Beetroot – Punajuuri
Beta vulgaris

Amaranthaceae family

Beetroot forms a tuber that can be elongated, flat-round, round or egg-shaped depending on the variety. A good beetroot is intensely dark red and has a smooth surface. White, striped and yellow beets are also grown in Finland.

In the Mediterranean, beetroot was already used in salads and other dishes at the beginning of the era. The first evidence of the use of beets can be found as early as the 16th century, but beets were initially pale and yellowish in color. Beets came to Finland around the 19th century.

The beet harvest is plentiful. The shoots and roots can be used like spinach at harvest time, and the tuberous part, like the roots, is well-preserved, so it can be used to make something edible all through the long winter. When fresh, it can be grated or preserved in vinegar broth. The tuber should be boiled or baked with the skin on, so that the color and flavor remain inside it. Delicious winter dishes include beetroot-blue cheese risotto and root vegetables roasted in the oven with herb stems. Beet dye is also used in food colors (E162). Raw beetroot has also been used as a remedy for constipation.

Roasted red beets and pickled yellow beets

(for four people as a side dish)

  • 2 red beetroots
    1 yellow beetroot or white
  • 100 g of fresh blackcurrants
    coarse sea salt

Pickle broth:

  • 0.5 dl brandy vinegar
    0.5 dl of sugar
    1 dl of water


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 ½ cheese cumin seeds
  • 15 g of dill
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 150g of mayonnaise
  • half a salted lemon
  • a pinch of salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice


  • Roast the red beetroots whole on a bed of salt in a 200-degree oven for about an hour until they are ripe.
  • Cook the pickle broth.
  • Peel the yellow beetroot and cut into thin slices with a mandoline. Pour the pickle broth over the slices. Prepare the sauce by first chopping red onion, dill and salted lemon. Then mix all the sauce ingredients together. Peel the red beetroots and cut into blocks. Place the beetroot chunks and strip roots on a serving platter. Sprinkle the sauce on top and finish with black currants.