beets

Beet Tarte Tatin

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Every New Year’s Eve my brother and sister-in-law come over for the day, my cousins sleep over for a couple of days. We start our celebration early with a round of drinks and hors d’oeuvre. A few hours later we have another round of drinks and hors d’oeuvre.

No dinner.

We have dessert much later, near midnight. The anticipation of something sweet helps keep us up so we can watch the ball drop and then go to bed.

Some of the hors d’oeuvre I serve are fancy, some plain; some homemade, some from a package (like the Spring Valley or Hebrew National franks-in-blankets that everyone loves).

A while ago I read a blog post about Beet tarte tatins and was inspired to make some because they looked and sounded so appealing. I made up my own recipe, tried it a few times and decided that they would be perfect as one of the fancies at this year’s New Year get-together.

I wrote down whose blog it was, so I could credit her with the inspiration, but I can’t find the paper and forgot the name.

But — to that wonderfully creative person who alerted me to beet tarte tatin —- thank you.

Here’s my recipe.

Beet Tarte Tatins

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 large beet (8-10 ounces)

  • 2 small chopped shallots or 1/3 cup chopped red onion

  • 1 teaspoon Mirin (rice vinegar)

  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon crushed, dried rosemary (or 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary)

  • salt to taste

  • 1/2 pound puff pastry

  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh orange peel

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Use a small amount of the olive oil to brush the insides of 6 muffin tins. Peel the beet and cut it into thin slices, then cut the slice to make them small enough to fit inside the muffin tins. Place the cut beet slices in a bowl. Add the shallots and toss the ingredients. In another small bowl, whisk together the remaining olive oil, Mirin and brown sugar and pour the dressing over the beet mixture. Sprinkle with the rosemary and salt and spoon equal amounts of the beet mixture inside the muffin tins. Cover the filled tins with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the tin from the oven. Raise the oven heat to 400 degrees. Cut out 6 circles from the puff pastry to cover the top of the muffin tins. Place over the beets. Bake for another 20 minutes or until the pastry is puffed and golden brown. Carefully spoon each beet mixture from the bottom and turn it over onto a dish so that the pastry is at the bottom. Spoon any remaining beets that do not come up and place them on the tarte tatins. Garnish with the orange peel and serve (may be served hot or at room temperature).

Makes 6

Gorgeous Blood Oranges! Get them while you can!

Once upon a time fruits and vegetables such as strawberries or asparagus were nowhere to be seen except after March sometime. Peaches and melons only in the summer. Apples and sweet potatoes in the autumn. But in recent years we've become accustomed to buying almost every item of produce whenever we want it. 

With some exceptions.

Blood oranges for example. They're available at the moment, but only until March or May, depending on the variety.

Blood oranges taste more or less like regular oranges, except they aren't as sweet and they're less acidic. They cost more than regular oranges, so you might wonder whether and why they are worth buying.

I guess it's because the flesh is so beautiful. The ruby-ish color looks so fabulous when you mix it with other vibrantly colored ingredients like bright green lettuce leaves or white coconut. Or roasted beets. Like in this dish, which pairs especially well with grilled or roasted salmon or Arctic char:

Roasted Beets with Blood Orange

  • 2 medium beets
  • 1 blood orange
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
  • salt to taste

 

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Scrub the beets, trim the tip and stem ends, wrap the beets in aluminum foil and roast for 45 minutes or until tender. Let cool, peel and dice. Set the beets aside. Slice the blood orange and trim the peel from the slices. Cut the slices into smaller pieces. Heat the butter and vegetable oil in a saute pan over medium heat. When the butter has melted and looks foamy, add the beets, blood orange, mint, orange peel and salt to taste. Cook, stirring often, for 2-3 minutes or until ingredients are nicely distributed and hot.

Makes 4 servings

 

