Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Can’t Beat Fresh Beets


I have a confession to make: I like canned beets. When it came to roasting my own, I always envisioned stained hands and cutting boards, plus hours spent roasting and peeling them. None of that appealed to me. 

But then we went to the farmer’s market. (I know…another I-love-the-farmer’s-market story…) I was perusing some produce when the vendor stuck a cut beet in front of my face and touted its wonderful color and pattern. It did have a very unique look to it, and as I’ve said before, I can’t pass up beautiful produce. So of course, a lovely bunch of beets came home with me. (And so did another bunch the next week.) 

Turns out that roasting beets is much easier than I thought. All you have to do is stick the whole bunch in the oven and 45 minutes later you pull out some fairly gnarly looking specimen. Maybe it was the kind of beets that I had, but much to my surprise, my hands did not absorb even a hint of red. 

Here they are, in all their roasted glory: 

(They spruce up considerably after peeling and trimming.) 

Once you’ve roasted them, the possibilities are endless. Here are two dishes that I came up with to show off their bright, wonderful color, and also their yummy, dirty taste. (And yes, I do think that in this case, tasting like dirt is a good thing.) 

For both recipes, roast the beets first. 


Roasted Beets

1 bunch beets, scrubbed clean and greens trimmed
olive oil
salt and pepper

In a glass dish, oil beets and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover tightly with foil. Roast in a 425 degree oven for 45 minutes (until beets are fork tender). Let cool, then trim and peel.


Roasted Beet and Yukon Gold Potato Stacks with Goat Cheese Filling

1 bunch roasted beets, thinly sliced into rounds
4 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled
2 shallots, sliced
2 ounces goat cheese
1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided use
1/2 teaspoon chopped rosemary
pinch pepper
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Thinly slice potatoes and shallots into rounds. Toss each with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast at 425 degrees in separate pans. Potatoes will take about 20 minutes, shallots about 10 minutes. (Be careful not to let the potatoes crisp.)


For cheese mixture, mix together goat cheese, 2 teaspoons olive oil, rosemary and a pinch of pepper. Set aside.

For dressing, whisk together 1 tablespoon olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and Dijon mustard. Set aside.

To assemble, using a ring mold, layer potatoes, then beets, and spread cheese mixture on top. Sprinkle with shallots, then spoon dressing over. Add another layer of potatoes, and end with a layer of beets, pressing down firmly to compact.


This dish served as a very unique first course. The differing textures of the root vegetables and the cheese create a delectable bite with both an earthiness and tanginess.


Roasted Beet Salad with Fried Capers and Creamy Citrus Vinaigrette 

1 bunch roasted beets, cut lengthwise into quarters
fried capers (see below)
arugula
butter lettuce

Dressing:
1/4 cup fresh orange juice (I used Clementines)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon cream
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste

To make fried capers, rinse and drain capers, then fry in a small amount of hot olive oil. Remove when they are “bloomed” and slightly crisp. Drain on a paper towel.

Whisk all dressing ingredients together.

For two big salads, I used one whole bunch of beets and the above measurements for the dressing. Add as much or little of the other ingredients to suit you.


The salad is light and fresh. The creamy citrus dressing is not heavy, and offers just a hint of orange. The beets shine, but surprisingly, the capers were my favorite part of the dish. Frying them takes away their bitter, harsh taste, and replaces it with a salty, zingy flavor.

Home-roasted beets are worlds apart from their canned counterparts. It will be hard for me to open another can knowing that this option is available.

48 comments:

  1. They look very appetizing. I make beets with yogurt and garlic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
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  2. Oh man, look at those gorgeous beets! I've never roasted my beets without peeling them first (maybe that's why I always end up so messy?!), so I'm definitely going to try it this way next time because yours look amazing!

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  3. The beets looks fabulous with their pretty rounded circles. I have learned something new about beets today, thank you so much for sharing this!

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  4. The beet and potato napoleons look divine! I used to think beets were tough to work with too until I actually tried it and was surprised at how easy it was!

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  5. Your recipes are so delicious, and pretty. I love beets, prepared any which way, they are just so good. I specially love that you couldn't resist them at the market and what wonderful dishes you prepared, well done!

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  6. looks so delicious and fresh! i've never been a huge beet fan, i think i just haven't tried them enough, but you make them look great!

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  7. Looks so good, we love beets, canned or roasted, any which way! Love the stack of beets and potatoes!

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  8. It all looks and sounds good. I love beets, especially fresh and pickled too! Those are some good looking potatoes also!

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  9. Oh, my. Did we ever have beets in our CSA basket this year. 8 weeks of them, to be exact. I ran out of things to do with them, but I like the stackers idea--file that away for next year.

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  10. Both recipes are fantastic, but the beet, potato and goat cheese snack is killer :)

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  11. Confession: I've never tried beets. I've seen them pop up on a lot of blogs lately, so I really must get on that!

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  12. Wow, I love the look and sound of those beet and potato stacks.

    You were lucky with the variety of beetroot - I once made a potato and beetroot gratin, it was incredably red!!! (as were my hands!!)

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  13. Canned, jarred, and of course fresh-- I love 'em all. Thanks for the new ideas.

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  14. Love the idea of the fried capers with that wonderful dressing. I'm wishing we had some beets at home... Kate @ kateiscooking

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  15. wow...love this dish! very refreshing and very pretty colours :D

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  16. I love beets, and these beets are unusual in their color, not your average purple beets. What a beautiful treat!

