Beetroot is one of those vegetables that people tend to love or hate. It’s a little bit like marmite isn’t it, with some preferring it to be pickled and others unpickled. I grew up knowing nothing more about beetroot than it coming out of a jar of vinegar at Christmas time. How times have changed for me, and I’m now firmly in the unpickled camp.
There are so many benefits to eating beetroot. It’s one of your five a day, contains potassium, magnesium, vitamins A, B6 and C. It also contains folic acid and is a good source of iron. There are many studies surrounding beetroot such as helping to lower blood pressure and prevent dementia.
I really will eat beetroot with most things. It’s great chopped up in a salad, with couscous, in a sandwich and even in brownies. When I saw a recipe for beetroot and salmon fishcakes, I decided they were worth a try.
Using home grown beetroot from my Mum’s garden, I cooked them for around thirty minutes before chopping up for the recipe.Larger beetroot can take as long as two hours to cook through so bear this in mind if purchasing from the shop. A top tip when cooking beetroot is to leave the roots and stalks on otherwise the beets will bleed. Once cooked, it’s easy to top and tail before removing the skin which peels off very easily at this point.
Be careful where you prep your beetroot as you can minimise them bleeding but not stop it altogether, so don’t ruin your favourite chopping board. Don’t forget to wash your hands when you’re done, it’s surprising how your hands can become stained with beetroot juice.
As you can see their colour is unlike an average fishcake so you may not get away with hiding beetroot in these if you’re looking to fool the children. They do however take on a completely different taste that fishcakes that I think can sometimes be quite bland.
The ratio of potato to beetroot is fairly even so you aren’t bogged down by the starchy potato flavour that can come through and drown the fish taste. Salmon is quite a delicate flavour on its own, so you wont find an overwhelming fish taste in these fishcakes. There is a sweetness that comes through which is from the beetroot, which is off set by the spring onion which provides a slight tang.
If you wanted to add some spice, a chopped up chill would work quite well instead of or as well as the spring onion.
These are a great lunch food with salad, or a starter to make a change from standard fish cakes. They are quite light as the potato is less than you would expect so they do work well as a starter.
Beetroot is in season in January, but is usually available in supermarkets all year round, so there’s no excuse to go out there and try something new.
Are you a beetroot lover or hater?