Cooking with Beets (+5 Ways to Enjoy Them) July 29, 2020

by Jade Farhat Eat

Turn up the beet – it’s beet season! They’re surprisingly simple to work with, incredibly versatile, and really nutritious. We’re sharing our top tips for cooking with beets and 5 recipes to enjoy them in. 

Summer is full of delicious produce like corn, peas, cucumber, tomatoes – and BEETS! Beets are often pushed aside because of the bounties of delicious summer produce available in Canada. However we’re here to say; beets are beautiful, delicious, and should be on your dinnertime menu.

Beets are surprisingly easy to work with, incredibly versatile, and super nutritious. Plus, they’re known to ease inflammation and cleanse the liver. What can’t beets do!? They boast the highest sugar content of any vegetable and, believe it or not, were even considered an aphrodisiac in Roman times.

Two Ways to Cook Beetroot

Roasting Beets

Simply wash the roots (with skin intact) before wrapping them individually in foil and placing them on a baking sheet. Roast at 400ºF until easily pierced with a fork, 45 minutes to an hour. Once cool, peel away the skin.

Boiling Beets

Bring a large pot of water to boil. While you’re waiting, wash the roots (with skin intact) and prepare a bowl of ice water. Once the water boils, add the beets. (Tip: If you’re working with different coloured beetroot, boil them in separate pots otherwise they’ll discolour!) Boil until the skin can easily be removed, 25-30 minutes. Remove beets from boiling water and immediately submerge in ice water. Dry and peel away the skin.

Now comes the fun part! We hope you’re hungry (and not wearing a white shirt). Here are some fun ways to use beets!

Bountiful Grain Bowl

Grain bowls are just wholesome, (often plant-based) meals combining greens, raw or roasted veggies, beans, and good-for-you grains. And the best part is that they’re perfect for feeding a crowd. Prep all your toppings in advance, set them out salad bar-style, and let everyone have fun building their own bowl.

Step 1: Pick a grain of your choice as a base. Quinoa, farro, brown rice, freekeh – the opportunities are endless. (Well not exactly endless, but you get the point.)

Step 2: Load on the toppings! We’re talking a gooey fried or hard-boiled egg, sautéed kale or spinach, roasted sweet potato, sliced avocado, nuts, and – of course – sliced pickled or roasted beets.

Beet and Goat Cheese Tart

A tart for dinner? You better believe it. This beauty combines the flaky, buttery puff pasty we practically drool over come dessert with creamy goat cheese and bold rosemary. We’d say it’s the perfect side dish or appetizer, but let’s be honest: no one will want to share.

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • Puff pastry, thawed
  • 350g crumbled goat cheese
  • 4 cooked beets (2 red and 2 golden)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Rosemary sprigs, picked

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180ºC. Crack egg into a small bowl and whisk to create an egg wash.
  2. Place puff pastry on baking sheet and brush with egg wash.
  3. Sprinkle half the goat cheese over puff pastry. Add sliced beets, alternating between a row of red and a row of golden.
  4. Season with salt and pepper, top with remaining crumbled goat cheese, and sprinkle with rosemary.
  5. Bake until cheese is melted and pastry is golden brown, 25-30 minutes.

 

Pickled Beets

You know when pickled vegetables taste so, well, vinegary? Beets are not one of those. The apple cider vinegar complements their natural sweetness for a result that’ll have you begging for more.

Ingredients

  • 7 medium red beets, roasted and sliced
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • Coarse sea salt

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine sliced beets, vinegar, sugar, and a large pinch of salt. Set aside to marinate 30-45 minutes. Voila! You’re done.

Beetroot Chips

You know how a really good movie snack is sweet and savoury? These crispy chips are the perfect maelstrom of the two.

Ingredients

  • 5 medium beetroot, peeled
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Coarse sea salt

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 180ºC and line 2-3 (depending on size) baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Use a mandolin to thinly slice beets.
  • Toss with olive oil and arrange slices in a single layer on baking sheet.
  • Bake until crisp, about 30 minutes.
  • Let cool, then sprinkle with coarse sea salt.

 

Beetroot Brownies

What, you thought we weren’t going to offer you dessert? Don’t worry – beetroot’s unique sweetness means it can lend it’s nutritious benefits to sweet treats. Like this amazing brownie!

Ingredients

  • 230g butter (half for icing and half for brownies)
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp beet purée*
  • Splash of milk
  • 3-4 medium cooked beets
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup self raising flour

*To make beat purée: simply blend cooked beets in a food processor or blender, adding a little water if need be to form a smooth paste.

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. Line baking tin with butter. Cut remaining butter into cubes, and place in a food processor with beets, chocolate, and vanilla extract. Blend until smooth.
  3. Crack eggs into large bowl. Add sugar and beat with electronic mixer until thick, about 2-3 minutes. Incorporate beet mixture into whipped eggs. Gradually sift in flour and cocoa powder, folding until it reaches a smooth consistency.
  4. Transfer mixture to tin. Bake 28-30 minutes, until a wooden skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  5. To make the icing, beat butter with electronic mixer while gradually adding sugar. Mix in beet puree, and add milk until it reaches a spreadable consistency.
  6. Let brownies cool completely (about 30-45 minutes) before icing. Cut into squares and dig in!

 

Now you’re all set for a beetroot themed cooking day! If you want to add some more delicious veggies to that day, here are 5 ways to eat corn this summer!

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