About Beets

Whether your beets are yellow, candy-striped, or classic red, they are always a good source of folate and manganese. While beets aren’t terribly popular in American cuisine, beets have strong roots (pun not intended, but fitting) in many European cuisines. Beets are often eaten raw, boiled, or roasted, but are also pickled, juiced, or even used as a natural dye. And don’t forget about the beet greens!


Black and Arborio Risotto with Beets and Beet Greens


from The New York Times

Cooking Time: 2 hours

Yield: 6 servings

  • 1 cup black rice, like Lundberg Black Japonica or Forbidden Rice, cooked (3 cups cooked black rice)
  • 1 quart chicken or vegetable stock, as needed
  • 1 bunch beet greens, stemmed and washed
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup finely chopped onion
  • ⅔ cup arborio rice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • ¾ pound beets (1 bunch small), roasted, skinned and diced
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 to 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (1/4 to 1/2 cup, to taste, optional)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

In a mortar and pestle mash the garlic cloves to a purée with a generous pinch of salt. Transfer to a bowl and whisk in the sesame tahini. Whisk in the lemon juice, beginning with the smaller To cook the black rice, combine with 2 cups water in a saucepan, add salt to taste and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer 30 to 40 minutes, until all of the liquid has been absorbed by the rice. Remove from the heat, remove the lid from the pan and place a dish towel over the pan, then return the lid. Let sit for 10 to 15 minutes.

Bring the stock to a simmer in a saucepan. Season well and turn the heat to low. Stack the stemmed, washed greens and cut crosswise into 1-inch-wide strips.

Heat the oil over medium heat in a large nonstick frying pan or wide, heavy saucepan and add the onion. Cook, stirring, until the onion begins to soften, about 3 minutes, and add the rice and garlic. Cook, stirring, until the grains of rice are separate and beginning to crackle, about 3 minutes.

Stir in the wine and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. The wine should bubble, but not too quickly. You want some of the flavor to cook into the rice before it evaporates. When the wine has just about evaporated, stir in a ladleful or two of the simmering stock (about 1/2 cup), enough to just cover the rice. The stock should bubble slowly (adjust heat accordingly). Cook, stirring often, until it is just about absorbed. Add another ladleful or two of the stock and continue to cook in this fashion, not too fast and not too slowly, stirring often and adding more stock when the rice is almost dry, for 10 minutes.

Stir in the greens, the diced beets and black rice and continue adding more stock, enough to barely cover the rice, and stirring often, for another 10 to 15 minutes. The arborio rice should be chewy but not hard in the middle – and definitely not soft like steamed rice. If it is still hard in the middle, you need to continue adding stock and stirring for another 5 minutes or so. Now is the time to ascertain if there is enough salt. Add if necessary.

When the rice is cooked through, add a generous amount of freshly ground pepper, and stir in another ladleful of stock, the Parmesan and the parsley. Remove from the heat. The risotto should be creamy; if it isn’t, add a little more stock. Stir once, taste and adjust seasonings, and serve.

Maple Roasted Beets with Goat Cheese Salad


from Naturally Ella

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 1 hour

Yield: 2 servings

  • handful of beets
  • 1 tablespoon walnut oil
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • pinch of salt
  • lettuce
  • goat cheese
  • sunflower seeds
  • Olive oil, for drizzling

Preheat oven to 425˚.

Whisk together oil, maple syrup, and salt. Wash and quarter beets (I don’t peel beets.) Toss is oil mixture and place on a baking tray. Roast until soft and tender (this could take anywhere from 45 minutes to and hour and a half- just depending on the size of your beets.)

Once done, toss together with desired amount of lettuce, goat cheese, and sunflower seeds. Drizzle with a touch of olive oil.

Chocolate Beet Cupcake with Chocolate Mascarpone Frosting


from Naturally Ella

  • 3-4 large beets
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1½ cup muscovado sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoons salt
  • 1 recipe for cocoa mascarpone frosting

Peel beets and cut into cubes. Place in a pot and cover with water, 1″ over the tops. Bring to a boil and cook until beets are soft. Drain, reserving ½ cup of the beet water. Combine the ½ cup water with the beets in a blender and puree until smooth. Measure out 2 cups, set side and let cool.
Preheat oven to 375˚.

In a double boiler, melt ¼ cup of butter with the semi-sweet chocolate. Let cool slightly.

In a mixer with paddle attachment, beat the softened butter and sugar together. Add the egg and vanilla, scraping down the sides. Stir the melted chocolate and beet mixture into the butter mixture. Mix until everything is thoroughly mixed.

In a separate bowl, combine pastry flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to the mixer and beat until the batter is thick and most lumps are gone.

