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Cooking beet roots and greens


torakris
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Thanks for the info!

scott123: I'm not trying to remove all sugar from my diet - just trying to eat less refined sugar & when i looked at the recipes for pickled beets it seemed like they called for a lot of sugar. Maybe I'll try the splenda thing.

kellycolorado: good tip. Coincidentally, I happen to be making some kimchi right now! (first time, so hopefully it turns out okay!) If successful, maybe I'll try my beets with it.

52 martinis blog

@52martinis

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  • 1 year later...

I wrap each beet in some foil and roast them for about 30-45min. Wait until they're cooled and then peel them.

I love making a salad with goat cheese and orange, maybe some toasted pecans too. Drizzle with a bit of Evoo and some sherry vinegar.

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I wrap each beet in some foil and roast them for about 30-45min.  Wait until they're cooled and then peel them. 

I love making a salad with goat cheese and orange, maybe some toasted pecans too.  Drizzle with a bit of Evoo and some sherry vinegar.

OOH I just got some local made cheese and currant vinegar. Thanks for the reply.

How soft do they get and how sweet? You don't peel them first? And can the tops be cooked?

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They are sweet yet earthy in taste. The tops can be used just as you would other greens. Do as Randi suggested and cook with the peel on. The peel very easily after they are cooked. If you want to avoid any stained hands wear gloves when handling. The beets will be soft but with good texture when done but don't over cook them to mush. They pair nicely with a little acidity and sweetness like citrus. I most often let them cool and cut them up and use them in salads.

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Wow - your life is going to change for the better! They are one of my favorite veggies.

I cut the greens off, leaving about 1/2 inch. I wash and clean the greens, if they are in good shape, and then prepare each part:

Greens: take off the thick stems, if any, just like you would chard and chop them into 1 inchish pieces. Saute up a mess of sliced garlic, add in the stems, and saute for a couple minutes, while you are cutting the leaves into slices. (I roll them up and cut into slices easily.) Throw those into the pan and stir until they seem wilted, then I pour in about 1/4 cup of whatever liquid I have handy - stock, white wine - best is good quality brine from olives - put the cover on and turn down the heat. Stir every once in a while and take the lid off in about 10 mins, turn up heat to evaporate any liquid left. You can serve just like chard - right out of the pan, but also great at room temp, tossed w/some chopped olives, pine nuts, feta, whatever you like.

While this is going on, the oven has been heating to 350. I scrub the beets, but do not peel them. I think if they are clean, the skin is just like a potato skin, so leave them on. I quarter them, with those little stems intact, and then toss w/good olive oil. Spread on a baking sheet, lots of sea salt and black pepper and just roast them till they are soft. Again, serve hot right away, or makes a great room temp salad, sprinkled with chopped nuts, feta, etc.

I love to cook both colors together - the yellow ones get a little red, but it looks cool.

Beets....love, love, love them!

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I use the foil-in-oven technique (except when I've got the outdoor grill going for some other reason, in which case it's the foil-on-grill technique). I trim the leaves off, but don't trim the root end, scrubbing the beet under cold water with my fingers to clean. CaliPoutine's timing seems about right for a 400F oven, depending on the size of the beets. I usually wrap them two or three to a foil package, so if I'm not using them right away I just keep those I' m not using stored.

I test for doneness just with the tip of a paring knife; if it goes in easily, they're done.

A let them cool slightly, then for those I'm using immediately, take them out of the foil and slip off the peels under cold running water, perhaps trimming with a paring knife if necessary, but it's usually not, other than the root end.

Sliced beets, dollops of fresh goat cheese, a fruity vinaigrette, and a sprinkling of nuts (walnuts, pecans, etc.) make a near-perfect salad; perfection may be obtained by adding a few sections of citrus fruit: tangerine or similar mandarin, or grapefruit work very well.

A very complementary flavor is that of clove. Try adding a single clove to each packet before cooking to add a lovely perfume.

Of course, nothing wrong with a plain hot buttered beet, or a quick-pickled one. The latter goes particularly well with cold meat plates.

There are many varities of beets, all of them worthwhile, though I think some are prized more for their color than their flavor. What I can't wait for every season are the plain red cylindrical (rather than round) beets one of the Amish vendors at Philadelphia's Reading Terminal Market sells; these beauties, usually about an inch or a little more in diameter and three to five inches in length are the sweetest beets I've ever tasted, and their shape makes them very easy to cook uniformly.

Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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I've had great success with a sort of combination of the roasting techniques above. Scrub the beets but don't peel. Toss in a roasting pan with olive oil and salt. Use a pan with 3 or 4 inch sides, at least as high as your beets. Cover the pan with foil and roast til tender at 375 degrees, half hour or more, depending upon size. Let the beets stand covered at room temp 15 or 20 minutes. Then they are super easy to peel. I love them in salad, but usually can't resist eating a couple of them hot, right away. The beets leak and make a yummy sauce in the pan which I save and add to my dressing. I love a mix of different colored beets. Goldens are nice, since you don't have to deal with staining.

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Also forgot to add a wonderful concoction my Aunt used to make. She was a farm wife and a great cook.

She would make pickled beets in a sweet pickling syrup and can them. Once the can was opened and consumed, she would fill it back up with hard boiled eggs, covered in the left-over juice. Stored in the fridge for a few days, the beet juice would infuse the egg whites with their beautiful color and pickley flavor. There were great right out of the jar, or in an egg-salad sandwich.

MMMMMMM - I haven't thought of them in years, and now think I might have to make a quick pickle version of them......

