Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Cooking beet roots and greens


torakris
 Share

Recommended Posts

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.

Oh yeah! Not to get too indelicate in a food-related forum, but for the peace of mind of other beet-novices, I'll just observe that beets' deep blood-red color is apparently relatively unaffected by the digestive process. Beets also have a diuretic effect, so depending on your individual condition, you may notice an increase in volume and/or frequency of fluid output, as well as that startling color change. :biggrin:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have never had them much less cooked them.  But, they looked so good and were so fresh I had to get them.  Golden beets.  I have some blood oranges for a color contrast too.

Quick word of advice...wears gloves. Beets stain everything. They are also very good layered with goat cheese and served cold

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

The reason I peel and cut before roasting is because I enjoy the caramelized edges on the beets. I haven't roasted with skin-on before. Is it possible for whole, un-peeled beets to get caramelized? Also, what's the cooking time on that?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I suppose it would be possible for the whole unpeeled beets to get caramelized...at least, I can't think of any reason why it wouldn't. It might take a little longer and need a higher temp, but it should still do it. I should amend my statement and say that FOR ME, peeling before hand is a waste of time. If you like the caramelized edges and like the way the beets taste, then of course keep doing it that way :) I just feel the jackets, like on a potato, keep in more of the flavor.

I "roast" my beets wrapped and sealed in foil and parchment, tossed with smashed garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. I do it at a low temp, usually like 275, until they are tender when tested with a paring knife. I say "roast" because this techniques is more like steaming in it's own juices, but I like the way the aroma stays trapped and it picks up the garlic and herbs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

The reason I peel and cut before roasting is because I enjoy the caramelized edges on the beets. I haven't roasted with skin-on before. Is it possible for whole, un-peeled beets to get caramelized? Also, what's the cooking time on that?

Annachan -- place in an aluminum covered Pyrex baking dish along with 1/4 cup cold water. roast in a preheated 350 to 375 F degree oven between 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until beets are easily pierced with a fork. Smaller specimens will cook more quickly.

caramelization shouldn't occur since you're not exposing their interior surface area to "naked" dry heat.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I roasted the beets whole with the skin on today. I just wrapped them in foil and toss them on a tray in the oven. After about an hour, I peeled them and cut into small cubes. I just tossed them with some extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkling of fleur de sel. It was mighty tasty!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I recently had a roasted beet salad with asian pears and micro greens topped with a Manchego foam...the slight saltiness from the cheese paired beautifully with the sweetness of the roasted beets!

Bartender @ Balliceaux, Richmond, Va

"An Irish Lie is just as good as the truth."

- Egan Dean, Table 6 cook

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have never had them much less cooked them.  But, they looked so good and were so fresh I had to get them.  Golden beets.  I have some blood oranges for a color contrast too.

Do not be fooled by the color. Avoid beets. All the two-year-olds on earth are right.

When it comes to beets, I confess to having a taste for the recipe proposed by Boswell for use with cucumbers. "a cucumber should be well sliced, and dressed with pepper and vinegar, and then thrown out, as good for nothing." It's always seemed to me that beets were somehow invented by the old Soviet Union, using that same aesthetic sensibility that gave us Stalinist architecture and exiled Prokofiev. But I guess the farmers markets have to sell something during the lean months. :wink:

The only beet recipe I ever really liked, was by Thomas Keller, who juices, reduces and strains beet to come up with gloriously ruby syrup that goes beneath butter-poached lobster and a layer of crisped potatoes. Perhaps the straining eliminates the potting soil taste.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 9 months later...

I came across a recipe that uses white beet leaves (hard to find but can be substituted with spinach) and was wondering if one can cook in the same way with the ordinary red beet foliage. In my search for white beets, which I have never seen in real life, I came across this nursery website with the most wonderful array of beet seeds. If I had a garden I'd be out planting beets right now.

http://www.nickys-nursery.co.uk/seeds/pages/veg-beetroot.htm

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I came across a recipe that uses white beet leaves (hard to find but can be substituted with spinach) and was wondering if one can cook in the same way with the ordinary red beet foliage.

Since the leaves from red beets also have a spinach-like taste, I think you could do a substitute for flavor. However, I'm not familiar with white beet leaves. The red beet leaves may leach some color into the dish that you might not find desirable.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

I am currently in "beet love" - both the roots and the greens. They are tender now at my farmer's market. I have been keeping it simple with the greens- a bit of onion and garlic, toss in the damp greens and let finish. I personally like them with shirataki noodles as the the different levels of slippery are interesting. I have been keeping the roots simple- first steamed in the microwave till about 3/4 done and finished in the oven to concentrate the flavor. I have enjoyed them room temp or a bit warm with tzatziki sauce and room temp or cold with a mustardy dressing. I have just finished reading all the older posts and am sparked to experiment.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Try this beet salad I came up with - it's really great. In fact, now that you reminded me of it, I may make it again tomorrow!

Beet Salad with Pickled Onions and Mint

4 beets (about 2 lbs.)

2 T. white wine vinegar

1/4 c. olive oil

Salt and black pepper to taste

3/4 c. white vinegar

3 T. sugar

A few each: peppercorns, coriander seeds, cloves (optional)

1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced

2 T. chopped fresh mint

1/2 c. walnuts, toasted (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut off and discard most of the stems from the beets, then wrap them individually in foil. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 50 minutes, or until the beets give only halfhearted resistance when pierced with a knife. Unwrap and cool for a few minutes, then peel and cut into bite-size chunks.

