Beautiful Beets

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While The Serious Foodie was researching farms that can help us with sourcing fresh, organically farmed ingredients for our gourmet sauces, we came across the fantastic folks at Aloe Organics outside of Arcadia, FL.  Our host Scott, along with veteran farmer Pete, showed us around, and gracious pulled some fresh beets.  We came back to our test kitchen with a crate full of Bull’s Blood beets and Chioggia (candy cane) beets.  In this article, we wanted to share this bounty with you, via pictures and recipes.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_single_image image=”3524″ alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_border” border_color=”grey” img_link_large=”” img_link_target=”_self” img_size=”medium”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Fresh beets are a multiple blessing – you can use them fresh, roasted, fried, etc. – then you have fantastic greens.  In fact, we find that beet greens are sweet & savory, and can be worked into any recipe for sauteed greens.  They also combine well with Swiss Chard – when we don’t have enough beet greens for a full serving, we add some fresh Swiss Chard from our garden.

Our beet greens bouquet
Our beet greens bouquet

Here are five of our favorite beet recipes:

  1. Fresh Beet Slaw
  2. Roasted Beets with Balsamic glaze
  3. Warm Beets & Spinach salad
  4. Beet “Napoleon” with Meyer Lemon Gastrique
  5. Sauteed Beet Greens with Swiss Chard

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Beet Slaw with Orange Vinaigrette
Author: Mr. Serious Foodie
Serves: 4 servings
This is a fast, healthy, delicious way to serve beets – and it looks great. If you don’t have a spiral slicer, then simply use a large bore cheese grater.
Ingredients
  • 2 medium sized beets (we used the Bull’s Blood red beets, but you can use standard red beets, or a combination of red and golden beets)
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled
  • 2 green onions, sliced on a bias
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice concentrate
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
Instructions
  1. Spiral slice the beets (or grate to get large strips) .
  2. Spiral slice the carrots (or grate to get large strips).
  3. Combine the beets, carrots, and the green onion.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the apple cider vinegar, cayenne pepper, salt, sugar, and orange juice concentrate. Whisk together.
  5. Slowing add the olive oil while whisking to form an emulsion.
  6. Add enough dressing to the vegetables to coat. Toss together, and serve

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Roasted Beets with Orange Balsamic Glaze
Author: Mr. Serious Foodie
Serves: 4 servings
This is a recipe modified from one we found on [b][u][url href=”http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/roasted_beets_with_balsamic_glaze/” target=”_blank”]Simply Recipes[/url][/u][/b] – we’ve added orange juice to the glaze, some feta cheese, and a touch of mint – a perfect flavor combination! (Photo courtesy of AllRecipes.com)
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds red beets, medium sized (you can also use golden beets, or a combination), scrubbed clean, green tops removed (save these for later – we’ll show you what to do with beet greens)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest (optional)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil. Place the beets in the pan. Rub olive oil over the beets, and sprinkle with salt. Cover the beets with another sheet of aluminum foil. Roast for 45 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the size of the beets and how old they are. After 1 hour, test every fifteen minutes by poking a beet with the tines of a fork. Once the fork tines go in easily, the beets are tender and cooked. Remove from the oven.
  2. While the beets are cooling, prepare the balsamic glaze. In a small, shallow sauté pan, add the balsamic vinegar, orange juice, and sugar. Heat on high until the vinegar has reduced to a syrup consistency. Remove from heat.
  3. After the beets have cooled for several minutes, but are still warm to the touch, peel off the outer skins and discard. Cut the beets into quarters or more, bite-sized pieces.
  4. Place beets in a serving bowl. Pour balsamic glaze over the beets. Stir in the feta cheese, mint, and add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Garnish with a little orange zest to serve.

