listen to the naysayers. It is perfectly possible for
someone who does not like beets to go on and lead a
productive life, probably. O A distaste for beets does not
absolutely guarantee a dreary existence of loneliness and
despair. Why, some people who disdain beets have even gone
on to have nearly ordinary lives with some measure of
personal fulfillment and a fleeting hint of happiness. O But
really, the surest way to find joy and love is to eat beets.
O Beets are full of all sorts of things that are good for
you (vitamin C, fiber, potassium, manganese and more). But
more important than that, they taste good.
they taste great.
are a paradox. They are earthy, almost foresty. But they
have the highest sugar content of all vegetables, so they
are also sweet. It is this unusual combination of flavors
that makes them so versatile.
can purée them into soup, either hot or cold. You can serve
them roasted or you can put them into salads. You can even
turn them into a dip.
started with the dip first, following the rationale of this
syllogism: Everybody likes hummus. Some people like beets.
Therefore, hummus made out of beets will appeal to a lot of
people, I hope.
made from beets is just like hummus that is made from
chickpeas, only it has beets. You even serve it the same
way, with pita wedges, crudités or as a spread in a
is even easier to make than ordinary hummus, because it has
fewer ingredients. All you need to do is mix the beets with
tahini, lemon juice, olive oil and salt, and blend them
until they are silky smooth.
course, you have to roast the beets first, as you must do
with nearly every way of serving them. Just wrap them in
foil (some recipes need them to be rubbed in olive oil
first) and roast them in a 400 degree oven for 45 minutes to
an hour, until you can pierce them to the center with a
knife or a fork. Then, when they have cooled down enough
that you can touch them, simply rub the skin off with a
second dish, Spicy Roasted Golden Beets, was even easier. I
did not even need the aluminum foil — I just tossed the
beets with cumin, paprika, salt and a touch of chili powder,
and roasted them on a baking sheet.
hardest part was finding the golden beets. I had to call two
stores. But I think it was worth it, because golden beets
are a little sweeter even than red beets, and their taste is
milder, less earthy.
beets are also mild, but they can be hard to find.
Candy-cane beets, which are technically called chioggia, are
the most fun of all because they are made of concentric red
and white circles. However, you can never count on finding
back to red beets for my next dish, Beet and Carrot Soup,
because part of the dish’s appeal is its gloriously
a vegetable soup — all the beet dishes I made are
vegetarian — but the beets somehow make it more than that.
You begin by sautéing carrots with onions and leeks, then
adding garlic and vegetable stock. Only after the flavors
have melded do you mix in the roasted beets before puréeing
late addition of the beets assures that they are the
predominant flavor in the soup, with the aromatics in the
background and the carrots providing depth and a hint of
original recipe calls for this soup to be served hot, but I
tried it both hot and cold, and it is hearty and satisfying
last beet dish, I took full advantage of the classic
combination of beets and oranges. It is a simple salad, with
beets mixed with a dressing of olive oil and sherry vinegar
while they are still warm to absorb the flavors. The beets
are scattered with pieces of orange over a bed of peppery
dusting of cheese on top — the original recipe calls for
ricotta salata, but goat cheese will also do nicely — and
a sprinkling of sliced almonds, and you have a wonderful,
combination of sweet flavors (the orange and the beets),
tartness (the orange and the vinegar), earthiness (the beets
and the nuts), creaminess (the cheese) and bite (the arugula)
is enough to convince even the most partisan naysayers of
the worthiness and versatility of beets.
pound (about 3 medium) beets, trimmed and cleaned
teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more as needed
tablespoon fresh lemon juice
tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Wrap the beets together in aluminum foil, making sure to
seal the foil completely (if the beets vary dramatically in
size, wrap them individually so you can take them out of the
oven one by one as they finish cooking).