Meanwhile, heat the vinegar, sugar and optional spices in a small saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar. Bring to a boil, add the onion and simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes. Drain, discarding spices.

Put the vinegar in a small bowl, and gradually whisk in the olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour over beets and stir. Gently fold in the mint, pickled onions and walnuts.

-1.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have mint growing so I will add that to the mix. I notice that beet salads often include toasted nuts and strong cheeses. Perhaps matching earthiness profiles? I am game.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quite some time ago, Danielle Wiley posted a link to a recipe for sauteed beets and greens with horseradish creme fraiche (click here for the recipe). It remains one of my favorite ways to use both the beets and the greens -- and that's saying something, because I love beets.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Didn't see this thread before I started this thread about my Benriner adventures. Beets are one of my favorite root vegetables. Here is a shot of the RAW beet salad I made today.

Early%20June-6.jpg

My family has always roasted (I guess 'steam' is the better term per comments upthread) beets on the grill. After we're done cooking whatever the main event was, we wrap beets in foil and leave them on the grates for about an hour. They also do well in the microwave the same way one would make a baked potato.

Here's my family's recipe for Summer Borscht. While the below is precise in its execution, its certainly not accurate by any stretch. In the interest of reproducibility, I'll take note of quantities next time I make this and post here.

1. Roast 2 or 3 beets per above. Clean, and then grate.

2. Place the grated beets as well as coarsely chopped beet greens into a pot.

3. Cover everything in boiling water and let steep until it reaches room temp.

4. Refrigerate overnight.

5. The next day (things get fairly scientific here), add salt until it tastes just a bit salty, sugar until it tastes just a bit sweet, and then lemon juice until it tastes a bit sour.

6. Chop up scallions, cucumbers, and dill and distribute evenly among four bowls.

7. Ladle soup on top, followed by a tablespoon of thick sour cream.

8. Enjoy!!

Edited by vgordin (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jaz- the horseradish creme fraiche sounds like a plan. As I noted in the horseradish topic, I have access to fresh roots and will give it a go. We often had pickled beets on the table as a child when we also had fresh horseradish sauce to accompany boiled beef, so I think I have the taste memory. Another hint for those of you purchasing at farmers markets is to tell the farmer you love the tops. Often they will toss in extras for free since many or most people do not want them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Making beet raita tonight.

golden beets

yogurt

ghee

black mustard seeds

salt

black pepper

curry leaves

combine chopped beets and yogurt along with a little salt and pepper.

heat ghee in a saucepan. add mustard seeds, stir. let them "pop", then add sesame seeds and curry leaves. when sesame seeds have started to toast, fold ghee mixture into the yogurt. serve right away or chill overnight.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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

My cousin does her canned beets just this way - and they're excellent, especially mid-winter, alongside a ham.

I'm really looking forward to getting my hands on some beets this summer - the raw beet salad and the beet risotto are top on my list to try.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Clove! I knew I was missing something. I used star anise once and it was complementary.

I picked up a big bunch of beets yesterday at the farm stand and asked to keep the tops on. When I looked more closely at home they were really small and tough and had been bug ravaged (yellow small holes) and the roots had lots of scars from bug damage. I scrubbed and soaked and decided to give it a shot. Sauted onion in roasted garlic oil and added the wet leaves, cooking till silky with just salt and pepper. They turned out fine. I kept the roots simple- just microwaved till I could pierce with knife and then roasted to finish. Peeled and eaten room temp. I have been trying the new vegetables of the season very simply at first to get their flavors set in my head and then moving on to combinations and additions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I used star anise once and it was complementary.

Star anise! I never thought of that. That's one of my favourite spices, so I'll have to try this combination over the summer. Did you use that with pickled beets, or roast?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I used star anise once and it was complementary.

Star anise! I never thought of that. That's one of my favourite spices, so I'll have to try this combination over the summer. Did you use that with pickled beets, or roast?

I did a sort of quick pickle using the star anise

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Try this beet salad I came up with - it's really great. In fact, now that you reminded me of it, I may make it again tomorrow!

Beet Salad with Pickled Onions and Mint

4 beets (about 2 lbs.)

2 T. white wine vinegar

1/4 c. olive oil

Salt and black pepper to taste

3/4 c. white vinegar

3 T. sugar

A few each: peppercorns, coriander seeds, cloves (optional)

1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced

2 T. chopped fresh mint

1/2 c. walnuts, toasted (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut off and discard most of the stems from the beets, then wrap them individually in foil. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 50 minutes, or until the beets give only halfhearted resistance when pierced with a knife. Unwrap and cool for a few minutes, then peel and cut into bite-size chunks.

Meanwhile, heat the vinegar, sugar and optional spices in a small saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar. Bring to a boil, add the onion and simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes. Drain, discarding spices.

Put the vinegar in a small bowl, and gradually whisk in the olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour over beets and stir. Gently fold in the mint, pickled onions and walnuts.

Beautiful salad. I want to know how you keep the red beets from coloring all the other ingredients? ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...