Thursday, October 18, 2007

beeting the system

My CSA box arrived last night. I should say I am generally very proud of my CSA box, we always open it like an early holiday gift on our living room floor ooohing and aaahing over possibilities. M will often grab excess produce and parade around the house like a 4H superstar. I am far from an imaginative (or even good) cook, but pears, squash, eggplant...I can figure out what to do and it might even taste okay.

But when I pulled out these beets I was flummoxed. What the hell do I do with these?

And how?


thailandchani said...


Janet said...

Ugh. I'm not a fan. I have a recipe for chocolate beet cake that looks good, though. I just calls for 1.5 cups of cooked, mashed beets. I can send you the recipe, if you want. I would rather eat cake than beets any day! ;-)

Aliki2006 said...

I think you peel them and boil them. My grandmother used to make them tasty by cooking them, drizzling them with olive oil and lemon, and then tossing them with some boiled potatoes and red onion.

I made them once with apples. I'm not overly fond of beets ever since I was a child and my mother told me that they turn your, um, poop red.

I'm just sensitive that way.

But have fun with them!!

kiki said...

i love beets. and the best way i've had them is by roasting. put them into a roasting pan (you can put them alongside a chicken) and any other vegs that you'd like to have (carrots, parsnips, potatoes, etc.) and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. i always peeled them and would get very red hands but neen told me that if you roast them right in their skins, they'll slip right out when they are cooked.

Kyla said...

What is this cooking thing you speak of?

I am sad, aren't I? LOL.

Her Grace said...

Beets are really, REALLY good for you, but I recently heard that their best for you raw.

I can't imagine eating a raw beet. Good luck :).

Anonymous said...

Last Sunday I had a beet terrine that was delectable. Sliced very thin and layered with an herbed filling which may have been cream cheese. Holy Beets, it would convert anyone.

painted maypole said...

no advice - we have a jar of beets that someone gave us that has been in our cupboard for 2 years.

Oh, The Joys said...

I lurve me some beets.

Oh, The Joys said...

They're fabulous with a little ginger.


Beck said...

Beets are yummy.
You can cut the greens off and cook THOSE and splash them with a little bit of apple cider vinegar - good!
Beets - peel them, boil them and coat them with a shiny brown sugar and butter glaze and some freshly ground black pepper.

Pgoodness said...

Dye some clothes or something? hehe No beets for me thanks!!

crazymumma said...

Beets. Yum. The root itself (the red part silly) Cut into cubes. wrap in tinfoil with butter and salt and BBQ or bake until soft. The greens. Oh , my head spins. Wash, saute with garlic, salt and olive oil.

Packing as I write. Will be there in time for dinner.

Mad Hatter said...

Oh baby, have you never heard the expression "cheap like borscht"? Borscht is one of our favourite foods. It keeps you warm all winter long.

Family Adventure said...

No help. We eat pickled beets in Scandinavia, but honestly, it is an acquired taste I don't recommend.

You seem to have lots of suggestions here, though. Good luck!

- Heidi

meno said...

I love beets. I peel them and cube them and steam them. (The water is the prettiest color when they are done cooking.) Then let them cool and toss them with olive oil and salt and pepper.


The Expatriate Chef said...

You don't need the golden beets for this, but this is my favorite beet recipe so far:

Red, Gold and Orange Festive Salad
2 large (3-inch-diameter) red beets, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 large (3-inch-diameter) golden beets, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 small fresh fennel bulb, trimmed, cored, cut into eighths
2 shallots cut into quarters
Coarse kosher salt
Fresh black pepper to taste

1 1/2 cups coarsely crumbled feta cheese
1 small can mandarin orange sections, or 4 clementines peeled and pulled into sections.
¼ cup chopped mint leaves, optional

Preheat oven to 400°F. Place beets, fennel and shallot in 9x9x2-inch baking dish. Drizzle olive oil and balsamic over; sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Roast until tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Toss beets with orange sections. Sprinkle on feta and garnish with mint, if desired.

Anonymous said...

They taste like dirt. I kid you not.

flutter said...


