Jun
26
    
Posted (Lori) in News

BEETS

The easiest way to cook beets is to cut off the tops and bottoms, wrap them loosely in foil—I wrap a bunch, some people say it’s better to do each beet separately—and roast them in the oven (375-400 degrees). If they’re very big, cut them into halves or quarters. I find that they are sometimes done (soft when you poke them) in as little as 30 minutes, but sometimes take up to 90 minutes. I just keep checking them; the only constant I find is that if I am in a hurry and need them to be done fast, they take longer. Once they’re soft, the skins peel off easily.

Other ways of cooking: peel and boil them; peel and steam them; slice and broil them.

They can also be microwaved; there are detailed instructions here:

http://www.healthy-beets.com/fresh-beets.html

And beets are delicious raw—crunchy and tasty. I wouldn’t serve whole raw beets, but grated or slivered—or spiralized–they are excellent additions to salads and slaws. They’re too messy to use as crudités—pink fingers-–but thin slices of raw beet are great in sandwiches and salsas.

Some of my favorite recipes in Recipes from America’s Small Farms include beets: Beet Burgers, p. 195; Beet and Apple Slaw, p. 191.

HONEY GINGER BALSAMIC GLAZED BEETS (The Kitchn)

Serves 4-6 as a side dish or 2-4 as a luncheon salad

1 pound medium-sized beets, trimmed and scrubbed (about 6)

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons peeled and chopped ginger

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon honey (optional)

basil leaves for garnish

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place beets in an oven-proof pan with sides, such as a cake pan. Splash in about 1/4 cup of water and seal the top with aluminum foil. Place in oven and roast until tender, about 45 minutes. Test by piercing a beet with a sharp knife — it should glide right in.

Remove beets from oven and allow to cool a few minutes, just enough to handle them comfortably. Peel beets using a sharp paring knife, or have a little fun and just slip the skins off using your hands. (A very sensual kitchen experience!) Cold beets won’t peel easily, so be sure to do this while the beets are still warm. Slice beets into chunks. At this point you have the option of refrigerating the beets until you are ready to use them.

Heat the butter over medium heat in a large frying pan and add the ginger. Cook the ginger for a minute or two, just until it becomes fragrant. Add the beets and the balsamic and stir. When the beets are hot and glazed, test for sweetness. Add honey if needed and cook a little longer to glaze. Hint: Adding honey and upping the sweetness of this dish is a good way to introduce beets to the haters.

Remove from heat and serve hot. Alternatively, these beets are also really good served at room temperature as a salad.

BEETS WITH HORSERADISH CREME FRAICHE

From Christian Shaffer. Los Angeles Times

About 1 pound of beets, quartered if large

1 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar (or balsamic)

3 tbs good-quality olive oil

1/4 teaspoon toasted ground coriander seeds

1 small shallot, minced

1/2 cup creme fraiche—see note below on how to make creme fraiche

1 tablespoons prepared horseradish

1 tablespoons kosher salt, divided

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoons fresh chervil or parsley, whole leaves or rough chopped (summer savory is a good substitute)

1. Boil the beets in enough water to cover, with 1 tablespoon salt, until tender, about an hour.

2. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, oil, coriander and shallot and set the mixture aside for 30 minutes. In another bowl, combine the creme fraiche, horseradish, one-quarter teaspoon salt and pepper and set aside.

3. Drain the beets and, while still warm, peel them. Slice them into wedges, about 8 to 10 per beet, and cool.

4. Pour the vinegar mixture over the beets and let stand, covered, at room temperature for an hour. Spoon the horseradish cream onto a platter, covering the bottom. Using a slotted spoon, mound the beets over the cream. Garnish the beets with the chervil and serve.

Note: CREME FRAICHE is a lot like sour cream, but better. You can buy it in cartons, but it’s pricey; it’s easy to make and I think the homemade version is better.

Instructions from Epicurious: Combine 1 cup whipping cream and 2 tablespoons buttermilk in a glass container. Cover and let stand at room temperature (about 70°F) from 8 to 24 hours, or until very thick. Stir well before covering and refrigerate up to 10 days.

I know—leaving the cream outside the refrigerator for 8 to 24 hours sounds wrong. But it doesn’t go bad, it gets better.

WARM BEETS AND GREENS (adapted from EATING WELL)

8 cups greens (chard, kale, collard, mizuna, spinach, etc.) torn into pieces or sliced into ribbons

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup thinly sliced onion

2 plum tomatoes, chopped

2 tablespoons sliced Kalamata olives

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1 clove garlic, minced

2 cups steamed beet wedges, or slices, 1/2-1 inch thick

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Place greens in a large bowl.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until starting to soften, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, olives, parsley and garlic and cook, stirring, until the tomatoes begin to break down, about 3 minutes. Add beets, vinegar, salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until the beets are heated through, about 1 minute more. Add the greens to the beet mixture toss over low heat until combined and greens wilt sightly. Serve warm.

ROASTED BEET, PEACH, and GOAT CHEESE SALAD (Allrecipes)

2 beets, scrubbed

1 bunch arugula, rinsed and dried; or a mixture of mesclun

2 fresh peaches – peeled, pitted, and sliced

2 shallots or one small sweet onion, chopped

1/4 cup pistachio nuts or toasted almonds, chopped

1 (4 ounce) package goat cheese, crumbled

1/4 cup walnut oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Wrap beets in foil, and place onto a baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven until the beets are tender. Allow the beets to cool slightly, then remove the skins. Let the beets cool to room temperature, or refrigerate until cold. Once cooled, thinly slice the beets.

Place the greens into a large mixing bowl. Add the sliced beets and peaches; sprinkle with the onions, nuts, and goat cheese. In a separate bowl, whisk together the walnut oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper until emulsified, and pour over the salad mixture. Toss well, and serve.

SPICY BEET, ONION, and WALNUT SALAD

Adapted from Jerusalem cookbook—and simplified.

About 1 cup cooked beets, cut into wedges

About 2 cups salad greens—arugula, lettuce, mache, frisee, watercress, etc.

1 small onion or leek, sliced into rings and lightly sauted

2 tablespoons of your favorite herbs—basil, parsley, cilantro, summer savory

Dressing:

1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted (or other nuts)

2 tablespoons crushed garlic or garlicscape

¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)

¼ cup cider vinegar

3 tbs. oil—if you have walnut oil, mix 1 tbs walnut oil with 2 tbs olive oil.,

Toss the beets, greens, onions/leeks, and herbs. Mix the dressing ingredients and pour over the salad.



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