Veggie Side Dishes - Beets


Red and Yellow Beet Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

1 small bunch each of orange and red beets with greens attached
1 tablespoon minced shallots
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 cup each, fresh orange juice and cider vinegar
2 tablespoons canola oil
salt and freshly white pepper to taste
1 orange, peeled and thinly sliced
about 4 ounces crumbled blue cheese
4 or 5 strands of fresh chives, roughly chopped

Clean and steam beets 35 to 40 minutes. As soon as beets are cool enough to handle, but still quite warm, remove skins and cut beets into 1/4 inch slices. Meanwhile, combine shallots, cloves, orange juice, vinegar, oil, salt and pepper. Line a platter with beet greens. Layer beets, alternating orange and red beets. Pour dressing over. Garnish outside with orange slices. Sprinkle top with crumbled blue cheese. Top with chives. Serves 6.

Beet and Beet Greens Gratin

2 small bunches of beets with greens, about 3 pounds total
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups skim milk
3 large cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
butter flavored spray
1/2 cup flavored bread crumbs

Separate greens from beets, leaving about 1 inch of stems on the top of the beets. Steam 35 to 45 minutes until tender. Save the cooking pot with the water. Cool and peel off skins. Meanwhile, trim stalks from greens unless they are very tender. Stack greens and roll like a fat cigar. Cut crosswise into 1/2 inch wide ribbons. Wash thoroughly and drain. Add to the same pot that steamed the beets, with more water if needed and steam over moderate heat just until wilted, about 7 minutes. While greens steam, heat butter in a medium size saucepan until it foams. Add flour and stir over moderate heat until well blended, about 2 minutes. Add milk, stirring constantly until the sauce comes to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, add garlic, salt and pepper and stir as it thickens to the consistency of a light cream sauce. Turn off heat. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut beets into 1/2 inch cubes and add to saucepan with cream sauce. Squeeze out any excess moisture from the beet greens and add to the cream sauce, combining well. Season with more salt and pepper. Pour into a 2 quart gratin dish that has been sprayed with butter flavored spray. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and bake 25 minutes or until top browns nicely and cream sauce bubbles up. Serves 8.

Charcoal Roasted Beets and Red Onions

6 small fresh beets, trimmed of all but 2 inches of greens and unpeeled
2 medium red onions, unpeeled
2 tablespoons olive oil, extra virgin preferred
1/3 cup chicken broth
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, divided
salt and pepper to taste

Prepare a moderately hot charcoal fire in a grill unit that has a cover. Place beets and red onions in a 10 inch cast iron skillet and drizzle with olive oil. Place skillet on grill rack over fire, cover the grill unit and roast the vegetables 1 to 1 1/2 hours, depending on the size of the vegetables. You may have to cook the beets a little longer than the onions. The onions should be soft to the touch and a fork should pierce the beets easily. Alternately, you can roast the beets in a skillet in a preheated 400F oven. Remove vegetables from skillet with tongs. Add broth, vinegar and 1 teaspoon thyme to the skillet, place over high heat and boil liquid, scraping bottom of skillet for about 4 minutes or until it's dark, glossy brown and syrupy. Season with salt and pepper. Peel beets and onions when they're cool enough to handle. Slice the beets into julienne strips and onions into thin rings. Spoon liquid over onions and beets, add remaining 1/2 teaspoon thyme and stir well to combine. Heat briefly and serve.

Beet Risotto

5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon oil
1/3 cup minced onion
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 whole fresh beets, green tops removed, washed, peeled and diced
1/4 cup whipping cream
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Garnish: sprigs of fresh Italian parsley

Place broth in saucepan; bring to a simmer. Turn heat to low and keep broth at a low simmer. Heat butter and oil in a heavy bottom 4 quart Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until it begins to soften, being careful not to brown it. Add rice and stir for 1 minute, making sure all the grains are well coated. Add wine and stir until completely absorbed. Add beets and 1/2 cup of the hot broth. When broth is almost completely absorbed, add another 1/2 cup of hot broth. Stir for 30 seconds. Continue to cook on medium to medium high heat, adding broth in 1/2 cup measurements, stirring for 30 seconds and cooking until almost all the broth is absorbed. After approximately 18 minutes, when the rice is tender but still a little firm and all broth has been added and absorbed, remove from heat and stir in cream, Parmesan and chopped parsley. Stir vigorously to combine. Spoon into 4 shallow bowls and garnish each bowl with a sprig of fresh Italian parsley. Serve immediately.

