Making relish is a great way to preserve your beetroot and perfect for when you have a whole crop that needs to be harvested at once. It’s spreadable, versatile, and will last several weeks in the fridge. Beetroot relish adds interest to a cheese platter or poached eggs, can be used to top mini quiches, burgers and sandwiches, and can be made into a dip with ricotta cheese or sour cream.
If you’re not up for grating an entire kilo of raw beetroot, you don’t need to: you can pre-bake it instead (like I did). This way, all you need do is top & tail the whole beets, place them in a baking dish and fully coat them in spray oil. Bake for around 1 1/2 hours then remove from the oven & leave to cool. Once cool, the peeling and chopping or grating is an easy job. Pre-cooking the beetroot will also reduce the overall cooking time.
To sterilise the jars, preheat the oven to 130C (275F). Place both the jars and their lids on a clean baking tray in the oven for 20 minutes, then remove carefully. Ladle the relish into the jars while they are still hot.
Here’s How to Make It
Harvest and wash the beetroot thoroughly. Pat it dry, then spread it out in a baking tray and coat lightly with spray oil. Bake for 1 -1 1/2 hours. Leave it to cool completely. This beetroot relish is a great way to use up beetroot; as you can see, I’ve used up all the undersized & scrappy beets I had left at the end of the season.
Meanwhile, chop the apple and onion then peel a large piece of citrus rind. I’ve chosen blood orange rind here, but you can use any citrus you like. Pop on some gloves if you want, then peel and chop the beetroot.
Heat the oil in your pan, then fry the mustard seed until it becomes aromatic and ‘pops’. Add all the remaining ingredients to the pan, stir thoroughly then cover and bring to the boil for an hour.
Check & stir the mixture regularly while it is boiling. Just a side note, you can use whichever vinegar you like. I used 1 1/2 cups of plain white vinegar, and 1/2 cup of this basic supermarket brand red wine vinegar. After an hour, remove the lid & turn the heat down to a low simmer. Continue cooking until the liquid has reduced and the mixture has thickened. This may take up to 2 hours, depending on the consistency you desire.
When you feel it is ready, get the jars in sterilising. You can do this in the oven, microwave or dishwasher- all are effective methods. I like my relish spreadable and ‘jammy’ rather than chunky, so I mashed it with a potato masher, but you don’t need to do this if you don’t want to. Once the jars are sterilised, ladle the hot relish into them, seal and leave to cool.
- 1 grater or baking tray
- 1 large & deep frying pan or saucepan
- sterilised jars
- gloves, to protect hands from beetroot staining optional
- 1 kg beetroot
- 1 large onion
- 2 apples
- 2 cups vinegar choose which you like best
- 1 cup water
- 3 tsp mustard seeds
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 whole cloves
- 1 large piece of citrus rind
- 3 tbsp oil
- salt & pepper, to taste optional
- Peel and grate all the beetroot.
- Peel and chop finely, the onion and apple.
- Heat the oil in the frying pan, then fry the mustard seed over medium heat for a few minutes or until aromatic.
- All all the ingredients to the pan, cover and bring to the boil.
- Boil for 1 hour. Then remove the lid, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, and continue cooking until the liquid has reduced and thickened.
- Pour the hot relish into sterilised jars. Seal and leave to cool.