Friday, March 28, 2014

{Five For Friday} 5 Ways to Eat a Beet

1.  pickle it!  they are great alone.  they are great in salads.  creme fraiche and a little lemon juice, will help cut and accent the tartness.

recipe for pickled beets

2 or 3 good sized beets
1/3 c balsamic, white wine, or champagne vinegar
1/3 c apple cider vinegar
1 1/3 c water
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground mustard seed

peel and evenly chop beets.  put all ingredients into a pot.  bring to a boil.  then reduce heat, cover and simmer.  it typically takes about 20 minutes to get the beets to that al dente state, but i just test as i go, as it really depends on how big your beet chunks are.

2.  roast it!  roasting your beets brings out the sweetness!

roast roasted beets

chop off the greens and place upside down on a roasting pan.  drizzle with olive oil.  drizzle with vinegar (i use balsamic, white wine, or champagne...they just have more flavors).  sprinkle with salt and pepper. roast at 350 degrees for about 40-45 minutes.  remove them from the oven and allow to cool a bit.  once you can stand to handle them, gently peel away the loose skin with a paring knife.

3.  smoke it!  try it.  it's a crazy bunch of layered flavors in one little punchy morsel.

smoked beets

first roast the beets.  after you've peeled them, chop them into squares.  if you have a smoker on your grill, use that.  if you don't, you can make a ghetto one that will work just as well using 3 aluminum pans.  i poke a bunch of holes in the bottom of one of the pans and then layer the roasted beets in the bottom.  in the 2nd pan, i set some broken and shredded bamboo skewers on fire, then get them to a state of smoldering, so they are producing more smoke than flame.  then i place the pan with the beets over the fire, hoping to mostly smother it to produce all smoke.  then i cover the beets with the final pan to trap the smoke.  let it work for about 10-15 minutes.  when they are done they have this smokey, sweet, earthy flavor than is just super interesting and delicious.

4.  raw!

raw beets

slice them thin on a mandolin and toss them in an ice bath.  they will start to slightly curl in the ice bath.  remove them and use them in a salad.  they will add a great crunch and flavor.

5.  beet greens!  don't forget about the greens!

beet greens

the flavor is very similar to chard.  it has that slightly savory taste.  they work great in a quiche. or just sauté them with some garlic and salt.

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