Beet and Mango Salad with Curried Mango Dressing

1 ripe mango, pitted and peeled, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon style mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon hot curry powder
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup olive oil, extra virgin preferred

1 1/2 pounds beets, tops trimmed to no less than 2 inches from root
2/3 cup diced red onion
12 cups bite sized pieces of mixed sturdy salad greens, such as watercress, frisee and romaine
2 ripe mangoes, peeled, pitted and cut into long strips

Prepare salad dressing: In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, combine 1 mango, vinegar, mustard, honey, curry powder, salt and pepper. Process until smooth. Add oil and process to blend. Refrigerate until ready to use. Prepare the salad: Heat oven to 400F. Tightly wrap 3 beets in each of 2 heavy duty foil packets. Set in middle of preheated oven and bake until tender, about 1 hour. Test for doneness by piercing with the point of a knife. Remove from oven, open packets and when cool enough to handle, peel beets and cut them into 3/4 inch chunks. In a medium bowl, toss beets with 1/4 cup of the dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste. Allow to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Add onion and stir. Mound greens on a platter. Spoon beets onto greens. Place mango strips over and around the beets. Serve immediately, passing the remaining dressing and a pepper mill at the table.

Beets With Maple Syrup

8 beets, washed
1/2 cup maple syrup
4 tablespoons butter
seasonings to taste, cinnamon, sugar, cloves

Bake the beets in moderate oven for about 45 to 50 minutes. Remove beets from oven and peel and slice them. Put beets, butter, maple syrup and seasonings in a baking dish. Bake in moderate oven for about 15 minutes. Then serve.

Beet Salad

2 pounds raw beets
enough water to cover beets

1 cup water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon grated horseradish
1 pinch allspice
1 pinch ground cloves

Place beets in a pot with enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil and simmer for 2 to 3 hours till beets are tender. Cool beets under cold running water. Peel off skin and slice or dice to your preference. Bring 1 cup of water to boil. Stir in vinegar and other spices. Pour hot mixture over beets. Let Cool. Cover and refrigerate.

Roasted Beet Borscht

4 medium size red beets, greens removed and reserved for another use, scrubbed
2 medium size onions, cut in half and thinly sliced
2 cups of shredded green cabbage
1 cup canned chopped tomatoes, with their juices
4 cups defatted chicken or vegetable broth, preferably homemade
Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon sour salt, citric acid, or more to taste, or use 1 tablespoon white vinegar

Preheat oven to 450F. Wrap the beets securely in two layers of aluminum foil; place on the middle shelf in the oven and roast for 2 hours. Remove from the oven and unwrap. When the beets are cool enough to handle, use a sharp knife to peel them and cut into 1 inch cubes. Set aside. In a heavy 4 quart saucepan, combine the beets with the onions, cabbage, tomatoes, and broth, and season with kosher salt to taste. Place over medium high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, partially cover the saucepan, and simmer for 1 hour. Add the sour salt and cook 5 minutes longer. Serve in preheated soup bowls.

Beet Orange Chutney

1 pound beets
2 large green apples, peeled and cored
2 oranges
1 cup firmly packed soft brown sugar
1 cup red wine vinegar

Preheat oven to 350F. Brush a cookie sheet with oil. Trim leafy tops from beets and wash thoroughly. Place beets on prepared sheet and bake 1 hour and 15 minutes. or until tender. Cool, then peel skin from beets and cut flesh into small cubes. Cut apples into small cubes. Peel oranges, removing pith from peel and flesh. Cut peel into thin strips and chop orange flesh, discarding seeds. Place orange rind and flesh in a large pan; add apple, sugar and vinegar. Stir over medium heat until boiling. Reduce heat and simmer, covered for 30 minutes. Add beets and simmer for 15 minutes. Cool slightly and spoon into warm sterilized jars and seal.

