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Beet recipes for a hater?

seconds Sep 21, 2008 08:59 AM

We got a couple beets in our CSA basket this week. I have never cooked beets, and have maybe eaten them once. My husband has declared that he does not like beets. Can anyone recommend a good recipe for beets to prepare for someone who does not like them?

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  1. grampart RE: seconds Sep 21, 2008 09:24 AM

    Harvard Beets

    2 cups raw beets, diced
    water, 3/4-inch deep in pan
    2 teaspoons cornstarch
    1/4 cup sugar
    1/4 cup beet juice, from beets (or water)
    2 tablespoons vinegar
    2 tablespoons butter
    Pare and dice raw beets.
    Cook in covered pan until tender.
    Mix cornstarch and sugar.
    Add liquid slowly, stirring into a smooth paste.
    Cook over low heat until slightly thickened.
    Add vinegar and butter.
    Stir to blend and pour over beets.

    1 Reply
    1. re: grampart
      Vetter RE: grampart Sep 21, 2008 09:33 AM

      I've heard people speak lovingly about that recipe, and please don't take this the wrong way, but BLECH. Just the smell of cooking beets puts me off. I've always thought the only way someone could get me to eat them would be raw. I'd recommend some kind of raw salad that sets off the sweetness with something punchy or acidic.

      They are gorgeous, though! I want to like them!

    2. carswell RE: seconds Sep 21, 2008 10:37 AM

      People who hate beets often associate them with canned pickled beets, so you might try other preparations.

      My favourite is the Italian way. Trim off the tops must 1/4 inch or so above the root. Rinse. Wrap all the beets together in a double-thickness of aluminum foil, crimping the edges together to seal tightly. Roast in a 400ºF oven until tender, 1-2 hours. Remove from the oven. When cool enough to handle, peel the beets (the skin will pull away) and slice into thin rounds or half rounds. Just before serving, dress with good-quality red wine vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper. Serve warm or room temperature. I especially like it after lamb dishes.

      Beets roasted as above can also be used in fancier salads. Try combining them with orange sections and watercress or lamb's lettuce -- or with walnuts and goat cheese -- in a sherry vinegar dressing.

      BTW, if the beet tops are in good shape, you can also use them for a salad. Separate the leaves from the stems. Drop the stems in boiling salted water, boil 5-7 minutes, then drop in the leaves. Cook until tender, 2-4 minutes. Drain well. Dress with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Or add to the beet salad described above.

      Borscht is another possibility.

      One of the Silver Palate books has a purée recipe that beet haters have been known to enjoy. As I recall, it calls for tart apples, onions and raspberry vinegar and comes out a shocking magenta pink. Good alongside sausages, pork and goose. Can probably track down the recipe if you're interested.

      2 Replies
      1. re: carswell
        mjpd RE: carswell Sep 21, 2008 11:02 AM

        I put them in a 375 oven for about 2 1/2 hours. Then peel, cut up into pieces and add them to a bowl with sliced onions, olive oil, vinegar and S&P. Fresh herbs too if I have them. Delicious!

        The gold ones are great too!

        1. re: carswell
          scubadoo97 RE: carswell Jun 29, 2011 08:39 PM

          I roast and when cooled use in interesting salads. They pair well with a lot of greens, citrus and cheeses.

        2. n
          nemo RE: seconds Sep 21, 2008 11:10 AM

          Seconds: Here's a link to a recent discussion about roasted beet salads that you might find helpful.


          I'm not a fan of Harvard beets nor pickled. Hot, I like them roasted with butter and S&P. Cold, I toss a few slices into any salad I'm having for lunch.

          The greens can be sauteed (in bacon fat if you use it).

          1. b
            bulavinaka RE: seconds Sep 21, 2008 11:10 AM

            I used to be firmly entrenched in the "I hate beets" camp until I saw a gentleman grilling them on a PBS cooking program 15 years ago. I can't remember his name (not Raichlen) but has a serious rep in the food industry and said that grilled beets were one of his favorite items off the grill - loaded with sugar with a nice caramelized surface. I picked up a few very nice beets at the produce market, sliced them to varying thicknesses (they unintentionally turned out this way out of my lowly skills), grilled them to varying levels of doneness, and I must say that I packed up my tent and left the "I hate beets" camp for good.

