beet recipe

Martha’s Beets

Martha’s Beets

I had picked up some beets from a local farmer the other day. I have made this dish many times and it seemed like a good time to make it again. It is so tasty and easy to make. You just have to give the flavors time to develop.

This is a recipe that my friend, Martha, made for us one chilly autumn afternoon, many years ago. The amounts are random for a reason. Just use what you have- more or less – and let the flavors blend together gently. That is what Martha did.

Full of earthiness and great fresh flavors it is always a favorite of mine. I always think of her, with great affection, when I make it. Miss you, my beloved friend.

Martha’s Beets

Oil

2 Onions, chopped

Potatoes, cut in big chunks, peeled, if desired

1 bunch beets, with greens*

Chicken or vegetable  stock

Parsley

Salt and pepper

Cook beets in boiling water for 20 minutes. Cool and slip off skins. Cut up larger beets, if desired. In large pot cook onions in oil until tender. Add potatoes and prepared beets with just enough stock to keep them from sticking. Cover and cook over medium-low heat until vegetables are tender. Meanwhile chop up the beet greens. Add them to the pot and stir in. Cover and continue cooking until greens are tender. Toss in fresh parsley and cook 5 minutes longer.

* If you can’t find beets with greens, or if you like more greens, you can also add red Swiss chard in place of the beet greens.

Spiced Pickled Beets

Spiced Pickled Beets

Spiced Pickled Beets

Beets are just one of those foods. People seem to love them or hate them. I am a beet lover. I also have a dear friend who is a beet lover. Her birthday is later this month, so I made her a batch of pickled beets. Trust me, she will be thrilled. This recipe is a pretty classic way to preserve beets. The brine is a sweet and sour mixture with pickling spice, salt and red pepper flakes for added flavor. You could play around with the seasonings a little. Maybe adding more heat. For my friend, these will be spicy enough. Pickled beets are great served as a side dish with all sorts of foods. I like them served with cheeses, crackers and other pickled foods as an appetizer. If you don’t want to can them- you can store them in the fridge for up to a couple of months.

 

Spicy Pickled Beets

 

4 lbs. beets, smaller sizes preferred

3 c. thin sliced onions

2 c. sugar

2 T. Pickling spice

1 T. canning salt

2 t. red pepper flakes

2½ c. cider vinegar- 5% acidity

1½ c. water

 

Wash and trim beets, leaving a couple inches of stem attached. Cook in boiling water until tender. Cool beets down so you can handle them. Peel beets and cut into 1½- 2-inch diameter pieces, if beets are large. Leave whole if beets are small. Set aside. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and simmer 5 more minutes. Add beets and cook a few minutes, until beets are warmed through. Ladle hot beets into clean pint jars, leaving ½ inch headspace. Ladle in hot liquid, leaving ½-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles, wipe off rim, screw on lid to finger-tip tightness. Repeat with remaining beets and liquid. You should fill about 5 pint jars. Process in a boiling water bath for 30 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave jars in water bath 5 minutes before removing to counter to cool.  Yield: 5 pints.

 

Adapted from Ball Blue Book

Roasted Beet Salad

Roasted Beet Salad

Roasted Beet Salad

I got these beautiful beets a couple of days ago. Very fresh and the leaves are even dark red. I had been thinking of how I wanted to cook them. Decided to roast them and then go from there. To roast beets just wash them and trim off the greens- leaving about an inch of the stems to reduce bleeding. Place beets in a roasting pan and drizzle with a little oil. Cover pan and place in a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes. Smaller beets will be cooked in less time- about 35 minutes. Really large beets could take up to an hour. I always check by poking one of the beets with a fork. Let the beets cool a little and then remove the peels. I use a knife to do this. They come off quite easily.

Now I just had to decide how to use them. I decided to use three of the small ones to make a salad for myself and a friend. Here is the recipe.

Roasted Beet Salad

1 small head Bibb lettuce, washed and sliced into thin slices

2 c. beet greens, washed and sliced thin

1/4 c. olive oil

3 T. red wine vinegar

2 t. sugar, optional

3 small roasted beets

1/2 c. crumbled feta cheese

1/4 c. hulled pumpkin seeds, toasted

1/4 c. dried cranberries

sliced cooked steak, optional

coarse sea salt- I used pink salt

Combine lettuce and beet greens in a mixing bowl. Combine olive oil with vinegar and sugar, if using. Add salt and pepper to taste and toss over the greens. Slice beets. Divide greens on 2 salad plates. Arrange half of the beets on each salad and top with the rest of the ingredients. Sprinkle with a few grains of the sea salt and serve. Makes 2 luncheon salads.

Roasted Beet Salad with Steak

Roasted Beet Salad with Steak

My very red beets

My very red beets