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Cylindra and Chiogga Beets from the Clark Park Farmers Market in Philadelphia, Penn., Feb. 14, 2009

Ten Things to Do With Beets

Basic Roasted Beets
Beet and Apple Sauté
Beet Rosti With Rosemary
Grated Beet Salad with Cumin-Lime Vinaigrette
Roasted Beet Salad
Beet Dressing
Roasted Beet Raita
Red Beet Relish
Roasted Beet Chutney
Chocolate Beet Brownies






Basic Roasted Beets

1. To prepare the beets, wash but do not peel them or cut off the root. Cover with water in a large pot and boil for 15-20 minutes until the skin loosens. Remove from pot and let them cool enough that they can be handled. Rub the skin off with rubber gloves or, if the skin doesn’t slip off easily, scrape it off with a butter knife or spoon.

2. Small beets can be roasted whole. Cut larger beets in halves or quarters. Toss in a bowl with olive oil to coat, add salt and pepper. Roast in oven at 350 F, for 30-45 minutes, turning occasionally so they do not burn.

3. Alternatively, beets that have been half-cooked in boiling water and skinned can be cut into thick slices and pan roasted with olive oil, salt and pepper, in a cast iron skillet on low heat for 10 or 15 minutes.

4. Roasted beets can be eaten hot out of the pan or oven, either by themselves or tossed with beet greens that have been quickly stir-fried with olive oil and a splash of balsamic vinegar. They are even better stored in the refrigerator for several days and used in salads or on an antipasto platter.

NOTE: Beets can be roasted with the skin on and then peeled. But I prefer to peel them first so that they carmelize on the outside as they cook.

Beet and Apple Sauté

6 medium beets, boiled or roasted until tender
3 tablespoons butter
3 shallots, minced
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tart green apples, peeled, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped

1. Cook the minced shallots in the butter in a skillet for 2 minutes. Add apple, sugar, salt and pepper and vinegar. Simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes or until apples are tender.

2. Slice cooked beets ¼ inch thick and add to skillet, cooking for about 3 more minutes. Sprinkle with walnuts and serve.

Source: Penn State Cooperative Extension, Berks County

Beet Rosti With Rosemary

2 pounds beets (3 very large or 4 to 6 medium)
2 teaspoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup flour
2 tablespoons butter
Minced parsley or a few rosemary leaves for garnish

1. Trim beets, and peel them as you would potatoes; grate them in food processor or by hand. Begin preheating 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat.

2. Toss grated beets in bowl with rosemary, salt and pepper. Add about half the flour; toss well, add rest of flour, and toss again.

3. Put butter in skillet; heat until it begins to turn nut-brown. Scrape beet mixture into skillet, and press with spatula to form a round. With medium to medium-high heat -- the pancake should gently sizzle -- cook, shaking pan occasionally, until bottom of cake is nicely crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Slide cake onto a plate, top with another plate, invert the two plates, and return cake to pan. Keep cooking, adjusting heat if necessary, until other side is browned, another 10 minutes or so. Garnish, cut into wedges, and serve hot or at room temperature.

NOTE: Keep the heat moderate, as cooking too quickly will burn the sugary outside of the pancake while leaving the inside raw. And don’t forget to wear an apron when you're grating the beets.

Source: Mark Bittman, The Best Recipes in the World

yellow mangel beets from the
 Marin County Farmers Market,
 San Rafael, Calif., Dec. 5, 2010







Grated Beet Salad 
with Cumin-Lime Vinaigrette

1 garlic clove
Grated or minced zest of 2 limes
2 to 3 tablespoons of fresh lime or lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped scallion or finely diced shallot
½ jalapeno chile, seeded and minced
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon of coriander seeds
¼ teaspoon of dry mustard
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 pounds beets (4 to 6 medium)

1. Pound the garlic with 1/8 teaspoon of salt in a mortar until smooth or put through a press then combine it in a bowl with zest, juice, scallion and chile.