            I would suggest peeling (with a potato peeler) then slicing the beets on the thinner side - the thinner the better in this case - the somewhat pronounced taste of beets that turn off many will be muted this way. After slicing, brush with a simple marinade of olive oil, balsamic vinegar (the cheap stuff), salt, pepper, and some minced garlic, even a light dose of dried herbs (we like herbs de Provence). Set the slices on a medium hot grill and let them sit until each side is caramelized. The thinner ones (1/8") will obviously cook faster, but if you want, let them go beyond what you think will be done. They will somewhat dry out and be closer to a chip, where the sweetness shines and just a hint of the beet taste will show. I found these to be appetizing even to our kids who were also beetaphobes. They now eat grilled beets as well, thick or thin - of course, preferring the thin ones. A dab of creme fraiche, labne, plain yogurt, or sour cream is a nice touch as well...

            2 Replies
            1. re: bulavinaka
              scuzzo RE: bulavinaka Sep 21, 2008 11:23 AM

              Very nice! I'll have to grill me some beet slices.

              1. re: scuzzo
                bulavinaka RE: scuzzo Sep 21, 2008 01:12 PM

                If you're currently in the hater camp, slice 'em thin, and grill 'um good till they're crisp and caramelized on the outside...

                I started hating beets back in junior high school when the cafeteria had the nerve to serve up some canned ones in a salad. To compound things, my horticulture teacher had us plant a couple of rows of them as one of our projects. When those beets reached maturity, the fruits of my labor was four grocery bags full of de-stemmed beets that I had to lug home (two back-breaking round trips) by foot. My mom was gleaming with pride that I did so well and brought home this bounty (to her). She suggested distributing the surplus to neighbors to which I eagerly agreed. After spreading three bags of the wealth, I started for the fourth bag - my mom grabs my hand and said this bag was for our family - CRAP! I sulked through I don't know how many meals of beet-this or that for what seemed to be an eternity. This torture of a thousand beets built up a great aversion to beets for decades to follow. And that's why I figure that if this method will bring me to appreciate the strong asset of beets - its sweetness - then it will get just about anyone the like them. Hope it works for you - it did for me...

            2. f
              fluffernutter RE: seconds Sep 21, 2008 11:20 AM

              I am a beet hater -- it's just about the only food I won't eat. Well, that and soy flour, which ruins anything it touches. I once was seated next to Lynne Rosetto Kasper at a food writer dinner, and perhaps I'd had just slightly too much wine, but I told her how I was a beet hater, but I tried her recipe for balsamic roasted beets (in Great Food Without Fuss, about 1995, a compilation of food writers' recipes). Took about 1 1/2 hours to make the beets, and when they were ready to eat ... they tasted just like beets and I threw them out. Needless to say, we aren't pen pals. And I stopped drinking wine at professional gatherings.

              1. Sooeygun RE: seconds Sep 22, 2008 08:03 AM

                I only like beets done simply. Hate Harvard beets, pickled beets, etc (I agree that people may have been turned off beets by these recipes...I know my DH was and he now likes beets plainly cooked).

                I just boil them in plenty of water with the skins on until tender (can take a long time and you may need to add more water). Drain, slip the skins off (wear gloves!!). Cut into chunks, toss in a little butter and salt.

                1. jen kalb RE: seconds Sep 22, 2008 10:15 AM

                  I am a beet hater, but I really enjoyed beets made by the Georgian Bread bakery here in brooklyn. they were baked, chopped fine and mixed with coriander and other good stuff - delicious.

                  Havent tried to make this dish yet but here is one recipe. http://georgiantaste.blogspot.com/200...

                  1. d
                    dexters RE: seconds Sep 22, 2008 12:18 PM

                    I don't particularly like beets either. I've tried roasting them, steaming them, grilling them...none have suited me.

                    But since I get them nearly weekly in my veg box, I endeavored to find a method of cooking them that I did like (plus, I refused to believe there was vegetable that I truly did not like in any incarnation!).