Beet Salad with Orange, Mint and Lime

I sure do roast a lot of beets. That’s really something coming from a woman who grew up on DelMonte canned vegetables (and even after my Mom switched to frozen, she still used beets from the can).  Actually, good canned beets are fine in a pinch. One of those keep-it-on-hand-just-in-case items, like frozen peas and peanut butter.  But roasted fresh beets are better. Roasting brings out the natural sugars, making this already sweet vegetable even sweeter. Besides, when you buy fresh beets you also get the greens, which I cook separately (stir-fried in olive oil with salt and raisins).  Last week I mentioned that may family loves  beet salad  and that I would be making  this recipe  for our Father’s Day get-together. And I did indeed make a beet salad, but I made this version rather than that one because the mint that I planted a few weeks ago finally is thriving and I wanted to use some.  It got great reviews.   Beet Salad with Orange, Mint and Lime   3 large beets  2 tablespoons vegetable oil  2 tablespoons lime juice  1 tablespoon white wine vinegar  1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint  2 teaspoons grated fresh orange peel  salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste     Trim the beets, cutting away the greens, if any, and discarding any hard, fibrous parts of the stem. Wash and drain the greens and use them for other purposes. Scrub the beets, wrap them in aluminum foil and roast for 50-60 minutes or until they are tender. Peel the beets when they are cool enough to handle. Cut the beets into bite size pieces and place in a bowl. Add the vegetable oil, lime juice, wine vinegar, mint and orange peel and toss to distribute the ingredients evenly. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let rest for 10-15 minutes before serving.  Makes 4-6 servings

I sure do roast a lot of beets. That’s really something coming from a woman who grew up on DelMonte canned vegetables (and even after my Mom switched to frozen, she still used beets from the can).

Actually, good canned beets are fine in a pinch. One of those keep-it-on-hand-just-in-case items, like frozen peas and peanut butter.

But roasted fresh beets are better. Roasting brings out the natural sugars, making this already sweet vegetable even sweeter. Besides, when you buy fresh beets you also get the greens, which I cook separately (stir-fried in olive oil with salt and raisins).

Last week I mentioned that may family loves beet salad and that I would be making this recipe for our Father’s Day get-together. And I did indeed make a beet salad, but I made this version rather than that one because the mint that I planted a few weeks ago finally is thriving and I wanted to use some.

It got great reviews.

Beet Salad with Orange, Mint and Lime

3 large beets

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint

2 teaspoons grated fresh orange peel

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

 

Trim the beets, cutting away the greens, if any, and discarding any hard, fibrous parts of the stem. Wash and drain the greens and use them for other purposes. Scrub the beets, wrap them in aluminum foil and roast for 50-60 minutes or until they are tender. Peel the beets when they are cool enough to handle. Cut the beets into bite size pieces and place in a bowl. Add the vegetable oil, lime juice, wine vinegar, mint and orange peel and toss to distribute the ingredients evenly. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let rest for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Makes 4-6 servings

Borscht with Cumin and Crumbs

Kids are often fussy eaters. So you know you’ve cooked something really good when the little ones like it.

Here’s my grandson sipping up soup. Borscht to be exact. I’ve been experimenting with different versions. A few days ago I posted one for Borscht with Orange and Mint. But this one’s equally delicious. I have to confess the idea for this version came from a sample of Beet Borscht I tasted at Per Se, that fabulous, fabulous food heaven in New York. No, this recipe is not up to Thomas Keller’s restaurant standards.

But it is good and will do! 

Borscht with Cumin and Crumbs

  • 3 large or 4-5 medium beets
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tart apple, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup cream, coconut milk or soy milk, optional
  • 2 slices rye bread with caraway seeds

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Scrub the beets, wrap them in aluminum foil and roast for about an hour, or until the beets are tender. When the beets are cool enough to handle, remove the skins. Chop the beets and set them aside. Reserve any natural liquids that have accumulated. Heat the olive oil and butter in a soup pot or large saucepan over medium heat. When the butter has melted and looks foamy, add the onion, apple, garlic and ginger and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the ingredients have softened. Add the beets (plus any accumulated juices), cumin, salt and pepper and stir. Pour in the water. Bring the soup to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes. Puree the soup with a hand blender or in a food processor or blender. Return the soup to the pan to heat through. For a creamier, thinner soup, add the cream. Toast the bread slices. Chop or hand crumble the bread into the soup as a garnish.

Makes 4-6 servings

Borscht with Orange and Mint

Love soup. Love beets.  So what could be better than beet soup?  I don’t mean the stuff in the big bottles. I have to confess — I have been aware of it all my life but I’ve NEVER actually tasted it. It might be fine. Even good. But I like to cook my own stuff and beet soup is really easy. And tasty. And when it’s homemade I can add all sorts of flavoring.  So yesterday I made beet soup with orange and mint.  It was really good. Here’s the recipe.   Borscht with Orange and Mint   3 large or 4-5 medium beets  2 tablespoons olive oil  1 tablespoon butter or margarine  1 medium onion, chopped  1 tart apple, peeled, cored and chopped  2 cloves garlic, chopped  1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger  2 tablespoons grated fresh orange peel  2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint  salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste  4 cups water  1 cup cream, coconut milk or soy milk, optional  Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Scrub the beets, wrap them in aluminum foil and roast for about an hour, or until the beets are tender. When the beets are cool enough to handle, remove the skins. Chop the beets and set them aside. Reserve any natural liquids that have accumulated. Heat the olive oil and butter in a soup pot or large saucepan over medium heat. When the butter has melted and looks foamy, add the onion, apple, garlic and ginger and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the ingredients have softened. Add the beets (plus any accumulated juices), orange peel, mint, salt and pepper and stir. Pour in the water. Bring the soup to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes. Puree the soup with a hand blender or in a food processor or blender. Return the soup to the pan to heat through. For a creamier, thinner soup, add the cream. Makes 4-6 servings

Love soup. Love beets.