Place the packet of beets on a rimmed baking sheet or in a
roasting pan, and roast until the beets are tender and a
paring knife pierces the center without resistance, 45
minutes to 1 hour, or up to 1 1/2 hours for extra-large
beets. Let the beets cool to the touch.
When the beets are cool enough to handle, slip off the skins
with a paper towel (it may help to use a paring knife to
peel them back).
each beet into quarters and place them in a high-speed
blender or food processor. Add the salt, lemon juice and
tahini and blend on high speed until smooth. Scrape down the
side of the bowl with a rubber spatula and adjust the salt
to taste. Add the olive oil and blend again to combine. The
hummus will keep in an airtight container in the
refrigerator for up to 5 days.
serving: 44 calories; 3 g fat; no saturated fat; no
cholesterol; 1 g protein; 4 g carbohydrate; 3 g sugar; 1 g
fiber; 150 mg sodium; 9 mg calcium.
from "The Vegetable Butcher" by Cara Mangini
ROASTED GOLDEN BEETS
bunches of medium golden beets, trimmed and quartered
tablespoons olive oil
teaspoon sea salt
oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, toss beets with oil,
spices and salt. Transfer to a baking sheet. Roast until
tender, about 30 minutes. Sprinkle with additional salt and
pepper, if desired. Serve warm.
serving: 195 calories; 8 g fat; 1 g saturated fat; no
cholesterol; 5 g protein; 29 g carbohydrate; 21 g sugar; 9 g
fiber; 358 mg sodium; 51 mg calcium.
by Sonnet Lauberth, insonnetskitchen.com
AND CARROT SOUP
beets, trimmed and scrubbed
tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed
cups peeled and chopped carrots
medium yellow onion, chopped
medium leek, chopped (white and light green parts)
cloves garlic, minced
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Rub the beets with a little
olive oil and salt and wrap in aluminum foil. Roast until
tender when pierced with a thin knife, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Open the foil and let rest until cool enough to handle.
Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large soup pot over
medium heat. Add the carrots and cook until soft and light
golden brown, 7 to 9 minutes.
the onions and leeks, cover and sweat until they are
translucent, 3 to 5 minutes more. Add the garlic and cook
until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the broth and thyme.
Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer about 20
minutes. Remove the thyme.
Peel and coarsely chop the beets. Stir them into the soup.
Working in batches if necessary, transfer the soup to a
blender and purée until smooth. Or blend in the pot with an
immersion blender until smooth.
Serve hot or cold, garnished with crumbled feta and a
sprinkling of cilantro.
serving: 109 calories; 5 g fat; 1 g saturated fat; no
cholesterol; 2 g protein; 15 g carbohydrate; 7 g sugar; 3 g
fiber; 624 mg sodium; 48 mg calcium.
from a recipe from "Vegetarian Cooking," by the
Culinary Institute of America
BEET SALAD WITH ORANGES AND ALMONDS
pounds beets, trimmed
tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
teaspoons sherry vinegar
orange, Cara Cara or navel
ounces (2 cups) baby arugula
ounces ricotta salata or goat cheese
tablespoons sliced almonds
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400
degrees. Wrap beets individually in aluminum foil and place
on rimmed baking sheet. Roast beets until skewer inserted
into center meets little resistance (you will need to unwrap
beets to test them), 45 to 60 minutes.
Remove beets from oven and carefully open foil packets. When
beets are cool enough to handle, carefully rub off skins
using paper towel. Slice beets into bite-sized pieces.
Whisk together oil, vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4
teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Add beets, toss to coat,
and let cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes.
away peel and pith from orange and cut fruit into bite-sized
pieces. Add arugula and orange pieces to the beets and
gently toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Transfer to platter and sprinkle with cheese and almonds.
serving: 207 calories; 12 g fat; 4 g saturated fat; 17 mg
cholesterol; 6 g protein; 20 g carbohydrate; 13 g sugar; 6 g
fiber; 161 mg sodium; 80 mg calcium.
from "The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook" by America’s