We love our beetroot in FNQ, even on our burgers. And we have some great local farmers, with varying micro-climates that make it available to us for at least half the year. There is virtually no limit to what we can do with these beautiful gems rich in vitamins and antioxidants. If you have a juice press, they are the real breakfast of champions. Ask any Olympian. If you tend towards a Mediterranean diet, your options are endless. Originally cultivated from Mesopotamia up through the Nordic regions, it was originally favoured for its leaves. The Greeks got into the roots about 300BC, followed by the Romans. The leaves are great raw in salads while young and better steamed when a bit older but still fresh. We note that most locals discard the leaves, which is a shame, because they miss out on both flavour and nutrition. In the current climate, a dip, hummus, relish or cold salad will satisfy. Just cook, cool, refrigerate and shred. Simple and beautiful. 2 bunches baby beetroots, ends trimmed 2 cups (500ml) vegetable stock 2 cups (500ml) warm water 150g baby spinach leaves 1/2 cup (60g) walnuts, toasted 100g fetta, crumbled 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar 2 teaspoons finely chopped dill
Place the beetroot in a large saucepan. Pour over the vegetable stock and top up with cold water if necessary to cover beetroot. Place over high heat and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, covered, for 20-25 minutes or until beetroot are tender. Drain well. Set aside to cool completely. Wearing gloves, peel each beetroot. Place in a bowl. Arrange the spinach leaves on a large serving platter. Scatter the beetroot, walnuts and feta over the spinach. Combine the oil, vinegar and dill in a screwtop jar and shake until well combined. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle over the salad and serve immediately.