• Beetroot - depending on size but between 6 and 8 medium, washed beetroot
  • Onion - 1 finely sliced
  • Vinegar - 125ml red wine vinegar
  • Sugar - 30ml brown sugar
  • Peppercorns - 2ml black peppercorns
  • Bay leaf - 1 bay leaf
  • Salt - 5ml salt
  • Water - approx 30ml water

Cooking is one of the most fascinating things you can get involved in, sort of scientific on the one hand and then totally experimental on the other. One of the amazing facts is that you can mix almost everything such as pineapple and meat, yoghurt and chicken, blueberries with lamb shanks but when it comes to baking, you have to be precise with your measurements otherwise you could end up with a disaster.

Sometimes the things which you add to your meals can be that tiny thing that just makes the meal cpmplete for you. With summer coming up and beetroot being in plentiful supply right now, why not bottle up some right away and they will be ready in time for your summer table.

This is my absolute favourite recipe and I have not found a way of making it better than this, except if you like it a bit spicy, if you do then add a whole chilli or two that have just been pricked with a toothpick:

Beetroot and Onion Salad

Cut the leaves off the top of the beetroot but not too close otherwise the red juice will leech into the water. Put into the pot and cover with cold water, bring to the boil and cook partially covered for about 45 minutes or until tender. Drain the water and remove the skin and roots. Slice the beetroot into a bowl.

In a medium pot, combine the onions, red wine vinegar, peppercorns, bay leaf, brown sugar and salt. Cover and bring to the boil. Pour this mixture over the beetroot and allow to cool.

You can now pack this into canning bottles and store in a dark place, if you can’t wait it is also fantastic eaten right away. It is the best addition to a braai, with chicken, meat or just with other salads. I cannot do without this beetroot salad in my kitchen.