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I've only in the past year gotten into beetroot too. One of my favourite things to do with them is potato & beetroot dauphinoise. Simply substitute one beetroot for every third potato in your standard dauphinoise recipe and enjoy. Make too much and it's even better the next day. Here is some leftover i had this week with some lambs liver:

gallery_52657_4505_90583.jpg

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Just a little more beet lore here:

I like to bake my beets in a lidded casserole--it's actually the same principle as wrapping them in foil, I just find the casserole is a lot more leakproof than my sometimes-wonky attempts at foil packets. I sometimes put a little water--at most a half-cup--in the bottom of the casserole to add a little steam to the cooking, which makes them cook a little faster and stay a little moister. If the beets come with greens attached, I trim them off leaving about an inch of stems on the beets--that cuts down some on beet-juice leakage. I don't trim off the root until after cooking, and scrub the beets fairly gently so as not to break the skin, again to cut donw on juice leakage (some will leak regardless). Then into the casserole, lid on, and into a preheated 400 deg. F oven for about 45 minutes to an hour depending on size (all other things being equal, smaller beets are better IMO, tending to be sweeter and less prone to woodiness). I test for doneness by seeing how easily I can stick a small sharp knife into them--when the blade can slide through the center fairly easily, they're done. (I try not to poke them too much, though!)

Peeling beets--as everyone has noted here, they peel much more easily after cooking than before. I would add that they peel a lot more easily while they're still fairly hot from cooking, than after they've cooled down. When hot, the skins will literally slide right off with just a little pressure. I grab them with my hands protected from the heat as well as the juice by a couple layers of paper toweling, and then rub them between the toweling until all the skins are off. Usually I'm way into eating the skins of vegetables, but I just don't find the coarse texture and slightly bitter taste of beet skins worth salvaging.

Cold cut-up beets in a vinaigrette are wonderful on their own or added to a salad. I also love to make borscht using both the beet roots and greens--here's my recipe in RecipeGullet.

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Also forgot to add a wonderful concoction my Aunt used to make.  She was a farm wife and a great cook.

She would make pickled beets in a sweet pickling syrup and can them.

That is how my grandmother used to pickle her beets, and its ruined me for the more common pickled beets that aren't sweet. I remember the first time I saw pickled beets at a salad bar. My eyes lit up and I grabbed a nice big helping of them. I spit it out as soon as it hit my tastebuds.

So if you're pickling beets, I say make 'em nice and sweet.

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I never ate beets regularly until I subscribed to a CSA and had to do something with the beets that came with my order. Now I love 'em. My workhorse recipe is Vinegared Beets in a Nest of Greens from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. Here's an adapted version of the recipe on a blog: http://eggsonsunday.wordpress.com/2008/01/...n-their-greens/

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I am a bit out of step with the others in preparing beets - I peel them first. You have golden beets, and these do not stain like the red beets do. I use a good swivel peeler, with a serrated edge, and peeling is no problem. Then I roast them, alone or with other root vegetables, just in a shallow pan with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Really delicious. If the greens are nice, I cut them off and saute them quickly to serve along side the beets.

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Thanks for all the help everyone. We had a heck of a dinner last night. I did the beets roots as starter plate and the greens as a side with the main course.

My wife who "hates" beets was even happy. Her mom is a horrible cook so I figured it was a repressed childhood trauma at work and not actually beets.

I made the salad with the sliced beets (very pretty spiral interiors) on a bed of dry fried beet tops with blood orange slices, local made cheese and current vinegarette. Delicious.

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Just made a wonderful salad for dinner, with roasted golden beets as the main event. Inspired by various tapas menus that I've been perusing lately.

Peppery greens, golden beets, goat's cheese, chopped marcona almonds (skins and all), plump dates from the garden. Dressed with a vinaigrette made with saffron, honey, sherry vinegar, olive oil and blood orange juice

Served with toasts loaded with roasted garlic butter.

Terrific combination and my new favorite.

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I'm new to beets too. So much so that I freaked out the next morning when they had an unexpected effect on my bodily fluids.

I think the easiest way to make them (as a novice) is to give them a good scrub under cold, running water, trim the greens off if you have them, and chuck them into a pot of boiling water for 25 minutes or so. Drain them, and slip the peels off using paper towels to protect your fingers from staining. {From Joy of Cooking}

Serve in any of the ways as mentioned above. OR just a simple drizzle of olive oil and salt. I didn't really care for it when i added vinegar.

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I think that peeling beets before hand is a waste of time....the jackets, in my opinion, help the beets maintain a more "beet-ie" flavor than peeling before hand--not to mention that the jackets just slip right off once roasted and are 100x easier to peel.

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There are times when you definitely do want to peel beets before cooking. One that comes to mind is a beet rösti. And some beets -- like the cylindrical one I mentioned upthread -- are sweet enough to eat raw. My Amish supplier calls them "candy" beets.

Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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gallery_1890_1967_255286.jpg

"deconstructed" German potato salad from last night's dinner.

View the recipe here.

Beets benefit from a brief maceration in an acidic solution, in this case white wine vinegar with salt and pepper. It helps to accentuate the intensified flavor brought out by roasting.

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gallery_1890_1967_255286.jpg

"deconstructed" German potato salad from last night's dinner.

View the recipe here.

Beets benefit from a brief maceration in an acidic solution, in this case white wine vinegar with salt and pepper.  It helps to accentuate the intensified flavor brought out by roasting.

That looks seriously good. I'll be getting some beets at the farmer's market this weekend, and have been wanting to try a new preparation. Thanks for the recipe! It'll hit the table Sunday.

-Sounds awfully rich!

-It is! That's why I serve it with ice cream to cut the sweetness!

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