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  17. These recipes sound amazing! Can't beat beets ;)!

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  18. Oh my, those beets look amazing, I always love the combination of beets with goat cheese!

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  19. wow this looks wonderful so gourmet, I went to a restaurant the other and had beet chips oh wow, enjoy the salmon Rebecca

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  20. I've never been a huge fan of canned beets, but may have to check out my farmers market to roast my own. Thanks for the recipes!

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  21. What a lovely array of beet dishes! Thanks very much for sharing. I need to go and get some beets.

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  22. Always wanted to make roasted beets; still on my to do list. Love all the photos you shared; sure looks good.

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  23. WOW, I love your blog! I'm so glad you stopped by mine and we "met" :) You and I seem to have started blogs in similar ways-- frustrated with day jobs, needing an outlet for something we love to do anyway (cook and eat!) I started mine in May, and I noticed you started yours in August-- how have you managed to spread the word and get followers? It seems like you've had a lot of success so far-- well done! I am still on the fence about advertising on my blog b/c I don't want to compromise my "brand." If you'd like to connect via e-mail, I'm at food-hound@hotmail.com Have a great day!! Oh, and I'm not a huge beet fan, but I'm loving the sparkly pink drink post :)

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  24. I roasted my first beet last year and I too couldn't believe how easy and delicious!

    They're awsome paired with goat cheese like you did here!

    I really love the recipes you come up with!

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  25. I've had that exact same fear of beets - red everywhere. What a relief to know it's not true. My husband loves beets, so this is good news.

    I'm very fond of the beets and the Yukon Gold potatoes. Lovely plate.

    You know I love farm stands too.
    Sam

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  26. I ADORE BEETS. I used to hate them. And now, I am not sure if I could live without them!

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  27. All your takes on beets look delicious, but then so do all of your other features. I'm new to your blog but will be back often. I really like the food and recipes you feature here. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  28. The beet stacks sound delicious. I've only roasted beets once, and I got the beets from a farm stand that I really liked...but I did not like the beets very much (but I've had canned beets as a kid and I actually liked them so I think I like beets). As soon as I see beets at the farmer's markets, I'll test out your recipe.

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  29. You make beets look so good! I've still not grown into my taste buds for beets, but these recipes look fantastic nonetheless. Great photos!

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  30. I'm glad you discovered the amazing flavor of fresh beets! Canned beets just aren't the same. Great recipes, and the beets look beautiful!

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  31. Whoa! I am so very afraid of beets, it is not even funny. My mom used to make us eat beets that came from the can and I just don't think she knew what she was doing...they were pretty nasty! But I must say that your roasted beets (throw in the salt, pepper and oil) and I think I'm all set. Worth a try, now that I'm older and the canned situation has subsided!

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  32. beets are one of my very most favorite vegetables. This made me go pick a big bunch from the fall garden and heat up the oven! YUM, YUM.. I may add a few garlic cloves....

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  33. Those are golden beets! There are many different kinds -- Chiogga beets are white and pink and absolutely beautiful, then lots of red types. I love love love beets with goat cheese, and I really like your idea of the potatoes with citrus.

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  34. my eyes always open wide when i see new ideas on how to prepare beets. will try both of these. thanks for sharing.

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  35. Beautiful beet dishes!! Congratulations on being featured Karen!! I do love my beets in any variety, roasted, pickled, in soups etc. I also love the beet greens sauted in evoo and dash of salt and pepper with a drizzle of cidar vinegar...yum.

    Stop by my blog to see my recipe for Pickled Beets and Eggs!!

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  36. Ooo those beets are so pretty! I can see how they were hard to resist. I love the goat cheese stack! Beets in salad are also one of my favorite add-ins. Very nice!

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  37. Mmmmm...beets! Your blog is wonderful and these recipes look divine! Those stacks are so creatively inspired... And I love your creamy citrus dressing idea - I'm going to try it using raw tahini instead of cream and a pinch of crushed red pepper for an Asian-style accent. Thank you!

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  38. I love roasted beets - probably my favourite way to cook them. What gorgeous looking beets you managed to get - what an amazingly beautiful colour!
    Sue

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  39. Beets and goat cheese are practically made for each other and I love stack-ey type food. It really boosts the visual appeal. Awesome!

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  40. WOW! That plate of veggies is SO BEAUTIFUL!!!

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  41. I'm a big beet roaster/pickler and yes when you're done your hands look like you've butchered a cow. I love this salad. I'm a huge caper fan and can't wait to try them fried.

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  42. I didn't have capers so I substituted goat cheese and candied walnuts. Loved the dressing. Loved the idea of combining arugula with butter lettuce. First time ever roasting beets! Easy. Glad we have kitchen gloves for the peeling. Here is the salad from our dinner the other night. http://ottawafood.blogspot.com/2010/10/cozy-autumn-dinner-party.html

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  43. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  44. Like you, we have always feared beets because of the red hand potential - and then someone told us that if you boil them, the steam can make your ceiling red. More nightmare stories! We eat pickled beetroot and - well, we buy it from the delis here. Never tried roasting it. I might give that a go as there is a lot of beetroot on the market at the moment.

    I deleted my first comment as it was full of mistakes! :)

    ReplyDelete
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