A tangy sweet spiced beetroot relish with no added sugar. Simple and easy to make, this beet chutney is naturally sweetened with ripe pears and wonderfully aromatised with spices. It is a delicious accompaniment to just about any meal from salads to sandwiches or as a dip with savoury crackers for a healthy snack.
Since I was a kid and up until now, beetroot has been one of the root veggies that I relished the most. Whenever my mum was cooking them for a particular dish, she would have to set aside one whole beetroot for me to munch on as a snack.
Kevin on the other hand is not a great fan of beets. He doesn’t actually hate them but he just won’t eat them as often or as much as I do. So, most of the time I am steaming some beets only for me. When I try to sneak a few pieces onto his plate, most of them always end up being pushed onto mine! He kind of thinks the bold sweetness is too much to be eaten as part of a savoury meal (or at least this is what I’ve come to gather). For my part, the earthy sweetness is what I love.
All this was until the day I made a beetroot relish. Everything changed! He loved it. He liked the tanginess and the spices masked the earthiness. I was so pleased to have found a recipe with beets that we could both enjoy!
So, here’s a beetroot recipe that might just make the not-so-fan-of-beets folks feel the beet. 😉
If you don’t like the earthiness of beets or think the bold sweetness doesn’t quite complement a savoury dish, then this relish is one recipe that you have got to try. It’s very simple and so tasty. The acidity from the Granny Smith apple, lime juice and apple cider vinegar tones down the sweetness of the beets and adds in a sharp note while the spices mingle with everything to counteract the earthiness. For a bit of fragrance and another layer of flavour, I’ve introduced a couple of ripe Forelle pears in the recipe, although any variety of ripe pears will do.
The pears also act as a natural sweetener. A lot of beetroot relish recipes out there call for additional sugar. I don’t feel this is necessary especially with the addition of the pears. In consequence I have used a little less vinegar in this recipe compared to what is usually called for in the more traditional kind of relishes. I feel the sweetness and tanginess is more balanced in this way but feel free to adjust the vinegar or add sugar (other sweeteners) to your taste. This relish will keep in the fridge for about two weeks. If you want to preserve it for much longer, then definitely add sugar and about 2-3 more tablespoons of vinegar.
You can serve this relish as a condiment with just about anything. Fill a plate with some protein (chickpeas, beans, tempeh, tofu…), some salad, some grains if you wish (quinoa, rice…) and a little of this beet chutney and you have a simple tasty meal. Use it as a dip with some crackers and you have a delicious healthy snack.
In this “What We Eat in a Day” video that we shared a while ago, you can see a serving suggestion for this beetroot relish recipe.
Spiced Beetroot Relish
Ingredients (yield a 360-ml [12 oz] jar or about 1 1/2 cups)
1 medium beetroot, cooked* [200 g], peeled and coarsely grated [1 cup, packed]
1 Granny Smith apple [130 g], grated
2 ripe pears (any variety, I used Forelle), peeled and chopped into small pieces
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, finely chopped or minced (make your own minced ginger at home)
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (or white / pickling vinegar)
Juice from 1/2 lime
1/2 teaspoon whole cumin (or 1/4 teaspoon ground)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (or 5 cm / 2 inch stick)
1 star anise
1/3 teaspoon salt
*The beetroot needs to be cooked before using it in this recipe because the acidic ingredients will cause it to not cook properly if used from raw.
*Beetroots can be steamed or boiled with the skin on for 30 – 45 minutes until soft. You may also roast them for about 1 – 1 1/2 hours in the oven.
You may also use canned sliced beets, in which case just chop them into small pieces.
Place all ingredients in a saucepan.
Simmer for about 15 – 20 minutes while occasionally stirring.
You may mash the pears as they cook.
After a while, beetroot will become somewhat gel-like.
Turn off the heat and place in a 360-ml [12 oz] jar. Close the lid.
Allow to cool before placing in the refrigerator.
This beetroot relish will keep for a couple of weeks in the fridge.
It’s delicious served as a condiment with various savoury dishes, as a sandwich or wrap filler with tofu, tempeh, veggie sausages…
Spiced Beetroot Relish
- 1 medium beetroot, cooked* [200 g], peeled and coarsely grated [1 cup, packed]
- 1 Granny Smith apple, [130 g], grated
- 2 ripe pears, (any variety, I used Forelle), peeled and chopped into small pieces
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, [5 ml], finely chopped or minced (to make your own minced ginger, see notes)
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, [45 ml] (or white / pickling vinegar)
- Juice from 1/2 lime
- 4 cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon whole cumin, [2.5 ml], (or 1/4 teaspoon ground)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, [2.5 ml], (or 5 cm / 2 inch stick)
- 1 star anise
- 1/3 teaspoon salt, [2 ml]
- Place all ingredients in a saucepan.
- Simmer for about 15 - 20 minutes while occasionally stirring.
- You may mash the pears as they cook.
- After a while, beetroot will become somewhat gel-like.
- Turn off the heat and place in a 360-ml [12 oz] jar. Close the lid.
- Allow to cool before placing in the refrigerator.
- This beetroot relish will keep for a couple of weeks in the fridge.
- It's delicious served as a condiment with various savoury dishes, as a sandwich or wrap filler with tofu, tempeh, veggie sausages...