Beetroot is another easy- to grow, tasty variety of Beta vulgaris which also include Swiss chard (see previous post) and sugar beet. Unfortunately it is mostly known as its pickled form, or cooked and vacuum-packed in plastic. I find the latter form to be pretty (mushy) and particularly disgusting. The best way to enjoy fresh beetroot, in my opinion, is oven-baked in a casserole-dish with onions, garlic, a splash of balsamic vinegar, olive oil and a gutsy herb such as thyme or oregano. This way it retains its firm texture and a sweetness complemented by the caramelized onions. Ideally you want golf-ball sized beetroots with the skin on, so all the juices remain inside (just remove the stems, wash thoroughly and remove wiry bottom and side shoots. I halve bigger beetroots and make sure that the cut side faces up in the oven-pot. Add the chopped onion at the base, and then the beetroot and crushed garlic followed by your herbs and a good amount of balsamic vinegar and olive oil…be generous with the oil and vinegar (about 50 mls each for about ½ kg of beetroot). Season the dish with rock salt and cook with a lid on in an oven pre-heated to 200oC for about 1 hour….That’s what I call beetroot!!