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TDG: Desperate Measures: Eating Dirt


Fat Guy
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Beets and beyond . . .

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Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Thanks, Mamster. I wil definitely have to try this recipe. Beets are one of my favourite veggies but The Dane will only touch them after they have been pickled in the Danish way - with loads of cloves. While I am making his pickles though, I will dig out a couple of hot beets, peel them, slice them thinly, toss with butter, sprinkle with pepper and eat them as a snack. Help! It's three in the morning and I'm craving some fresh beets.

Anna N

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

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I've been roasting beets in the toaster oven for the past few months (same technique as Mamster gives, but it heats up the kitchen less, which in the droopy days of summer makes a difference). His ideas about dressing them are a lot like mine, although I'm more likely to toss them with lemon juice and zest.

Out of curiosity, what herbs do people like with beets? And which herbs make a poor match?

We'll not discriminate great from small.

No, we'll serve anyone - meaning anyone -

And to anyone at all!

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I've been roasting beets in the toaster oven for the past few months (same technique as Mamster gives, but it heats up the kitchen less, which in the droopy days of summer makes a difference).  His ideas about dressing them are a lot like mine, although I'm more likely to toss them with lemon juice and zest.

Out of curiosity, what herbs do people like with beets?  And which herbs make a poor match?

try it with rosemary.

Soba

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I think dill makes a poor match with everything; I would have eaten all of the Booger jellybeans before trying dill. But that is just one of my lovable idiosyncracies.

Parsley is my favorite with this recipe and many others, but thyme also works great here.

Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"

Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

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Out of curiosity, what herbs do people like with beets?

Dill!

I think fresh Marjoram makes the best herb to sprinkle on beets....hmmm I love beets fresh roasted and dressed, or raw shaved very thin and tossed in a salad. I never thought they tasted like dirt though.

FM

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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I've always loved beets. May help that they've never exactly gotten overused in restaurants. But I've never thought they tasted like dirt. Raw potatoes -- now those taste like dirt. Bleck. Don't eat them with herbs so can't help there.

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We enjoyed a dozen or so dishes at Harvest Vine, including foie gras, smoked fish, and mussels, but my favorite taste by far was a slice of bread dragged through the mixture of beet juice, olive oil, vinegar, and salt left on my plate. Heaven. Like everything else I've sprinkled it on, the beets are fabulous with Jim Dixon's Portuguese flor de sal. (Jim, I don't see salt information on your website?)

Hungry Monkey May 2009
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Love beets. I'm convinced my marriage is in part based on my husband's love of beets, all the men in the family growing up hated them so we only ate them on women's night in. And I like the plain old fashioned red beets. The other ones look impressive, but they don't taste as much like dirt (Mamster, you read my mind). The fact that local farmers markets have jumped on the fancy beet bandwagon is a real disappointment.

One of our local farmers a couple years ago had these HUGE beets called Lutes beets. They were supposed to be huge. They were so excellent roasted. Unfortunately, they didn't sell well and he doesn't grow them anymore.

Try some fresh sorrel, minced like an herb, with your parsley on the beets. It's good.

For you amateur botanists and gardeners out there, a beet seed is actually a cluster of seeds, which explains all that pesky thinning. Shepherd's Seeds carries a Dutch cultivar, Monopole I think it's called, that is actually a single seed. A great back saver.

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I have always thought that beets taste like dirt, but no one would every agree with me. I feel validated somehow.

In college I lived in a collective house where we had a share of a community agricultural project. One week we got a huge amount of beets and I had no idea what to do with them. I asked Mom how to cook them and she told me to boil them until they were tender and their skins would slide off. Well, I didn't cook them quite long enough and had to work far too hard to get the skins off and wound up with red hands and still had a ton of beets that I didn't know what to do with. Actually, I can't remember what we did...I think I blanked it all out. :huh:

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I grew up hating beets with such a passion. My parents loved borscht and ate it frequently and of course my mom would always try to get me to eat it. Although I loved the color produced by combining the borscht and sour cream, I just hated the taste and had to make a meal out of boiled potatoes. My husband tells a similar story, only his parents ate boiled beets.

Anyway, three years ago we were in London and one of the restaurants we ate at served a beet and granny smith apple salad that was amazing. The earthiness of the beets (or should I say dirt?) and the tartness of the apples was a great combination. So, Blovie and I looked at each other amazed - who knew a beet could taste so good? Since that trip, we've decided to "embrace" the beet. I like roasting them or combined with the granny smith apple and a tangy lemon mayonnaise. And I've decided that this summer I going to make borscht for the first time - it's time I get over my childhood disgust.

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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Sorry to come to the table late...

Like nearly everything I eat these days, I prefer roasted beets (and almost always Chioggia or golden, which are both sweeter and less messy) with just olive oil and salt. I may have to expand my culinary horizons a bit, especially with the sorrel idea since I've got lots of it in my garden.

Like everything else I've sprinkled it on, the beets are fabulous with Jim Dixon's Portuguese flor de sal. (Jim, I don't see salt information on your website?) 

You might also have noticed that it's been more than a month since I updated the site. I've been going back and forth about putting the salt online. I don't have a lot of it, but can't quite afford to get an entire "euro-pallet" as my pal at Necton, Vasco, recommends. Maybe after this Saturday's market, the bread festival, my cash flow will have improved enough for me to spend it all.

Any eGulletarians that stumble across this thread and are interested can email me for details. It is a lot cheaper to ship than olive oil. And it is tasty on those beets.

Jim

olive oil + salt

Real Good Food

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What's the opinion on mint with beets? (Asking because I have beets in the fridge and well, I always have mint, being that the garden is overrun with the stuff.)

i love mint with beets but i love mint with everything..fresh mint on cooled roated beets w. lemon juice Evoo, sea salt & black pepper yum yum nice side dish to grilled salmon

also horseradish goes nicely w. beets v. eastern european

and I think beets with warmed goat cheese and vinaigrette made with a teeny splash of white truffle oil are amazing really brings out the earthy quality

"sometimes I comb my hair with a fork" Eloise

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think I could eat beets every day and never get sick of them. Roasted beets, drizzled with aged balsamic vinegar and EEVO, a little goat cheese, atop their lightly sautéed greens...heaven!

Pinenuts and beets. I'll stand at the counter and eat them cold from the fridge, if there are ever any leftovers.

I don't use any herbs with them, ever. Their simplicity is their perfection.

Mmmmm. Beeeeeeeets.

Edited by tanabutler (log)
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I finally made borscht 10 days ago. Wow, it was so good. What was I thinking all these years?

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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