Divide batter into 18 cupcake liners. Bake for 25-28 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted. Let cool in the pan for five minutes then remove to a cooling rack to finish.

Once cupcakes are cooled, make mascarpone frosting and frost cupcakes. Store leftovers in an airtight container for 2-3 days.

Beet, Mushroom, and Beef Burgers


from The New York Times

Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

  • ¼ pound peeled roasted beets (1 medium)
  • ½ pound roasted mushroom mix
  • ½ pound lean ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon minced chives
  • 1 shallot minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (more or less to taste)
  • Salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive oil for cooking (no more than 1 tablespoon)

Grate beet on large holes of a grater.

In a large bowl mix together all of the ingredients except the oil for cooking until well combined. Shape into 4 patties. I like to pile the mixture into a 3-inch ring and pull the ring away, then when I place the patties in the hot pan I press them down with the back of my spatula so they are about 1 inch thick.

Heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat and add a small amount of olive oil, just enough to coat pan. Cook patties for 4 minutes on each side. Remove from pan and serve. You can use a bun or not (I think they are fine without). Baby arugula, mizuna or spicy micro-greens make a very nice accompaniment.

Pickled Beets


from Alton Brown

For Roasted Beets:

  • 6 medium beets, cleaned with 1-inch stem remaining
  • 2 large shallots, peeled
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

For Pickling Beets:

  • 1 large red onion, frenched
  • 1 cup tarragon wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In a large bowl toss all of the ingredients. Place into a foil pouch and roast in the oven for 40 minutes.

Remove the skin from the Roasted Beets and slice thinly. Arrange in 1-quart jars alternating layers with the onion. In a small pot boil the rest of the ingredients and pour over the beets. Tightly lid the jars and place in the refrigerator for 3 to 7 days before serving.

Baked Rosemary Beet Chips


from Minimalist Baker

  • 3 medium-large beets, rinsed and scrubbed
  • Olive or canola oil
  • Sea Salt + Black Pepper
  • 2-3 sprigs rosemary, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and place oven rack in the center of the oven.

Thinly slice beets with a mandolin (or a sharp knife), getting them as consistently thin as possible. They should curl a little when cut. This will ensure even baking and crispiness.
Divide between two baking sheets and spray or very lightly drizzle with olive oil. Add a pinch of salt and the rosemary. Toss to coat, then arrange in a single layer, making sure the slices aren’t touching.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until crispy and slightly brown. Be sure to watch closely past the 15 minute mark as they can burn quickly. Remove from oven, let cool. Then serve.

Beet Greens Frittata


from The New York Times

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound beet greens, stemmed and washed thoroughly
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 eggs
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Heat a large pot of water over high heat while you stem and wash the beet greens in 2 changes of water. When the water comes to a boil, salt generously and add the beet greens. Cook for about 1 minute, until tender, and transfer to a bowl of ice water. Let sit for a few minutes, then drain, squeeze dry and chop. Alternatively, steam the greens for 2 minutes over 1 inch of boiling water. Refresh with cold water, squeeze out excess water and chop.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat and add the garlic. Cook, stirring, until it is fragrant, 30 seconds to a minute, and stir in the beet greens. Cook, stirring, for about 1 minute, until greens are coated with oil and fragrant. Season to taste with salt and pepper and remove from the heat.

Using a whisk, beat the eggs in a bowl and whisk in salt to taste (about 1/2 teaspoon), freshly ground pepper and the milk. Stir in the cooked beet greens.

Clean and dry your pan and return to the stove. Heat over medium-high heat and add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Hold your hand over the pan, and when you can feel the heat of the olive oil, test the heat by dropping a bit of egg into the pan. If it sizzles and cooks at once, the pan is ready. Pour in the egg mixture. Swirl the pan to distribute the eggs and filling evenly over the surface. Shake the pan gently, tilting it slightly with one hand while lifting up the edges of the omelet with a spatula to let the eggs run underneath during the first few minutes of cooking. Turn the heat down to low, cover (use a pizza pan if you don’t have a lid that will fit your skillet), and cook 10 minutes, shaking the pan gently every once in a while. From time to time, remove the lid and loosen the bottom of the omelet with a spatula, tilting the pan so that the bottom doesn’t burn. It will, however, turn a deep golden brown. This is fine. The eggs should be just about set; cook a few minutes longer if they’re not. Meanwhile, heat the broiler. Finish the omelet under the broiler for 1 to 2 minutes, watching very carefully to make sure the top doesn’t burn (it should brown slightly, and it will puff under the broiler). Remove from the heat, shake the pan to make sure the omelet isn’t sticking (it will slide around a bit in the nonstick pan) and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes and up to 15. Loosen the edges with a wooden or plastic spatula. Carefully slide from the pan onto a large round platter. Serve hot or at room temperature.


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