Beetroot Relish

This recipe is not going to be for everyone. I’ve discovered that people really have a love/hate relationship with beetroot. I love it, himself can occasionally tolerate it. I probably didn’t taste fresh beetroot until I was about 20, and I have to admit that I still have a soft spot for the pickled, crinkled kind out of a jar. Now I prefer it roasted in a salad or with cheese. I’ve had a few meals out that have had a beetroot relish on the side and, given how much I like making tomato relish, I thought it was about time to make one of my own. I had intended to make the chutney in Nigella’s Christmas, but in the end I didn’t want to add ginger to it. I might give that a try some other time.

I came across recipes online that included tomatoes and chilli, originally a River Cottage recipe I think, and decided to try something along those lines. I came up with the recipe below. It is sweet, sticky and has a very subtle heat from the chilli. If you are not a fan of sweet, use less sugar. You can always add more afterwards if needed. To be honest, I wasn’t sure of the end result myself until  I tasted it with the toasted goats cheese in the photo.  It complemented the cheese perfectly.

If you are using raw beetroot, roast it first, allow to cool and then peel and chop the beetroot. You could cheat like I did, and use the pre-cooked vacuum packed variety. You can also cook it raw directly in the pot but allow for a much longer cooking time. I cut the beetroot into chunks and once it is cooked use a potato masher to pulp the relish but still allow chunks for texture. You could grate the beetroot or pulverise it in a food processor, but don’t make it too smooth.

This would be great in salads or with cheese and cold meats.


  • 1 tsp of yellow mustard seeds
  • 75ml red wine
  • 140ml cider vinegar
  • 50ml balsamic vinegar
  • 350g soft dark brown sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 large red onion finely chopped
  • 900g beetroot chopped
  • 3 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper


  • In a dry large saucepan heat the mustard seeds until they start to pop.
  • Add the red wine, vinegars and sugar. Heat over a high heat until the sugar has completely dissolved.
  • Add all the rest of your ingredients and bring to the boil.
  • Once it has started to boil, turn it down and simmer for about 30 minutes. You will need to nearly double the time if the beetroot is raw when you start.
  • Once the beetroot is soft, mash the relish to the consistency you want. Continue to simmer uncovered if you want to remove some of the liquid.
  • Spoon into sterilised jars. It will last for a couple of months and once you have opened it, keep it in the fridge.

3 thoughts on “Beetroot Relish

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