My New (Food) Bestie

Beets look lovely along with fresh asparagus and salmon patties.

I love all vegetables, but I do have a new favorite:  fresh beets!  Maybe I have been overlooking them in the local grocery stores, but while at Central Market in Dallas, I picked a few up.

Every dinner at my house is accompanied by fresh veggies.  But, it seems like I serve the same old veggies.  Broccoli and carrots are the standard.  Asparagus, brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, potatoes, cabbage, green beans, cauliflower, tomatoes, celery and onions seem to be served over and over in various forms.  Every now and then a bean or pea makes it’s way to the table.

When I have a chance to buy alternative veggies, I get them!  At Central Market, I purchased beets and baby broccoli.  I was hoping to find broccoli rabe, but no such luck.

It was the beets that will be a keeper in my pantry.

Beets after they had a bath. One looked like a mouse!
Beets after they had a bath. One looked like a mouse!

Here is what you need to know if you are new to fresh beets:
* The beet juice will temporarily stain your skin.  It will also stain your cutting board.
*  It is easy to prepare beets.  Just cut off the ends and peel with a vegetable peeler.
* Beets can be served raw or cooked.
* Beets may be boiled, baked, steamed, microwaved, or roasted.  If boiling, baking whole, or steaming do not remove the ends or peel.  The color, flavor and vitamins will all escape if the skin is pierced in any way.
* Beets are available in a dark purplish crimson color, yellow and a candy striped (red and white) variety.
* The flavor of beets is usually described as earthy.
* Often beet recipes call for citrus flavors, herbs, sweetener and/or olive oil or butter.  Of course, beets and sour cream are old friends (think borscht).

A peeled beet. Aren't the color patterns beautiful?
A peeled beet. Aren’t the color patterns beautiful?

How I prepared my beets, you will need:

Beets, peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch pieces.  I was serving two people and had 5 small beets.
2 Tbsps olive oil
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves (I used lemon-thyme), optional
Salt and pepper
2 Tbsps balsamic vinegar

A beet slice. The rings are so pretty.
A beet slice. The rings are so pretty.

Toss beet slices with olive oil, thyme leaves, salt and pepper.  I wanted to perk-up the flavor, so I added some lemon-thyme leaves that are still growing in my backyard.

Beets ready to have some fat and flavoring added before going into the oven.
Beets ready to have some fat and flavoring added before going into the oven.

When the beets were ready (about 25 minutes at 400 degrees, stirring twice), I splashed them with a little balsamic vinegar.  They were beautiful and delicious.

Roasted beets deepen in color.
Roasted beets deepen in color.

Do you like beets?  How do you serve them?

2 thoughts on “My New (Food) Bestie

  1. Like you, I had little exposure to beets while growing up. I think our mothers (in the South) only had access to the horrid jarred variety so they didn’t make it to the table very often, if ever. In later years, I discovered beet and goat cheese salads at various restaurants and it has become our “go to” when entertaining. We simply wrap the cleaned beets in aluminum foil and roast at 350 degrees until tender. They steam in the foil and are easy to peel once cooled. For a composed salad, we slice goat cheese into rounds and alternate with beets much like a Caprese. However, we usually just slice the beets and place on mixed Spring or micro greens and add pinches of goat cheese. A simple vinaigrette of orange or lemon juice, olive oil, and vinegar of choice is drizzled over the top. Candied pecans are a delicious accompaniment, but in a bind we have added roasted pistachios. Delicious!

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