3 bunches baby beets, washed, trimmed, and halved
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 handful fresh thyme sprigs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
5 bunches arugula, washed, dried, and hand-torn
Celery leaves from 1 bunch celery, about 1/2 cup
1 cup walnut halves and pieces, toasted
1/2 pound blue cheese, crumbled
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 lemon, juiced

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Lay the beets on a large sheet of aluminum foil, drizzle with the oil, toss the thyme on top, and season with salt and pepper. Fold up the foil tightly to make a sealed pouch and put it on a sheet pan. Bake until the beets are tender when pierced, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. (Drop a knife in the center of 1 beet; if it slides out without resistance, they're done.) Let the beets cool to room temperature and remove skins. Put beets in a large mixing bowl. Add the arugula, celery leaves, and walnuts; toss to combine.
To make the blue cheese dressing: Put the blue cheese and sour cream in a bowl, mashing with a fork to combine. Add the chives, lemon juice, and a few turns of freshly ground black pepper; mix to incorporate, leaving a few chunks of cheese in the dressing. Thin out the dressing with a tablespoon of water, if you wish, to smooth out the consistency.

jen said... who's coming over to show me how to cook them in my kitchen? Expat, Mum, Flutter? i'll bring the beer. ahem.

still scared of these beets.

Anonymous said...

I apologize in advance if it has been suggested already (too tired to read the other comments at this point), but I love to boil them for an hour or so, then the skins fall right off, you chop them up and chill them to throw on a salad later. Delish!

Joker The Lurcher said...

definitely boil them before you peel them - and leave the stalks on to stop them bleeding. or roast them with whole garlic cloves.

KC said...

just be forewarned that you'll have weird looking pee.

Pendullum said...

I have Ukrainian blood surging through my veins...
And I makeborscht with beets...
My husband however loves to point out that 'Beets are God's joke, and the Ukrainians just don't get it...'

madamspud169 said...

What on earth is a CSA box & how do you get one ?
Is it finance based or church based?
I've never heard of these

Magpie said...

1) Use the tops like spinach or swiss chard.

2) I love grilling them. Slice 'em about a 1/4" thick, smear with olive oil, and grill until they're soft-ish. Try not to overly scorch. Salt them before eating.

Lawyer Mama said...

I know some people pickle them, but I'm not a fan. I eat beets raw with dip. Seriously. They're quite good. I don't normally like them cooked, but I'm totally trying Flutter's recipe now!

Susanne said...

I was going to suggest: peel, cut, boil, make salad, but I'm totally in love with Flutter's recipe now.

You can also just cook them and eat with potatoes. And I have seen a recipe for beet risotto somewhere.

If you don't have an oven I bet you can make Flutter's recipe and just cook them in boiling water until they're soft instead of baking them.

Bon said...

i dunno, though the borscht sounds good. but i recommend reading the old Tom Robbins classic "Jitterbug Perfume" if you really want to open your mind about the beets, baby. :)

Anonymous said...

grate them and have them on spinach with vinaigrette (add grated carrots, nuts, etc. as desired).

beets clean your system of toxins if that helps counteract the fact that they also dye pee and poo.

The Expatriate Chef said...

Beer sounds good. What time?

Jennifer said...

Beets? Beats me.

HA! Someone had to say it, no? I know nothing of these 'beets' you speak of...

Kevin said...

I would agree with the folks who called for roasting. Just some olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast them in some foil with the skin and all.

I also second those folks telling you not to throw out those greens. They are delicious. Chop them up and fry them with a little bacon, olive oil, and garlic. Add a splash of balsamic at the end.


I am actually super happy. My beets in the garden died in our drought but with cooler temps and some rain, it looks like I may get a fall crop.

b*babbler said...

Beets are very pretty and all, but I have a theory that in 20 years there will be no one left who knows what to do with beets. They will be relegated to decorative touches, like gourds.

flutter said...

Have no fear baby I am on the way :)

jo! said...

This is probably too belated to be of much assistance, and there are so many good suggestions already, but i can't cook to save my life and beets are one of my favorite foods! The simplest/delicious-est thing is to slice them thick, brush them with a little olive oil and throw them on the grill, burger style. De-lectable!

mom huebert said...

Wow-- thanks for posting this question, 'cause now I have all these great ideas for cooking beets.

My suggestions: make red flannel hash (fried potatoes with corned beef and beets and onions)
Or, shredded carrots and shredded beets steamed together with butter and salt.