aran islands

In the last few years many islanders have diversified the crops they grow from the Irish staples of cabbage, potatoes, and turnips. As you cycle along you may notice a few polytunnels. In these, you often find grapes, figs, basil, tomatoes, beetroot, and much more.

 Beetroot currently in vogue for its health benefits, grows well in the sandy soil enriched by the seaweed fertilizer. Many of us have vivid memories of pickled beetroot but slowly roasted in their skins, they are deliciously sweet with their earthy flavor. A delicious dressing for these was discovered by pure chance. Island life makes you inventive as you may not be able to source the ingredients you had originally planned on. The wonderful citrus flavors marries well with the roasted beetroot.

What you need:

2 tablespoons of sugar

juice of 1 orange

lemon peel

lime peel

4 tablespoons of vinegar

1 piece of peeled fresh ginger (about the size of your thumb)

Place all the above in a mixer and blend finely. Pour mixture over beets and let sit for one hour in the fridge to marinate

Serve with a side salad or with some goats cheese.

Keep an eye out for our coming feature on Gabriels of Cáis Gabhair Arann Goats Cheese made on Inis Mor, The Aran Islands.