Posts tagged with Beets

A jewel of a seasonal side dish

Red, red, as far as the eye can see.

Red, red, as far as the eye can see. by Sarah Henning

Given it’s the week before Thanksgiving, chances are you’re thinking a bit about the big ol’ dinner that we all have on the final Thursday of the month.

My husband and I host Thanksgiving each year at our house, but the cooking is left to my dad, who ties on an apron and takes over all the duties that day. Basically, the rest of us clear out and let him do his thing.

That said, I like to contribute something aside from my kitchen and a fridge full of ingredients. So, I tend to make a side or dessert ahead of time to add to the heap of traditional fare my dad pulls out of his hat.

Last year, it was these awesome Sneaky Pumpkin Pie Bars. And they were so fabulous, I’m sure they’ll be hitting the table yet again this year.

But I also wanted to make a little something else as a side. This desire, plus the fact that I actually got to go to the grocery store by myself, led me to a moment where I could just wander the produce aisle, dreaming up Thanksgiving Day combinations to my heart’s content.

The result of this kid-free bit of peace was the following recipe, something I’m calling Garnets and Rubies.

It makes use of two of the season’s best fresh ingredients and is so pretty you might not want to eat it.

But you should, because it’s mildly addictive. In fact, I posted the above photo of it to Instagram, and one of my followers tagged me back with a picture of her own version that night. In her words, “It’s weird at first, and then suddenly I’m devouring it.”


So, if you’re still looking for a side to bring or make for Thanksgiving, or just in the market for something fun to have with dinner, definitely give this one a try. It’s simple, looks elegant and the amount of folate and vitamin C here is off the charts.

Garnets and Rubies

2 bunches red beets

2 large pomegranates

Red wine vinegar

First, roast the beets: Preheat oven to 375 F. Cut off greens and use for another recipe or discard. Scrub beets clean and dry. Wrap unpeeled beets in foil and place on a cookie sheet. Roast for 45 minutes. When they’re finished, pull them out of the oven and use an oven mitt to open the foil packages to help them cool off. When completely cool, use a knife to skim off the stem and the ends, then chop into half-inch to quarter-inch pieces.

Next, seed to pomegranates: Fill a medium mixing bowl about halfway with water. Score your pomegranates four or five times and then cut off the very top of the fruit. Plunge each pomegranate in water and work open each of the scored sections. Began seeding the pomegranate. The seeds will sink to the bottom of the water and the bitter pith will float. When all your seeds have been removed, rinse them in a colander and remove any remaining pith.

To assemble: Place cooled beets in a medium serving bowl. Top with pomegranate seeds as artfully as you can. Splash on red wine vinegar to taste. Serves four.


Just beet it

They sort of look like ground hamburger in this pic, but these Quick Grated Beets are delicious.

They sort of look like ground hamburger in this pic, but these Quick Grated Beets are delicious. by Sarah Henning

Local beet season has begun. For beet lovers, that means about six weeks of uninterrupted, local deliciousness. For those who don’t have much love for the rosy roots, it can mean almost two months of avoidance tactics.

I am a beet lover. Always have been (thanks, Mom), always will be. My husband, on the other hand, isn’t. He’s more of a beet tolerator. He’ll eat them because I like them and because he has made a lifelong claim that he’ll pretty much eat anything (which is mostly true), but he most definitely doesn’t enjoy this time of year.

So, when we finally got a bunch of beets in our Rolling Prairie CSA, I was super surprised that he suggested we eat them. In a new side dish of all things.

Obviously, I was on on board.

Thus, because, amazingly, we haven’t made every recipe in the fabulous Rolling Prairie Cookbook by Merc savant Nancy O’Connor, we made for the first time a recipe that was quick and easy, even for a packed Monday night: Quick grated beets.

They were indeed super quick (we made them while reheating leftovers) and they were totally delicious (says the girl who ate three of the four servings). But, hey, the hubby ate one serving and suggested it.

That’s a total win right there. Thus, if your house is a house divided over beets, or even if it’s not, definitely give this little recipe a try.

Quick Grated Beets

4 medium-sized beets

1 tablespoon butter or olive oil (we used coconut oil)

1 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice (to taste)

3 to 6 tablespoons water or vegetable stock

1/2 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Chopped fresh dill or parsley

Wash, peel and coarsely grate beets. Heat butter or oil in a medium-sized skillet over medium-low heat. Add beets, and stir to coat well. Sprinkle with lemon juice, cover and cook for about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally and add water or stock as needed to prevent scorching. Cook until just tender. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with dill or parsley. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

— From "Rolling Prairie Cookbook" by Nancy O’Connor


Dreaming of June with beets

Can't hardly wait until these are local beets...stupid winter.

Can't hardly wait until these are local beets...stupid winter. by Sarah Henning

I’ve been in the mood for beets lately. Like lots and lots of beets. Maybe it’s just my appetite’s way trying to get me to think warm thoughts. You know, because the local beet crop will kick in in June.

Ah, June.

Do you guys remember what June feels like? All warm and sunny and pretty?

Very much unlike what’s going on right now, unfortunately.

Luckily, roasted beets are earthy and hearty in ways that make them especially delicious in the dead of winter. Sometimes, I just eat them straight. Sometimes I roast them with other vegetables and a balsamic dressing. But lately, I’ve been roasting them without oil, letting them cool and then tossing them into salads. (For the roasting, I’ve been using this method I mentioned back when local beets were a thing.)

I usually like to have my roasted salad beets with other root vegetables like sweet potatoes. But one night when we were out of sweet potatoes (oh, the horror), I made a salad from a few random things we had on hand for the kiddo’s dinner.

I believe we paired this with leftover spaghetti squash (which clearly wasn’t memorable enough for me to photograph), and the dinner as a whole was hearty, delicious and extra healthy thanks to all the good extras the beets added to the show.

Beet and Spinach Side Salad

1 cup roasted beets, chopped

Hilary’s Eat Well mini veggie burgers (I posted about them here)

2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced (optional)

Baby spinach

Olive oil and balsamic to taste

Bake the veggie burgers about 400 degrees for 18 minutes on a parchment-covered baking sheet. Divide spinach and beets among two bowls. Top each bowl with burgers (pulled into quarters), egg slices, if using, olive oil and balsamic vinegar or dressing of your choice. Enjoy.