2. Toast the cumin and coriander seed in a small dry skillet until fragrant, them immediately remove them to a plate to cool. Grind to a power in a spice mill, then add them to the juice mixture.

3. Whisk in the mustard and oil. Taste and adjust the balance if needed. Let the dressing stand for 15 minutes, adding the cilantro just before serving.

4. Boil beets for about 5 minutes until they are warmed through and the skin softens. Drain and scrape off skin. Grate and dress while warm with lime-cumin vinaigrette

Source: Adapted from Deborah Madison, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

Roasted Beet Salad

1 pound baby beets, stems trimmed to 1 inch
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 head Bibb or butterhead lettuce, leaves separated

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Rinse beets. Wrap beets in foil, making a single layer, and roast in middle of oven 30-45 minutes, or until tender. Cool. Cut off stem and root and peel beets. Halve lengthwise.

2. Whisk together shallot, juices, zest, and mustard. Whisk in oil until emulsified and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle lettuce with 3/4 of dressing. Sprinkle with beets and drizzle with remaining dressing.

Source: Penn State Cooperative Extension, Berks County

Beet Dressing

1. Chop freshly boiled or roasted baby beets and shallots. (Use the shallots raw or sauté in a bit of olive oil to mellow the flavor.)

2. Combine equal amounts of a commercial raspberry vinaigrette dressing and orange juice. Mix all ingredients and allow flavors to blend for 30 minutes.

3. Just before serving add crumbled feta cheese and toasted walnuts to the beet mixture.

Source: Penn State Cooperative Extension, Berks County

Roasted Beet Raita

1 cup yoghurt
1 medium-sized beet, roasted
¼ cup toasted walnuts
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1. Cut beet into slivers or small cubes, mix with yoghurt and chopped walnuts. Add salt and pepper to taste.








Red Beet Relish

2 cooked red beets, peeled and chopped
¼ Golden Delicious apple, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon mayonnaise
Pinch ground allspice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. In a food processor, combine the beets, apple, vinegar and sugar and pulse until the apples and beets are finely chopped.

2. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and combine with the mayonnaise and allspice. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Source: Penn State Cooperative Extension, Berks County

Roasted Beet Chutney

4 medium red beets
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
2 teaspoons finely chopped Serrano peppers
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
1 ½ teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon line juice
¼ teaspoon cayenne

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Roast the beets in the oven with the olive oil and a splash of water, seasoned with salt and covered tightly. When they are cooked through, after 30 minutes to an hour, depending on size, cool and peel them, and cut them into 1/8- inch dice.

2. Combine the beets with the ginger, Serrano pepper, peanut oil, salt and pepper, cilantro, red wine vinegar, lime juice and cayenne. Taste and adjust for salt, vinegar and spiciness.

Source: Alice Waters, Chez Panisse Vegetables

Chocolate Beet Brownies

Canola oil spray
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 cup boiling water
1 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 egg white
1 whole egg
1 carton (6 oz.) nonfat plain yogurt
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup peeled raw beets, shredded in food processor

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13-inch pan with canola spray. Dust pan with flour and shake off excess. In small bowl, whisk cocoa and boiling water until smooth. Set aside to cool. In medium bowl, combine flours, baking powder, soda and salt. In large bowl, combine sugar, applesauce, oil, butter and vanilla. Beat with electric mixer at medium speed 1 minute. Beat in eggs, then yogurt. On high speed, beat until fluffy, 2 minutes, scraping bowl with rubber spatula.

2. On low speed, beat in half of dry ingredients. Increase speed to medium and beat for 1 minute. Reduce speed to low and beat in half of cocoa mixture. Add remaining dry ingredients, and then add remaining cocoa mixture, beating until smooth. With large spoon, gently fold beets into mixture evenly.

3. Add batter to pan, spreading evenly. Bake for 30 minutes, until skewer inserted in center comes out clean, but brownies are still moist. Let cool in pan and then cut into squares.

Source: Penn State Cooperative Extension, Berks County

Copyright 2007 Seasonal Chef