If you like red borscht and cook it quite often, I suspect that you are making your own beetroot leaven to add to it. However, if this is not the case this it is time to do so.
The preparation of beetroot leaven is simple and really changes the taste of home-made borscht. Beetroot leaven greatly enhances the flavour of borscht and gives it an additional “kick”. Of course, beet leaven is not the only ingredient you use when making borscht. Apart from leaven you still need to add additional beetroot and other vegetables. So get motivated now and start making your first leaven today.
Ingredients for beetroot leaven.
- 1 kg of beetroot
- 2 l of boiled but lukewarm water
- optionally: small slice of rye bread
How to prepare beetroot leaven.
Peel the beets, wash and cut them into slices then transfer them to a clay vessel.
Add lukewarm water (and bread if you intend to use it). Cover with a cloth or gauze and leave it at room temperature for at least ten days. On the eleventh day remove the beets and pour the leaven through a gauze or a cloth. Transfer the leaven into bottles and keep in the fridge.
Good to know when making beetroot leaven.
If you do not have a clay vessel, you can also use an old flour clay pot.
The leaven can be kept in the refrigerator for several days.
I also freeze the leaven. I pour it into small plastic bottles and keep it in the freezer. This way I have it for a little longer.
After filling the bottles with the leaven, the beets should be binned.
If you wish to receive an even stronger flavour for the leaven, leave the beets on the side for a few more days. However, a week is the minimum for the leaven to form its taste.
When making the leaven, you can add bay leaf and allspice to it as well. They will enhance its taste.
Do you like dishes with beetroot? If so, try our recipe for Beetroot and potato cakes with salmon.