Beetroot Relish

I have two beetroot relish recipes that I like - One is spiced with cumin and ginger and not terribly sweet and the other has the wonderful flavour of balsamic vinegar.  They both store well if jarred warm into warm, sterilised jars and lidded with new lids, ensuring that when cool, the button on the lid has gone down. Beetroot relish is wonderful on sandwiches, with a spiced leaf and some feta or with turkey, aged cheddar, or a simple hamburger.  It also makes a lovely gift.

Recipe 1

I found this on the Trotski and Ash blog.  I like the flavour the brown sugar adds and that it is not too sweet.  They have a preserves tag with a few other recipes as well.

4 medium beetroots, peeled and grated finely
ginger, thumb sized knob peeled and grated finely
1 tbsp cumin seeds, toasted and ground in a mortar and pestle
180 ml red wine vinegar
2 tbsp brown sugar
a little salt
1. In a large heavy based pot, over a medium heat, combine ingredients and stir.
2. Turn the heat down and simmer for an hour and a half or until the relish is sweet, shiny and soft. Make sure to stir occasionally and add a little water if the relish becomes too dry.
3. When ready, put into hot, sterilised jars. Once opened keep in the refrigerator.

Recipe 2 This recipe was given to me by a friend.  The balsamic vinegar adds a lovely flavour. This is a sweeter relish.

1kg Beetroot, cooked
1 large Red Onion
1tbsp Olive Oil
100g Golden Castor Sugar
50g Soft Dark Brown Sugar
50ml Red Wine Vinegar
100ml Balsamic Vinegar
1. Remove tops. Clean and scrub each beetroot. Wrap each in foil, place in a roasting tin and  roast in a 180oC oven until tender (for about 40-50 minutes)
2. Peel the beetroot then coarsely grate. Grate the onion as well, keeping it separated from the beetroot.
3. Heat the olive oil in a pan and gently sweat the onion for a couple of minutes before adding all of the remaining ingredients
4. Bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar
5. Turn the heat down and simmer gently for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
6. The pickle should be very thick, resembling pickled red cabbage
7. Spoon into warm, sterilised jars and seal
8. Should keep well for several months in a dark cupboard.  Once opened, store in the fridge


Sweet Chilli Sauce

Condiments are a great thing to make from scratch...especially if you can use organic ingredients!  This is a very simple chilli sauce that looks great bottled! Ingredients 500g long fresh red chillies, stems trimmed 3 garlic cloves, peeled 750ml white vinegar 645g caster sugar

Method 1. Halve 100g of the chillies and place in the bowl of a food processor. Halve and de-seed the remaining chillies. Coarsely chop and place in the food processor. Add garlic and 250ml white vinegar. Process until finely chopped. 2. Place the chilli mixture, remaining vinegar and caster sugar in a large saucepan over a low heat. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until the sugar dissolves. 3. Increase heat to high and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 35-40 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Pour into sterilised airtight bottles and seal.

Recipe by Michelle Southan – Good Taste Magazine

Rocket Pesto

Rocket is a source of Vitamin C, folate and beta carotene.  It is also a source of calcium and potassium.  The slightly bitter flavour of rocket is an indicator of its valuable antioxidant content.  But if a bag of rocket is hard to use up in salads, sandwiches, pastas and pizzas, try making rocket pesto.  This works well as a dip on its own or spread on sourdough bread with sliced tomatoes.  You can also stir it into yogurt and serve with grilled lamb or chicken.  If you leave the cheese out, it freezes well for winter enjoyment!

1/3 cup pine nuts (you can also use almonds, unsalted roasted cashews or walnuts)
1 garlic clove, peeled
100g rocket leaves, trimmed
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup finely grated parmesan
squeeze of lemon juice
salt and ground pepper to taste

1. Place cashews and garlic in the bowl of a food processor.  process until coarsely chopped.
2.  Add rocket and lemon juice. Process drizzling the oil through the feed tube until the mixture is smooth.
3. Stir in parmesan and season with salt and pepper.

Pickled Red Cabbage

I really like pickled red cabbage with cheese and a chunk of sourdough bread or as an afternoon snack! Ingredients 1 large red cabbage 4 tbsp kosher or flake salt 1.2 L malt vinegar (1.2 litres) 3-4 tbsp of the homemade pickling spices in cheesecloth (or loose) OR you can use Herbie's Pickling Spice (available locally at the Blairgowrie IGA)

Pickling Spice 10-15 dried bay leaves 2 inch piece dried ginger 1 tbsp black mustard seeds 1 tbsp yellow mustard seeds 1 tbsp black peppercorns 1 tbsp white peppercorns 1 tbsp mace blades 1 tbsp allspice berries 1 tbsp coriander seeds 2 tsp dill seeds 1 dried red chile, crushed 2 cinnamon sticks, crushed 6 cloves 1 tsp whole coriander seeds 1 tsp cardamon pods, crushed 1/2 star anise pod, crushed

Method 1. Pickling Mix - Combine all of the following, or make your own mix with what you have on hand, and store in an airtight container for up to six months. 2. Sterilize some jars and lids. Note: You need vinegar proof lids. 3. Quarter and finely shred your cabbage. Place in a bowl and sprinkle on the salt before mixing 4. Cover and leave for 6-8 hours (or overnight) - This is an important step as it draws the water out of the cabbage.  If omitted, your pickled cabbage could spoil. 5. Using a colander, rinse off the salt 6. Add the vinegar and the mix to a large saucepan and bring to the boil 7. Turn off the heat and let cool leaving in the spices for 3-4 hours before removing them 8. Pack your shredded cabbage into the jars before filling with the spiced vinegar. 9. Store in a cool, dark place for 2-3 weeks before using. Eat within 3 months.