turnips and beets
My favorite thing to do with them is also just about the simplest. I wash them, stem them, split them, and throw them into a pan with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast them at whatever temperature your other food's cooking at (350's good). Then you can treat the tops like spinach. I like to wilt them and dress them with olive oil, salt and pepper (hmmmm, do you detect a theme here?), and maybe rub the bowl with raw garlic.
Roasted Beet Salad
This is a delightful salad with a medley of flavors. Roasted beets provide an earthy flavor. The apples and jicama add their own flavors and crunchy textures. The oranges give a sweet, tangy taste, offset by the slight sharpness of the Feta cheese. The combined flavors are all enhanced by the addition of lime juice, balsamic vinegar, olive oil and candied nuts. Makes about 4-5 servings.
2 medium to large size beets, stems and greens removed
2 small to medium oranges, peeled and cut into small wedges
1 cup jicama, peeled and coarsely diced
1 medium to large apple, peeled and coarsely diced
½ cup Feta cheese, coarsely chopped
Juice of ½ lime
1 Tbsp. Balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup + 1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup walnut or pecan pieces
Corn starch or tapioca starch
Preheat oven to 300º F. Spread the nuts in a shallow baking pan and place them in the oven for 5 minutes. Meanwhile combine 1/4 cup water, 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 cup sugar in a sauce pan. Over medium heat, heat the sauce pan contents to a simmer until the salt and sugar are dissolved and the liquid begins to thicken. Remove the nuts from the oven and put them into the sauce pan, stirring just until they are all well coated. Remove the nuts from the liquid and place them back on the baking pan. sprinkle the starch over the nuts and stir them around until they are LIGHTLY coated. Put them back into the oven for another 5 minutes. Remove and let them cool.
Preheat oven to 400º F. Wrap each beet in aluminum foil. Place them in a shallow pan and bake for 45 minutes, or until the beets are tender. When beets are done roasting, remove from oven and let them cool. Then remove them from the foil. Peel the beets and cut them into small wedges.
In a cup or small bowl, mix together the lime juice, balsamic vinegar, olive oil and 1 tsp. sugar for the dressing. In a salad bowl, toss the other salad ingredients and add the dressing.
(Next time I make this I plan to add about a teaspoon of fresh minced ginger.)
Normally I like roasting turnips and beets, but it seems too hot to turn on the oven in my neck of the woods.
If it is too hot, lately I've been dicing up turnips and throwing them in soups and Indian curries. In fact, just did it last night with a beef curry!
For the beets, if you do pickle them, throw a couple of peeled hard-boiled eggs in the mix. They'll end up awfully purty :)
Beet Poppy Pasta:
Grate/shred 4 medium or 4 small beets and sautee in butter for about 10 minutes covered. Add toasted poppy seeds and a splash of balsamic and toss with pasta.
Beet Roesti with Rosemary
Mark Bittman (paraphrased)
Makes 4 to 6 servings
• 1 to 1 1/2 pounds beets
• 1 teaspoon coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1/4 cup flour
• 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
• Minced parsley or a few rosemary leaves for garnish
Trim and peel the beets; grate them (goes much faster in a food processor) Preheat a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat.
Toss the grated beets with rosemary, salt, and pepper. Add about half the flour; toss well, add the rest of the flour, then toss again.
Place the butter in the skillet and heat until it begins to turn nut-brown. Pat the beet mixture into the skillet, and press it down with a spatula to form a round that just about fills the pan. With the heat at medium to medium-high—the pancake should be gently sizzling—cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until the bottom of the beet cake is nicely crisp, about 20 minutes.
Slide the cake out onto a plate, top with another plate, invert the two plates, and return the cake to the pan. Continue to cook, until the second side is browned, another 15 minutes or so. Garnish, cut into wedges, and serve hot or at room temperature.
GREAT summer beet salad:
-Roast beets, then peel & slice.
-Combine in bowl (at last minute so everything doesn't turn pink): beet slices, orange/grapefruit supremes, mint/basil, goat cheese
-I topped with an orange oregano vinaigrette, but even just squeezing the orange rinds from the supremes over the salad would be good. Little dressing needed.
If you make the salad, make sure you use the turnip and beet greens for something. They are really delicious. I usually sautee turnips in a pan with their greens, some bacon or pancetta, shallots and garlic, and deglaze with balsamic vinegar.
Beet risotto is also really good, but it is more of a fall thing when you get the large beets. You grate the beets and add it after the first addition of broth. It comes out with a beautiful deep color.
I make a beet pasta too, it's basically melted butter with beets chopped into it, cooked over low heat until tender and then tossed over egg noodles with poppy seeds, liberal amount of grated parmesan cheese, sea salt and fresh ground pepper. It's good hot or room temp.
Turnips are good in frittatas. I recently had to get rid of a lot of beet greens, made a frittata with garlic and the greens finely chopped and I decided to add a couple diced turnips that I had in the back of the fridge. It was surprisingly delicious.
I also think turnips are good sauteed w/ onion or garlic, some pine nuts and add finely chopped mint at the last minute.