pulled the first of this year's beetroot from the garden yesterday. baked the roots as usual, probably to use cold in salad or sandwiches, but was wondering what to do with the rest.I often add young,clean leaves to salad but we have so much lettuce at the moment that it seems pointless. I've seen recipes for cooking the stems and leaves but never tried them, so, last night, we decided to give them a try. the recipe said boil for 5-6 mins so I added them to the saucepan at the end of cooking broad beans and cauliflower(also from the garden). I was a bit worried about the other veg turning pink -though this might have improved the cauli which was a bit slug damaged- but there wasn't that much colour leakage. the water was an interesting purpley shade but the other veg were ok. how it all tasted is what matters though - slightly odd as,it being a leaf, I was expecting a cabbagey taste and was surprised that it tasted of -you've guessed- beetroot. having got over this strangeness, I enjoyed it. the taste is not as strong as boiled beetroot and some people may prefer it.
my parents never eat beetroot other than cooked and pickled in vinegar - is it an age-related idea? I've tried it various ways including soup (though I find some bortsch recipes too strong in beetroot flavour) and a Nigella Lawson cake recipe and believe it's much more versatile than a lot of people think.