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Beets for the non-beetie? Need recipe help...

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I am part of a Community Supported Agriculture group and have been getting tons of beets. I am trying to introduce my non-beet SO to beets in a very gentle manner. He claims he doesn't like them, but actually had never even tried them. I just beets at a restaurant in a salad (beautifully and sparingly prepared, with orange pieces, almonds ,etc...) and he enjoyed them in that. Here's my request...
Anyone have reccommendations for preparing them at home where they would be a nice, but subtle part of a meal that could convince a non-beet eating person to just how wonderful they can be?

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  1. The salad route is a good way to go. I've got some beets from the farmer's market that are going to get roasted and served with goat cheese and candied pecans on a bed of baby arugula. The sweet earthiness of the beets really complements the bitter greens and the creamy chevre.

    1. It's "tyranny of distance" thing... but what exactly do you mean by "beets".. here in OZ, beets are beetroot. If you're talking beetroot, I gotts 101 recipes.

      1. I love all vegetables...except beets. I've had them many times--I still keep trying them in better restaurants, since I've always been convinced when someone doesn't like a vegetable, they just haven't had it prepared properly. But beets licked me-no matter how I had them, they still tasted like dirt.

        That is, until I tried them pickled. I love anything pickled and the pickling took out the "dirt-y" taste of the beet. So if you find yourself really stuck, you might try pickling them. Then even if your SO still hates them, they are preserved for a while.

        2 Replies
        1. re: christy319

          LOL - Beets were one of the 2 foods I refused to eat from childhood - to me they tasted like fresh turned earth (moist black dirt). But I kept trying them periodically and a few years ago my SO ordered them somewhere and I had a taste and fell in love with them for the first time. I was captivated by their taste of - fresh turned earth. Go figure - just shows it pays to keep trying things from time to time.

          1. re: queenie

            Very funny. That is what I expected would happen to me sometime-it did with cauliflower, which I'd never liked.

        2. 1. roast them with other root vegetables -
          2. include them in curries -
          3. 1/4 slices, olive oil, salt and pepper and grill them -

          1 Reply
          1. re: howchow

            i had a fantastic root vegetable hash one time where beets were very subtle, but so delicious. It had potatoes, sweet potatoes, beets, carrots, and i think cauliflower, even though its not a root vegetable. Everything was chopped quite small so that all of the flavor mixed nicely.

          2. boil or roast, peel and slice, toss with a homemade vinegarette (i like to use red wine vinegar), shaved feta, sliced red onion and chopped flat parsley. the longer it's in the fridge, the better it'll get.

            it's yummy on almost everything - in a falafel, on toast, in salad, sandwiches, as a side dish with red meat... i guarantee he'll like beets after he tries it! cuts the sweetness.

            1. I agree with the above suggestions, but my "gateway to beets" (also a response to a multitude of them coming from the CSA) was beet chips. Slice as thin as possible on a mandoline and deep fry until crisp in 350 degree oil. They're really good. Then move on to thin slices in salad, roasted in foil in the oven or grill and then peeled, sliced, and quick-pickled with rice vinegar and dill. Despite initial aversions similar to your husband's, we're beet converts now!

              2 Replies
              1. re: 2m8ohed

                the chips sound great - how long do you think you need to fry them for and how do they keep?

                1. re: howchow

                  Sorry not to be very exact - I hesitate to give you a time because it depends on how thin you slice them, what kind(s) of beets you use, and how steady your oil temp is. When I made them last weekend using fresh Chioggia beets (with the bulls-eye pattern) in canola oil in an deep-fryer with an electronic thermostat set at 350, they only took a couple of minutes. The red beets I had cooked faster than the Chioggias.

                  After a couple minutes the slices begin to look like potato chips and you can pull one out to check if it's crispy. If you slice them too thick they won't get crisp. I drained them on paper towels and they were mostly eaten on the first day (even by my very skeptical kids, who won't touch beets any other way), but I just stored the leftovers in a ziploc bag for a couple of days. By the way, a while ago I tried a different version found on Epicurious that involved dusting them with cornstarch before frying. The "naked" ones are better, in my opinion.

              2. The only way anyone in my family (other than me) will eat beets is raw and grated on salads. If I roast them, the family complains of the "stench" and leaves the house.

                1 Reply
                1. re: pikawicca

                  Roast(grill) them till knife tip enters easily then add e,v.o.,salt and pepper. If I have extra I cover with olive oil and a splash of vinegar (your choice,I prefer wine or balsamic) s&p,rosemary or oregano a little garlic put in a covered container or jar.Now the beetgreens cut and prepared like chard...........both with good crusty or day old( in a paper bag) toasted bread

                2. Make a terrine - layer goat cheese, roasted beets, another layer of goat cheese, sauteed or roasted leeks another layer of goat cheese. Press down (maybe overnight in the fridge). Slice onto a plate, drizzle with vinaigrette. It looks like a stained glass window! You can do 2 layers of beets instead of the leeks, or asparagus, one layer of golden beets, one of regular, etc.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: leek

                    Cold roasted beets are really good with pungent cheese such as blue, goat, or feta, plus orange or lemon peel, plus toasted walnuts, plus mint. Um, maybe not all at once. The mint is really unexpected but livens it up.

                    As for hot beets, yes, they do reek.

                    And for a really improbable recipe, make beet jam. Roast the dark red beets and peel, then puree or mash really well with some OJ, then cook down in nonreactive pan til thick. Add sugar to taste and cook a little longer. No, really, I swear. No one will be able to figure out what kind of 'berry' you used.

                  2. I have always--I do mean always--liked beets. Mike always said he didn't like them. We've been getting beets every week in our CSA box. I've been peeling them, cutting them into chunks, tossing them with olive oil and a little salt, and roasting them in a moderate oven for about 45 minutes. Mike loves them cooked this way.

                    1. Me again, with another idea. I don't think this one will convert a non-beet-lover, because you really can't taste the beets, but it's so good - much better than you would expect! And it uses up a lot of beets. The original recipe, for a cake, appeared in the newsletters for 2 CSAs I've subscribed to (Mariquita and Live Earth Farms) but I fiddled with it, blending all the wet ingredients in the blender (I find it makes it easier to puree the beets) and adding melted dark chocolate. The beets should be cooked till tender with any method you prefer. Mine were roasted.

                      Chocolate Beet Cupcakes

                      Ingredients:
                      A bunch of cooked beets (I used about 6 medium, yellow and red. The recipe calls for 1 1/4 c beet puree but I think I had quite a bit more.)
                      3 eggs
                      1 1/2 cups sugar
                      1/2 cup vegetable oil
                      1 tsp. vanilla
                      about 8 oz dark chocolate (I used the 70% cocoa type), melted
                      1/2 tsp. salt
                      1 1/2 cups unbleached white flour
                      3/4 cup cocoa powder
                      1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

                      Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake cups. (I got about 21 out of this recipe)

                      Whirl the eggs, sugar, oil, vanilla, salt, beets, and melted chocolate in a blender until smooth. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients a little at a time, whisking until smooth.

                      Spoon into cupcake cups (about 2/3 full) and bake for about 25 minutes.

                      I just enjoyed one warm from the oven with some cream cheese frosting left from a carrot cake a friend brought last weekend. Really good. Very dark and moist with a dense crumb. No one will believe there are beets in them.