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Warm Beet and Spinach Salad
Author: Mr. Serious Foodie
Serves: 4 servings
We’ve adapted this recipe from one we found on [b][u][url href=”http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/warm_beet_spinach_salad.html” target=”_blank”]EatingWell.com[/url][/u][/b], including adding bacon to the mix. If you want this to be a vegetarian dish, simply eliminate the bacon, and instead use olive oil to saute the onion, tomatoes, and garlic. (Photo courtesy of EatingWell.com)
Ingredients
  • 8 cups baby spinach
  • 2 strips bacon
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, slice in half
  • 2 tablespoons sliced Kalamata olives
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 cups roasted beet wedges
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Place spinach in a large bowl.
  2. Heat skillet over medium heat and add the bacon. Cook until crisp, then remove the bacon and pat away excess fat. Crumble into small pieces
  3. Remove all but 2 tablespoons fat from the skillet. Add onion and cook, stirring, until starting to soften, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, olives, parsley and garlic and cook, stirring, until the tomatoes begin to break down, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add beets, vinegar, salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until the beets are heated through, about 1 minute more. Add the bacon to the spinach, then add the warm beet mixture. Toss to combine. Serve warm

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Beet “Napoleon” with Meyer Lemon Gastrique
Author: Mr. Serious Foodie
Serves: 4 servings
We first came across this dish at Spago – way back when Wolfgang Puck was still cooking there. There are a few of our own additions, including the use of a Meyer lemon gastrique instead of the more classic balsamic/orange vinaigrette. (Photo courtesy of [url href=”http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Beet-and-Goat-Cheese-Napoleons” target=”_blank”][b]Saveur[/b][/url])
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Champagne vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Juice from 1 Meyer lemon
  • 1⁄4 tsp. Meyer lemon zest
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 5 large beets, roasted, peeled, and cut crosswise into 1⁄4″-thick slices (we use a combination of red and golden beets for color).
  • 9 oz. hard goat cheese (such as Drunken Goat)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Olive oil to finish
  • Hazelnuts for garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. Making the gastrique: Combine vinegar, sugar, Meyer lemon juice, zest, and shallot in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves and reduces to a thick syrup, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and place in a heatproof bowl so the mixture stops cooking.
  2. Using a 2 5/8″ round cookie cutter, cut out 20 of the beet slices; reserve scraps for another use (like borscht or a salad).
  3. Make thin slices of the goat cheese.
  4. Alternate layers of beets and cheese, trimming away excess cheese from the edges. Repeat to create a stack with 4 layers of cheese between 5 beet slices. Place these stacks into a microwave for 45 seconds.Slice each stack into 4 wedges; transfer to 4 plates. Drizzle gastrique over each plate; garnish with nuts. Optional: serve with mixed greens.

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Now we get to our favorite part:  beet greens.  Essentially, you can use beet greens in any way that you use Swiss chard, spinach, kale, or collard greens.  They are delicious braised, sauteed, etc.  You can put them in soups, make a creamed spinach style dish, or use them along with any of the other roasted beet recipes. Here, we are repeating a recipe that we’ve developed for Swiss chard, modifying it slight for beet greens.

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Sauteed Beet Greens
Author: Mr. Serious Foodie
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 10 cups lightly packed stemmed beet greens (you can use other greens to bring up the volume, including Swiss chard and kale).
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter
  • 1 leek – well washed; julienned
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 1/2 cup white wine (Orvietto, Soave, or Pinot Grigio work well)
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (optional)
Instructions
  1. Thoroughly wash the beet greens; drain, and pat dry. Cut off the ends of the stems, to about 1-2 inches from the greens (if you want to braise longer, the stems can be added). Roughly chop.
  2. Place the olive oil and butter in a saute pan, and heat over a medium flame until the butter is melted. Add the leek, and saute for about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the tomato, a dash of salt and pepper, and saute for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the beet greens, and stir so that the greens are coated. Add another dash of salt and pepper; saute for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the white wine, and let simmer uncovered for 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth, lemon juice, and sugar. Cover, and reduce the flame. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. When serving, sprinkle with the toasted pine nuts

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