beet recipe

Chocolate Beet Cake

Chocolate Beet Cake

When I say beet cake, a lot of people give me a funny look. First, there are the beet haters, and you know who you are. The people who just don’t like the taste of beets. I get that, beets are an acquired taste.

Then there are the people who like beets, but could never picture them in a cake. I bake cakes with carrots in them,  zucchini and even parsnips. Adding beets to a cake is not so far off. The beets add a subtle red color to the cake, but they also add moistness. The end result is a cake that is full of flavor and has a wonderful, moist texture.

Truth is, I don’t really taste the beets in the cake much at all. I taste the chocolate. So here is the chocolate beet cake recipe. I hope you enjoy it.

Chocolate Beet Cake

2 cups all-purpose flour

1½ teaspoons soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 cup cocoa powder

3 large eggs, beaten

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons oil

1½ cups grated cooked beets

2 teaspoons vanilla

Powdered sugar, optional, or cream cheese frosting- recipe below

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine flour, soda, salt, sugar and cocoa in a bowl; set aside. In a mixing bowl, combine the eggs and oil. Beat in vanilla and continue beating until well blended. Slowly beat in dry ingredients until well mixed; stir in beets. Pour into a greased and floured 9×13-inch baking pan. Bake at 350° for 25 to 35 minutes, or until cake bounces back when touched lightly with finger. Cool in pan on a rack. Frost cooled cake, or dust with powdered sugar.

Frosting recipe:

8 oz. Cream cheese, softened

3/4 c. powdered sugar- or more to taste

1 stick butter, room temperature

Beat all together until fluffy. Frost cake and refrigerate until ready to eat.

Beet Dumplings

Beet Dumplings

I had beets that I wanted to use in something different. So I made these dumplings with cooked beets. The color came out so vibrant.

The flavor of the beet is somewhat muted in this little dumpling. These would be a nice side dish for all sorts of dishes. I will make more and serve them with a roast chicken this weekend.

I do a very rustic version- just slice dough off into 1/2 -inch thick pieces and boil them up. These could be made ahead and frozen, too.

Beet Dumplings

2 small russet potatoes, 11-12 oz. total, peeled, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
2 medium/small beets, roasted, skin on, cooled
1 egg
1/4 c. whipping cream
1 1/4 t. salt
¼ t. dill weed
1 1/2 c. (about) flour
Steam potatoes over boiling water until tender, about 12 minutes. Place in bowl and mash or put potatoes through a ricer. Place in bowl and cool about 10 minutes. Remove skins from cooled beets and dice. Place beets in a food processor or blender. Add the cream and process until smooth. Combine beet mixture with potatoes, egg, salt and dill and mix well. Stir in flour and combine until slightly sticky dough forms. Add more flour a tablespoon at a time if the mixture is too moist. Turn dough onto lightly floured work surface and divide into 6 equal portions. Roll out 1 piece into a rope about 20-inches long by 3/4 inch. Cut dough into 3/4 -inch pieces and arrange finished dumplings in a single layer on a floured baking sheet and repeat the process with the remaining dough. Boil the dumplings in well-salted boiling water, about 1/3 at a time. Boil for 4-5 minutes. They will come to the surface and be tender. Check after 4 minutes. Serve with butter or with your favorite sauce. Serves 6.

Spicy Pickled Beets

Spicy Pickled Beets

Beets are just one of those foods. People seem to love them, or hate them. I am a beet lover. I enjoy them in all sorts of dishes. The nice thing about making a batch of pickled beets is being able to open up a jar whenever you want.

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.

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 The Ball Blue Book

Hot or Cold Beet Soup

Hot or Cold Beet Soup

Since I had a beautiful bunch of beets, I decided to make this soup. On cooler days, I heat it up. On hot days, I serve it chilled. That is one of the nice things about this recipe. This soup is good, what ever temperature you serve it.

It is also a pretty soup. The color is so beautiful. A friend came over and I offered her a bowl. When I set it down in front of her she said, “Wow, this is really pink soup.”

People seem to have strong opinions about beets. They either love them or hate them. I love them and I enjoy them in soups, salads, relishes,  casseroles and more. The earthy flavor really appeals to me and the color is a delightful bonus. I added some extra veggies for more flavor and sour cream for a tart, creamy flavor and texture element. The result was a very tasty dish that is also sort of striking to look at.

Hot or Cold Beet Soup

6 or 7 small beets – or 3 large beets

2 T. olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

1 rib celery, chopped

3 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped

6 cups stock- I used chicken but vegetable stock or beef stock would also work

2 t. dill weed

salt and pepper to taste

1 c. sour cream- or a little more if you like

Cut beets off of their stems- leaving about 2 inches attached- this will reduce bleeding and retain more color in the beets.  Place beets in a pot of water deep enough to cover them and cook until the beets are just getting tender, about 20 minutes – longer for larger beets. Remove and place in cold water. Once the beets are cool enough to handle trim off the stems and slip off the skins. Cut the beets into chunks and set aside. In soup pot heat the oil and cook the onion until tender. Add the carrots and beets and cook a few minutes longer. Add the rest of the vegetables, stock, dill and simmer, covered, until vegetables are very tender. This will take at least 30 minutes- but cooking longer is better- around an hour.  Puree the soup. To add the sour cream place sour cream in a bowl and add a ladle full of the hot soup to the sour cream, whisking until smooth. Add another ladle or two of the soup and whisk again. Return sour cream mixture to the soup. By warming the sour cream gently you prevent it curdling. Adjust seasonings and serve right away, or refrigerate and serve cold.  Serves 6-8. Freezes well.

Martha’s Beets

Martha’s Beets

I had picked up some beets from a produce market 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 beets into chunks. 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.

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

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