Beet

About

Beets are very versatile and can be eaten grilled, roasted, boiled, raw or juiced.  They are very high in nutrients, including vitamins A and C and carotenes.  Beet greens also contain high amounts of vitamin C, calcium, and iron.  Beets store very well, and are sweet and colorful.

 Beets

Beets

Storage

Cut off leaves and stems about 1-2 inches above the root crown to maintain firmness of beet roots.  Store in the hydrator drawer of the fridge.  Beet greens are best used fresh; however, greens can be stored in a damp cloth or plastic bag in the refrigerator’s hydrator drawer.

Recipes

General Tips 

Beets do not need to be peeled, but rather can be scrubbed clean.  Beets are tasty in salads, either cooked or raw.  Cube beets and put in vegetable soups or stews.  Beets are also great steamed and sliced, and served at room temperature with olive oil and salt and pepper, or a vinaigrette.  We also enjoy grilling beats – chop larger beets into smaller pieces or use small beets whole; toss with olive oil in a foil pack, and cook on the grill or over a camp fire until tender.

To bake beets, cut off leaves and wash roots.  Bake at 350°F for 1-2 hours or until easily pierced with a fork.  Rub off skins and cut off roots.  Serve beets whole or sliced.

Young beet greens can be tossed raw into a mixed salad.  For more mature greens, try steaming or sautéing them.  They can be substituted in dishes calling for mild tender greens, such as spinach.

 

Roasted-Beet Salad with Goat Cheese and Walnuts

3 large or 6 medium beets

¾ cup walnuts

6 cups torn greens, one type or an assortment

1/3 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar

1 tablespoon minced shallot

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 ounces goat cheese

Heat oven to 400°F.  Wash beets, and wrap them individually in foil while still wet.  Put beets on a baking sheet and cook until tender (60-90 minutes).  After beets have cooled, peel (try rubbing skin off under running water) and cut into chunks.  Cook walnuts in a skillet over medium heat, shaking frequently, until fragrant and starting to darken (3-5 minutes).  Rinse and dry greens and put in a large bowl along with the walnuts. Combine the oil, vinegar, shallot and mustard in a jar with salt and pepper.  Shake dressing vigorously until thick and creamy.  Pour some dressing onto greens; pile the greens on four plates. Toss beats with dressing and arrange on top of the greens; crumble goat cheese on top.  (Original recipe by Mark Bittman here.)

 

Beet Soup

4 large beets

1 large potato

Other vegetables: celery, spinach, carrots, kale, chard, etc.

1 large onion

Salt and pepper to taste

Plain yogurt

Wash vegetables and cut into chunks and steam until soft.  Using water from the steamer, add additional water or stock as needed, and blend vegetables until smooth and thick. Return to pot, heat, and add salt and pepper. Serve each bowl of soup with a dollop of yogurt in the center.  (Recipe contributed by Dog Hollow Farm, in From Asparagus to Zucchini: A Guide to Cooking Farm-Fresh Seasonal Produce (Third Edition).)

 

Beet Red Velvet Cake

3 medium beets

3/4 cup butter

3/4 cup buttermilk

Juice of 1 lemon

2 tsp. white vinegar

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 cups flour

3 T. cocoa powder

1 1/8 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 3/4 cup sugar

3 eggs

Cream cheese frosting

Heat oven to 350°F. Wash beets and wrap in aluminum foil. Bake for about 1 hour 15 minutes, until tender. Cool until beets can be handled, and peel. This step can be done one day ahead. Butter two 9-in. round pans. In a food processor, chop beets until finely diced. Measure 1 cup and set aside (use any remaining beets for another purpose). Return 1 cup of beets to processor, and puree with buttermilk, lemon juice, vinegar, and vanilla until smooth. Mix flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt, and baking soda together. In a mixer, beat butter until soft, and slowly add sugar and beat until creamy. Add eggs one at a time. Alternate adding flour and beet mixture to butter mixture, beating for 10 seconds in between. Divide batter between two pans. Bake for 20 minutes. Once cool, remove cake from pans and frost in between the two cake layers and over top. (Cream cheese frosting: To make from scratch, cream 1 stick butter and 1 lb. cream cheese in a mixer. Add 1/2 tsp. salt and 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla. Slowly add 6 cups powdered sugar. Once sugar is mixed in, turn mixer to high and whip for 7 minutes.)