                    I finally stumbled upon this recipe for Beet Roesti, by Mark Bittman. Perfection. I especially love that it doesn't require roasting the beets beforehand, so it can be made in about 15 minutes. I grate by hand on the large side of a box grater.


                    Try it. You'll like it. My kids really like it too.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: dexters
                      scuzzo RE: dexters Sep 22, 2008 12:44 PM

                      THAT recipe I will surely try! In fact, I'll bet that might be excellent cooked in the waffle baker!!! Maybe a pit of grated parm added in? I'm big on finding new ways to use my waffle baker, like my eggplant in the waffle baker.

                      1. re: dexters
                        bulavinaka RE: dexters Sep 22, 2008 12:54 PM

                        dexters, that recipe sounds wonderful and simple as well - always play an ingredient's strengths - beets are sweet as candy. Hey, scuzzo - great ideas for putting my lazy waffle iron to work! You need to post, "Great non-waffle recipes for the waffle iron."

                        1. re: bulavinaka
                          scuzzo RE: bulavinaka Sep 22, 2008 02:15 PM

                          Here' s the link to the eggplant waffle post...


                          1. re: scuzzo
                            bulavinaka RE: scuzzo Sep 22, 2008 02:30 PM

                            Great post and thread... I'm thinking about trying this w/ portabellos that I've first sauteed to get some of the moisture out first... I'll post on your thread w/ results.... Thanks again!

                            1. re: bulavinaka
                              scuzzo RE: bulavinaka Sep 22, 2008 02:52 PM

                              Cool, I'm anxious to try my shredded beet waffles. I'll post pics too.

                              1. re: scuzzo
                                scuzzo RE: scuzzo Sep 22, 2008 08:31 PM

                                Had a burst of energy and creativity tonight. Photo attached.

                                Finely grated one raw beet, added shredded Asiago, a tablespoon of flour, a teaspoon of fresh rosemary, some grated orange peel, chopped scallions, some garlic, salt and pepper. Baked in my waffle baker.

                                Grilled some chicken breast in a cast iron pan, deglazed with half an orange's worth of juice, a tablespoon of white wine vinegar, a knob of butter.

                                Assembled and thoroughly enjoyed!!!

                                I wished I'd backed off on the orange peel in the roesti-inspired waffle, as I used too much. I think just rosemary in the waffle and orange in the chicken sauce would have been better. But trust me, this was still really fun, good and creative!!!

                      2. Karl S RE: seconds Sep 22, 2008 12:57 PM

                        I too was firmly anti-beets, and anything like Harvard Beets or pickled beets (basically turning them into a nasty sweet-sour thing, let alone cold - beets get a nasty slickery texture cold) is precisely the wrong-approach for folks like me.

                        I roast them in foil. I only use golden beets, as they are just much easier to handle in peeling. Peel them, serve them up with butter and seasonings of your choice.

                        Tell your husband that roasted beets taste a helluva like corn on the cob. It's remarkable how true this is, and I am amazed hardly anyone comments on that fact. In fact, if ever want the flavor of fresh corn on the cob in the colder months of the year, roasted fresh beets are the way to go,.

                        1. s
                          smile81 RE: seconds Sep 22, 2008 01:44 PM

                          I've found that guests like this beet ravioli recipe... I use goat cheese instead of or mixed with ricotta, a little lemon peel and sometimes wonton wrappers for the pasta. its also beautiful

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: smile81
                            scuzzo RE: smile81 Sep 22, 2008 02:13 PM

                            Looks easy, and very cool looking!!!

                          2. 2
                            2chez mike RE: seconds Sep 22, 2008 03:29 PM

                            I like boiling them till just done. Then marinate and chill in a simple vinaigrette. Serve with crumpled bleu cheese on top.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: 2chez mike
                              bulavinaka RE: 2chez mike Sep 22, 2008 03:32 PM

                              I've always enjoyed blue/bleu cheese but have only recently become more serious about using it in recipes. Do you have any favorites, and if so, which do you prefer in your beet recipe? Thanks...

