As Bill Cosby stated, “nobody ever says, can I have your beets?” I categorize beets as an acquired taste, something to the effect of your very first beer! I recall as a child being served the ‘tinny’ taste of beets straight from the can….and I was NOT a fan! However, I grew up, my tastes changed and I tried ‘real’ beets not from a can and I like them! Not to knock canned beets….they are useful in a pinch but do have a different taste.
Beets are really a beautiful vegetable ranging from bright yellow to beat red. They are also very healthy veggies, they contain certain phytonutrients that provide detoxification, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. As with most vegetables, cooking time reduces the effect of phytonutrients but this is especially so with beets. Nutritionists suggest steaming beets no longer than 15-20 min and keep roasted beets to under 1 hour. They are actually pretty good raw too, emitting an earthier flavor.
A favorite beet recipe of mine is Borscht…I enjoy it hot or cold and crave it throughout the year. A recipe will definitely be featured here in the future! Those Russians knew what they were doing when it came to beet soup!
This past summer a few friends and I took part in a local CSA share. The farm (Trillium Haven Farm) provided us with an abundance of veggies from May-October. It was a great way to try new veggies and share recipes! At one point I came home with red cabbage, carrots, beets, radishes and green onion. I stared at the veggies on my counter and immediately thought of borscht and was inspired to create the following salad. So, the next time you are faced with beets try a spin on this!
Raw beets, peeled and grated (if you prefer your beets cooked allow them to cool before grating.)
Red Cabbage, shredded
Green Cabbage, shredded
Raw Carrots, peeled and grated
Radishes, sliced and halved
Fresh Dill, chopped
Green Onions, chopped
Hard Boiled Eggs, sliced
Red Wine Vinegar
Fresh Squeeze of Lemon Juice
Salt and Pepper
Grab yourself a big bowl and clear a workspace to grate, chop and shred! Add all the vegetables (beets, carrot, cabbage, radish) to the bowl. In a smaller bowl whisk together 1 part oil to 2 parts vinegar (beets need a bold vinaigrette to balance their sweetness) once emulsified, add to the vegetables. Squeeze the juice from a few lemon wedges to taste and salt and pepper the vegetables. Slice the hard-boiled eggs and arrange atop the vegetable mixture. Garnish with fresh chopped dill, green onions and add a dollop of sour cream.