Roasted Beet and Spinach Salad

3 bunches baby beets
1/2 cup walnut pieces
4 ounces baby spinach
3 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped

Balsamic Vinaigrette:
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 large shallot, minced
1 cup olive oil
salt and fresh ground pepper

Preheat oven to 400F. Remove tops from beets, wash and wrap in foil. Place in the oven and roast for approximately one hour, until easily pierced with a knife. When done remove from the oven, unwrap foil and wait until cool enough to handle, then peel. Cut into thick slices and reserve. Place walnuts in a small saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat and drain. Boiling the walnuts first helps to take away the bitter tannins. Lower oven temperature to 350F. Spread walnuts out on a flat tray and bake until evenly brown, approximately 25 minutes. Clean the spinach, spin dry and reserve. In a stainless steel bowl place the Balsamic vinegar, minced shallots, a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper. Slowly whisk in olive oil to emulsify. In two separate bowls, place spinach and beets with chopped dill. Toss both the spinach and beets with enough vinaigrette to coat. On chilled plates, make a bed of spinach, top with roasted beets and sprinkle with walnut pieces and crumbled goat cheese. A combination of gold and red beets makes for a colorful presentation.

Chilled Beet and Raspberry Soup

2 cups pickled beets, sliced
1 1/2 cups frozen raspberries
1 cup potato, cooked
2 cups water
2 teaspoons pepper
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon salt

Puree all ingredients together. Chill and serve.

Sour Cream and Horseradish Beet Salad

6 medium beets, trimmed
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons sour cream
1/4 teaspoon white horseradish
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons scallions, minced
2 tablespoons fresh parsley or dill, chopped

Cook beets in boiling water 35 to 40 minutes until tender. Drain and rinse under cold running water to cool. Peel and dice. Combine next 5 ingredients in a serving bowl. Add beets and mix gently but well. Refrigerate 1 to 2 hours. Before serving, sprinkle with parsley or dill.

Honey Roasted Beets

3 1/2 pounds assorted medium size fresh beets, greens trimmed
vegetable oil cooking spray
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon finely grated orange rind
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Precook the beets: Pierce beets with fork tines. Arrange beets and 3 cups water in a microwave safe dish. Seal airtight with double layer of plastic wrap. Microwave on high until crisp tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain beets and let cool to the touch. Peel off and discard skins. Randomly cut the beets into quarters and crosswise slices and place in a large bowl. Prepare for roasting: Heat oven to 425F. Coat a large nonstick baking pan with cooking spray. In a small bowl, combine honey, vinegar, butter, water, orange rind, thyme, salt, and black pepper; pour over the beets and toss. Roast beets: Transfer the coated beets to the prepared baking pan; roast, turning occasionally, until juices thicken to a glaze and beets are cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes. To serve, transfer beets to a bowl and serve warm or at room temperature.

Pickled Eggs and Beets

6 large eggs
5 medium beets, including tops
1 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup sugar

In 2 quart saucepan, place eggs and enough cold water to cover eggs by at least 1 inch; heat to boiling over high heat. Immediately, remove saucepan from heat and cover tightly; let stand 15 minutes. Pour off hot water and run cold water over eggs to cool. Remove shells from eggs; set eggs aside to cool. Meanwhile, trim tops from beets, leaving about 1 inch of stems attached. Scrub beets well under cold running water. In 3 quart saucepan, place whole beets and enough water to cover; heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to medium low; cover and simmer 20 to 25 minutes, until beets are tender. Reserve 1 cup beet cooking liquid; drain beets. Immediately, remove beet skins under cold running water. Slice beets. Place whole eggs in medium bowl or 1 1/2 quart wide mouth jar and layer sliced beets on top of eggs. In 1 quart saucepan, combine vinegar, sugar, and reserved beet cooking liquid; heat to boiling over high heat. Pour vinegar mixture over eggs and beets. With spoon, gently turn eggs occasionally for even color, until egg and beet mixture is cool. Cover and refrigerate at least 24 hours.

Hot Spice Beets

4 cup sliced cooked beets
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon flour
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons vinegar
1/4 cup boiling water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cloves

Place beets in greased 1 1/2 quart casserole. Melt butter, blend in flour and sugar. Add vinegar and boiling water, cook stirring constantly until bubbling. Add remaining ingredients. Pour over beets. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.


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