It’s been a while since I participated in Weekend Herb Blogging, the perennially popular event created by the lovely Kalyn of Kalyn’s Kitchen. Not because I don’t cook vegetables, you understand, but because I always think ‘oh, I’ll post on Sunday because that’s the deadline’ and before you know it, it’s midnight on Sunday night and you just want to go to bed 🙁
But it’s a good thing I had a look at her site this week because it seems there are some rule updates for WHB in the pipeline. As of next week, requirements are being tightened up a bit and entries will have to feature either: a) principally a herb; or b) an unusual vegetable. I agree with Kalyn that this will help to make the event more focused (rather than having entries that have only a nodding acquaintance to herbs!) in an ever-increasing pool of food blog events. Go and read for yourself and remember that the new requirements take effect next Sunday!
Not sure that today’s post would make the cut for next week, so I’m sneaking it in now. However, this is an unusual dish for me because it’s the only way that I like eating beetroot 😉 Yes folks, mostly I find beetroot to be Satan’s Own Vegetable. I blame a childhood littered with sliced beetroot salads. They were always too vinegary and the texture of beetroot has never appealed to me one little bit. And then there was that bloody juice. You only had to look at it and it would stain some item of your clothing. Aaaarrrgh!
But I always felt vaguely guilty about not eating beetroot because it’s so good for you. Beta vulgaris has been eaten and cultivated by man for centuries and is high in fibre, carotenoids and flavonoids and low in calories, as well as being low GL. It’s also a good source of Vitamin C. For the trivia buffs out there:
- the Romans used beetroot to treat constipation;
- the colour of red beetroot is due to betacyanin pigments, unlike most other red plants, such as red cabbage, which contain anthocyanin pigments; and
- red beetroot can affect the colour of urine and faeces of people who have an inability to break the pigments down.
Butternut squash (Cucurbita moschata),is rich in Vitamins A and C, as well as dietary fibre. And as for rosemary, many superstitions surround it power. Some believed it would only grow in the gardens of the righteous; that a sprig placed under the pillow would repel evil spirits or bad dreams; or that rosemary laid on the bedlinens would ensure faithfulness.
I discovered the concept of roasted beetroot paired with butternut squash from my sister-in-law and was astonished to find that I actually like beetroot when it’s roasted like this. It brings out a sweetness that just about counteracts the overt earthiness that I’m not so partial to. You can use scrubbed raw beetroot or (as I usually do) buy cooked beetroot – just make sure it isn’t preserved in vinegar as this overpowers the sweet flavours.
And if the trivia mentioned above is to be believed, making this easy dish will apparently ensure that you and your beloved remain flu-free, unconstipated and faithful 😉
ROSEMARY ROASTED BEETROOT & BUTTERNUT (serves 2)
1 small butternut (or half a large one)
4 small beetroot
3-4 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp dried rosemary
Maldon salt flakes or fleur de sel to serve
Peel and dice the butternut. If using raw beetroot, scrub and dice. If using cooked beetroot, slice each beet into 6 wedges.
Place diced vegetables in a single layer on a baking sheet. Pour olive oil over and toss to make sure all cubes are coated. Sprinkle with the dried rosemary and place in a preheated oven at 200C for about 30 minutes, turning once.
When the edges of the cubes are beginning to brown and they yield when tested with a skewer or sharp knife, remove from the oven, sprinkle with Maldon salt flakes or fleur de sel and serve.
The charming hostess for WHB this weekend is Simona from Briciole – do check her site for the roundup this week!