So what could be better than beet soup?

I don’t mean the stuff in the big bottles. I have to confess — I have been aware of it all my life but I’ve NEVER actually tasted it. It might be fine. Even good. But I like to cook my own stuff and beet soup is really easy. And tasty. And when it’s homemade I can add all sorts of flavoring.

So yesterday I made beet soup with orange and mint.

It was really good. Here’s the recipe.

Borscht with Orange and Mint

3 large or 4-5 medium beets

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon butter or margarine

1 medium onion, chopped

1 tart apple, peeled, cored and chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger

2 tablespoons grated fresh orange peel

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

4 cups water

1 cup cream, coconut milk or soy milk, optional

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Scrub the beets, wrap them in aluminum foil and roast for about an hour, or until the beets are tender. When the beets are cool enough to handle, remove the skins. Chop the beets and set them aside. Reserve any natural liquids that have accumulated. Heat the olive oil and butter in a soup pot or large saucepan over medium heat. When the butter has melted and looks foamy, add the onion, apple, garlic and ginger and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the ingredients have softened. Add the beets (plus any accumulated juices), orange peel, mint, salt and pepper and stir. Pour in the water. Bring the soup to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes. Puree the soup with a hand blender or in a food processor or blender. Return the soup to the pan to heat through. For a creamier, thinner soup, add the cream. Makes 4-6 servings

Roasted Beet Salad

Recipe for Roasted Beet Salad  When I was a youngster, I thought beets only came in a can. They were either whole, sliced or diced and they were a great relief from the usual diced carrots and peas (also from a can).  In the 1950s canned food was the great liberating thing for women — who could make dinner quickly by just opening …. a can of something to go with whatever meat they were making.  Cooking real, fresh beets does take more time than opening a can. But roasted beets are so sweet it’s worth it. All you have to do really is wash them off, wrap them in foil and put them in the oven.  Yesterday I roasted beets and made a salad out of them. Thanks to my new herb garden, I was able to include fresh mint and dill, just snipped from a few steps away from my kitchen. Here’s the recipe:   Roasted Beet Salad:   1 bunch beets (12-16 ounces), trimmed  2 tablespoons chopped red onion or 2-3 scallions, chopped  3 tablespoons olive oil  1 tablespoon red wine vinegar  1 tablespoon lemon juice  2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill  2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint.  Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Scrub the beets and wrap them tightly in aluminum foil. Roast until tender, about 45-75 minutes, depending on size. Unwrap the beets and when they are cool enough to handle, peel them. Cut the beets into bite size pieces. Place the beet chunks in a bowl. Add the onion, olive oil, wine vinegar, lemon juice, dill and mint. Toss ingredients. Let rest for 15 minutes before servings. Serve at room temperature. Makes 4-6 servings

Recipe for Roasted Beet Salad

When I was a youngster, I thought beets only came in a can. They were either whole, sliced or diced and they were a great relief from the usual diced carrots and peas (also from a can).

In the 1950s canned food was the great liberating thing for women — who could make dinner quickly by just opening …. a can of something to go with whatever meat they were making.

Cooking real, fresh beets does take more time than opening a can. But roasted beets are so sweet it’s worth it. All you have to do really is wash them off, wrap them in foil and put them in the oven.

Yesterday I roasted beets and made a salad out of them. Thanks to my new herb garden, I was able to include fresh mint and dill, just snipped from a few steps away from my kitchen. Here’s the recipe:

Roasted Beet Salad:

1 bunch beets (12-16 ounces), trimmed

2 tablespoons chopped red onion or 2-3 scallions, chopped

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Scrub the beets and wrap them tightly in aluminum foil. Roast until tender, about 45-75 minutes, depending on size. Unwrap the beets and when they are cool enough to handle, peel them. Cut the beets into bite size pieces. Place the beet chunks in a bowl. Add the onion, olive oil, wine vinegar, lemon juice, dill and mint. Toss ingredients. Let rest for 15 minutes before servings. Serve at room temperature. Makes 4-6 servings