Recently, we’ve busy in the walled garden sowing seeds, and in particular one of our favourite ingredients, beetroot. The latest crop will be ready nearer August, so now begins the time of watering and weeding ready for the harvest.

Beetroots originate from the Middle East and are documented as far back as 2000 BC, with broader use throughout the Mediterranean by the Egyptians, Romans and Greeks. The vegetable has become well established for a good period of our history.

Its exceptionally unique with a sweet, rich and earthy flavour that arouses intense aromas (perhaps similar to those of a garden shed). It combines particularly well with sour flavours and matches perfectly with saltiness, such as goats cheese or feta.

There is a real simplicity to beetroot, our ‘Spiced Beetroot and Apple Chutney‘, has the splendid combinations of fresh apple, onion, ginger, coriander seeds, allspice, caraway seeds and chilli, providing sprightly character.

We use the root or beet, although the green leaves are also entirely edible, and indeed why beetroot was historically harvested. The green leaves can be added to a salad, perhaps with feta and complimented by our chutney.

Beetroot is abundantly nutritional, particular in Vitamin B and antioxidants, with the juices even used by athletes as a legal performance enhancer. Our chutney is more about enhancing and complimenting the wonders of ingredients and recipes, but it wouldn’t hurt trying a teaspoon or two before a marathon, who knows what might happen.

Being slightly melodramatic, and somewhat tongue and cheek, there is also a rather tragic personality to the vegetable. As you cut into it, wooden chopping boards beware, it’s prone to bleeding. Much scrubbing is often required to remove the rich beetroot juices.

Beetroot also has somewhat of a reputation for acting as a hair dye? We’d be delighted to provide any leftover cuttings for those happy to go for a slightly rouge tinge for the summer season.