It’s warm and beautiful and famers’ markets are in full swing, overflowing with beautiful BEETS! I often associate beets with winter because they’re a root vegetable and I like to enjoy a hot bowl of borsht on a cold, frosty day. However, beets are best this time of year. They’re fresh out of the ground and local. In the summer I seem to up my intake of alcohol what with all the patio beers and white wine spritzers and that’s where beets come to the rescue. Apparently they’re very good for your liver! So if you’ve gone on a bender, get yourself a nice beet juice or use one of these simple and delicious recipes instead.
I love grated raw beets as a nice sweet, crunchy addition to any salad but I especially love roasted or boiled beets. It makes them even sweeter and more tender.
Let’s talk about boiled beets. There’s something about boiled beets that sounds so unappetizing. Maybe because it sounds like what my ancestors ate back in the old country when times were tough? Either way, they’re delicious and simple to make.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pinch of salt, beets and splash of vinegar or lemon juice to avoid bleeding. Turn down to a low boil and let simmer for 45 minutes to an hour. Run under cold water until they’re cool enough to handle. Peel.
I peeled my beets first. Apparently you’re not supposed to do this? I think it caused my beets to bleed more because the water was very red. In my opinion it didn’t change the flavour though but beets are a easier to peel once cooked, so maybe leave them on until after.
Now that you have your beautiful boiled and peeled beets, you can march to the beet of your own drum 😉 I sliced them into beautiful rounds and made an exquisite beet caprese salad.
Sliced boiled beets
Sliced good quality mozzarella (buffalo mozz is ideal!)
Cracked pepper and good flaky salt
Overlap the beets and the mozza, top with fresh basil, salt and pepper and drizzle with your favourite oil and vinegar. I used plain olive oil and a white pear balsamic. A drizzle of rosemary olive oil and honey would be amazing too. Switch it up with your favourite combo! I can’t tell you how delicious this is. It’s perfect if you’re throwing a dinner party because once you’ve boiled the beets all you have to do is cut and assemble. It looks like artwork on a plate.
Now let’s talk about roasted beets. There are a few way to roast beets. You can peel, cut and roast them in olive oil. This will give you more of a candied beet with a bit of a chewier texture. Or you can wrap them loosely in foil and roast them at 375 for 45 min-1 hour. According to the internet you should be able to gently rub off the skin with a paper towel but that was not my experience! I just used a potato peeler and it did the trick. I find roasted beets have an earthier, stronger taste.
Julia’s roasted beet, goat cheese and sunflower seed salad
Whole roasted beets, peeled and sliced
Lettuce of your choice (I used a red leaf lettuce from the farmer’s market. Mesclun, arugula, romaine, mixed greens or spinach would work well too. Any type of green!)
Sunflower seeds (or walnuts!)
1/4 cup avocado oil (you could use olive/grapeseed too)
1/4 white wine vinegar
squeeze of dijon
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp honey (or maple syrup)
salt and pepper
Wash and dry your lettuce and top with beets, nuts and crumbled goat cheese. In a small blender, whip up all the dressing ingredients. This helps get it all frothy and velvety. I often just shake my ingredients in a mason jar because it’s convenient, but blending a vinaigrette takes it to the next level! Dress your salad and enjoy! If you want to turn this salad into a heartier meal, add some grilled chicken or shrimp.
That’s it for today! Don’t beet yourself up if you haven’t had beets in a while. Go grab a bunch at your local farmers’ market and have some fun! Don’t be afraid to try out beautiful golden beets too if they’re available. All beets are good beets.