Roasting is, hands-down, the easiest way to cook beets. Just wash, cut the tops and bottoms so they are even and roast at 350°F until tender. I like to put them in a deep casserole dish with a lid so they don’t dry out.
Beet and Beet Green Gratin
- 2 bunches (6 to 8) beets, with the greens (about 2 pounds beets and 3/4 pound greens)
- Salt to taste
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1/3 cup chopped chives (1 bunch)
- 2 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated (1/2 cup)
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
This gratin is beautiful if you pair chioggas or golden beets with red beets. It is good hot or cold. Roast the beets. Remove from the heat and allow to cool, then cut the ends off, slip off the skins and slice across the equator. Bring a large pot of water to a boil while you stem and wash the greens in two changes of water. Fill a bowl with ice water. When the pot of water comes to a boil, salt generously and blanch the greens for about one minute. (You can also steam the greens until they wilt, one to two minutes). Transfer the greens to the ice water, then drain and squeeze out the water. Chop coarsely. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a medium skillet, and add the garlic. Cook for about 30 seconds, stirring, until fragrant. Stir in the greens. Stir together for a minute, season the greens with salt and pepper, and remove from the heat. Preheat the oven to 375 °F. Oil a 2-quart gratin or baking dish with olive oil. Beat together eggs, salt (about 1/2 teaspoon), pepper, milk, chives and the Gruyère. Gently stir in the greens and beets. Scrape into the gratin dish. Bake 35 to 40 minutes until set and lightly browned on the top. Allow to sit for 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Serve hot, warm or room temperature.
Beet and Citrus Slaw
- 1/2 pound beets
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoon minced chives, mint or parsley (or a combination)
- Salt to taste
- Leaves of 1 romaine heart
Peel the beets with a vegetable peeler, and grate in a food processor fitted with the shredding blade. Combine the orange juice, lemon juice and olive oil. Toss with the beets and herbs. Season to taste with salt. Line a salad bowl or platter with romaine lettuce leaves, top with the grated beets and serve. Advance preparation: The grated beets can be dressed and kept in the refrigerator, covered well, for a couple of days. They become more tender but don’t lose their texture, and the mixture becomes even sweeter as the beet juices mingle with the citrus. Toss again before serving.
- 3 medium whole beets, about 1 pound, or 4 cups cooked, sliced beets
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 3 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1/3 cup cider vinegar
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 to 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
No one seems to know exactly where the name came from. Harvard Beets seem to have showed up in cookbooks about the time (1910) that deep crimson became Harvard University’s official color. Another story is that they were created by some unknown individual in an English tavern called “Harwood” and name morphed. They are good both hot and cold. To make with fresh beets, wash the beets and leave an inch of stem and root end on them. Put the beets in a saucepan, cover with water, and add about 1 teaspoon of salt per quart of water and bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover the pan, and boil for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the beets are tender. Drain the beets and let them cool, then slip off the skins. Slice the beets to your desired size. Combine the sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan. Whisk in the vinegar and water and cook over medium heat, stirring, until thickened. Add the sliced cooked beets and the salt and freshly ground black pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring frequently, for 5 to 10 minutes. Stir the butter into the beets and serve them hot.
- 6 small beets or 3 medium beets
- Spice choices (Pick any one of the five below):
- 1. Add 1 cinnamon stick and 3 whole cloves.
- 2. Add 1 tbsp pickling spice, 2 cloves of garlic and a flowering head of fresh dill.
- 3. Add 2 tsp caraway and 5 black peppercorns to each jar.
- 4. Add 1-2 cloves of garlic per jar.
- 5. Slice one or two hot peppers in half and add to the jar without removing the seeds.
- 1 1/2 tsp non-iodized salt
- 2 tbsp cider vinegar
- 1 cup of filtered water to cover
Scrub the beets, then chop them into bite-sized pieces or julienne. Wear gloves if you don’t want pink fingers! Pack the beet slices into a sterilized jar. At this point, you can add spices and other flavors. Add the cider vinegar (if you are using it). Dissolve the salt in a 1/2 cup of water. Pour over the beets and top with a second 1/2 cup of water, to cover. There is no need to weigh down the beets as they usually don’t float. Leave the jar to ferment at room temperature for about 3-7 days. Store in the refrigerator and consume within 1 month.
Rote Bete Salat (Red Beet Salad)
- 2 Lb. of fresh beets
- 1 medium chopped onion
- 8 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- ½ teaspoon of caraway seeds
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- ¼ teaspoon of ground white pepper
- 4 teaspoons of sugar
- 2 teaspoons of horseradish from a jar OR 1 heaping teaspoon of fresh diced horseradish
Wash the beets under running cold water with a soft brush. Cut the roots and leaves about 1–2 inches above the beet. Add 2 teaspoons of salt to a large saucepan filled with water. Add in the beets and bring it to a boil. Turn the heat down a little and let the beets simmer for about 35–45 minutes, depending on the size of the beets and the consistency that you prefer. When the beets are done, place the beets in a colander and drain under cold water. Cut off the remaining stems close to the beet. Peel the beets while they are still warm. Cut the beets into slices from the whole beet or cut them first into halves and then slice the halves. Use another bowl for the dressing. Mix the vinegar, oil, caraway seeds, salt, pepper, sugar and horseradish. Beat with a whisk. Dice the onions by hand or use a food chopper. Add the chopped onions to the dressing and stir with a fork. Pour the dressing over the beets and carefully mix using two spoons or salad hands. This tastes best if you give it time to soak in the dressing for a few hours. Keep refrigerated.
Beet Carrot Apple Juice
- 2 medium beets, trimmed and scrubbed
- 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and cored
- 3 medium carrots, peeled
Juice, in this order, the beets, apples and carrots, following your juicer’s specific settings for each. Serve the juice immediately. Pour over ice, if desired.
- 12 cups beef stock or 3-4 Lb beef chuck steak/roast cut in 1-inch cubes plus 12 cups water
- 5 cups green or red cabbage, thinly sliced
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 medium carrots, chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 large beets, peeled and cut into matchsticks
- 4 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 6 oz can tomato paste
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tbsp white vinegar
- 3 large garlic cloves, grated
- Ground black pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup dill or parsley, finely chopped
- Yogurt sour cream and rye bread, for serving
If using the beef chuck, brown the cubes in coconut oil, tallow or lard in a cast iron dutch oven. Add water and bay leaf, and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low and simmer for about 1 hour. OR, if using stock, add bay leaf and bring stock to a boil. Wash, peel and chop vegetables.. Add cabbage or sauerkraut. Reduce heat to low and cook for 20 minutes. Saute onion and carrots in large skillet with half of oil for five minutes, stirring occasionally. Add beets and remaining oil, cook another 3-4 minutes. Add sauteed veggies, potatoes, tomato paste and salt to dutch oven. Cover, bring to a boil and simmer 20 minutes. Turn off heat, add vinegar (if you used sauerkraut, add only ½ Tbs and taste – add the remainder only if necessary). Add vinegar, garlic and pepper. Let the soup sit for about 10 minutes so the flavors can marry, then add dill, adjust seasonings and serve with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt. If you’ve used the broth version, you can chill the soup and blend it, then serve cold.