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Root vegetables are among the fresh local items available this time of the year; and beets are a particularly beautiful and healthful root to use in your cooking. Their vibrant jewel-like color(s), sweet taste, and firm texture add some much-needed zing to your menu while you’re waiting for spring to roll around!

I always say “simple is best” and this simple dish exemplifies that mantra.

French “Peasant” Beets

from Food 52

11.7 annabelle beetsIngredients:

  • 4-6 beets with greens
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 shallot
  • Salt
  • Freshly Ground Pepper
  • 2 tablespoons white wine
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 pound goat cheese or other semi-soft cheese (room temperature)
  • Crusty peasant style bread (warmed in oven)

Directions:

  1. Scrub and peel the beets. Remove the greens and chop coarsely. Set the greens aside in a large prep bowl. Slice beets into 1/4 inch rounds.
  2. Remove the ribs from the chard and coarsely chop and toss into bowl with the beet greens.
  3. In a large saute pan, melt butter. Sautee shallots.
  4. Add beet rounds to the shallot butter mixture. Crack some pepper over the beets and a toss on a pinch of salt. Reduce heat and saute beets, turning over to ensure even cooking.
  5. About 15 minutes later when beets are beginning to glaze and become tender, add greens and chard. Saute for about 5 minutes, add wine and cover. Cook until greens are wilted, adding water if necessary. Allow liquid to be mostly absorbed into greens, adjust seasonings.
  6. Scoop greens and beets into a low shallow bowl. Garnish with a sizeable wedge of bucheron and some crusty bread. Crack a little bit of pepper over the entire dish.

How about a beet sauce for pasta, or add the sweet richness of beets to chocolate in a delicious brownie. Glaze salmon with beets, or add complexity with honey and goat cheese in a tart! However you decide to use them, beets will reward you with ample nutrition and complete satisfaction.

Dark Chocolate Beet Brownies

Coriander Beet Chips

Penne Pasta in a Roasted Beet Sauce

Beet Glazed Salmon (+ Orange, Fennel, and Pecan Salad)

Beet, Carrot, and Pomegranate Salad

Beet, Goat Cheese, and Honey-Drizzled Tarts