Niall’s Famous Beetroot Ketchup:
Cooked beetroot diced                     300g
Garlic                                                  1 tsp
Cider vinegar                                       200ml
Onions diced                                       1
Honey                                                  100ml

        • Place all ingredients into a saucepan and bring to a boil
        • Turn the heat down and simmer for 20 minutes
        • Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth
        • Season to taste, chill and serve cold.

The Butler’s Pantry have shops in Blackrock, Clontarf, Donnybrook, Greystones, Temple Hill Monkstown, Rathgar, Sandycove and Sandymount