                              1. re: bulavinaka
                                2chez mike RE: bulavinaka Sep 22, 2008 04:02 PM

                                A nice creamy, sharp Gorgonzola or a Danish Bleu. Or authentic French Roquefort when I don't mind spending the extra $$$.

                                1. re: 2chez mike
                                  bulavinaka RE: 2chez mike Sep 22, 2008 04:30 PM

                                  Noted... Thank you!

                            2. foxy fairy RE: seconds Sep 23, 2008 09:48 AM

                              I am also a fan of beets with blue cheese (but I roast mine in foil, as above -- a double layer so everything doesn't turn purple). I brought this to Thanksgiving and everyone (many of whom detested beets previously) went crazy and called the hostess the next year and said, "Ask her to bring those beets again, please." I just dress with olive oil and a squeeze of lemon. Serve room temp. Sometimes I chop up some toasted pistachio too. These actually stole the show at Thanksgiving. The next year I did it again with crispy roasted brussels sprouts. Mmmmm. YAY for giving unpopular veggies a new name!

                              1. d
                                dct RE: seconds Sep 24, 2008 01:55 PM

                                I can choke them down to be polite, but I am not a fan of the cooked beet. The raw beet, however, is much easier to like. This salad is great is winter. I like to serveit as an antidote/side for fried chicken :)

                                The link: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: dct
                                  2chez mike RE: dct Sep 24, 2008 02:44 PM

                                  I've always loved beets but never thought of using them raw. I'll have to try that recipe. Perhaps even grating the beets, instead of slicing thin, and making into a slaw.

                                2. TheSnowpea RE: seconds Sep 24, 2008 05:26 PM

                                  I have a CSA basket too. Because I cannot be bothered to cook them, cuz they take forever, I scrub them and then grate them in a food pro.

                                  Then I add olive oil, a herbal vinegar (home-made tarragon vinegar, usually), salt, peper, and a pinch of cumin. Keeps for a few days, makes a nice side dish. Easy peasy.

                                  1. unturtlesoup RE: seconds Sep 30, 2009 01:00 PM

                                    We just got loads this week in our CSA box--and I have decided to revert to tried-and-true. We've had great success with this Beet Cutlet recipe adapted from Das Sreedharan's "Indian: Shortcuts to Success." He attributes this authentic savory beet preparation to a Mr. Kumar, proprietor a bakery in Kerala, South India.

                                    Beet Cutlets:
                                    vegetable oil, for frying
                                    1 tsp. mustard seed
                                    1-inch piece of ginger, peeled (I like to smash it into small chunks with the mortar and pestle)
                                    1 onion, peeled and finely sliced
                                    1 tsp. turmeric powder
                                    1 tsp. chili powder
                                    1 tsp. garam masala
                                    a few curry leaves (optional)
                                    1 cup cooked peeled, and finely diced beets (microwaved in a covered dish is just fine)
                                    2/3 cup cooked peeled and finely diced potato (ditto on the potatoes, if you don't have leftover)
                                    1/3 cup green peas
                                    1/2 cup milk
                                    3 cups panko crumbs or fine dry breadcrumbs

                                    1. To fry the spices, heat a few tsp. oil in a frying pan. Add mustard seeds, and when they start to pop, add curry leaves, ginger and onion, stirring for until onion is translucent but not brown. Then add turmeric, chili, and garam masala.
                                    2. Stir in beets, potatoes, peas; add about 1/2 cup water and a pinch of salt; stir until vegetables are just tender. Remove into a large shallow bowl.
                                    3. Divide the mixture into slightly rounded patties; Sreedharan suggests teardrop-shapes, which is too fancy for my blood.
                                    4. Dip each beet cutlet first into the milk, gently shaking off excess, then coat in panko or breadcrumbs.
                                    5. Heat vegetable oil in a large wok or frying pan. Add cutlets, in batches, to the oil and fry for 3-5 minutes each, until golden. Turn the cutlets frequently to ensure even cooking. When crisp and golden, drain onto kitchen towel.

                                    This recipe takes about an hour's time to prep. and cook, and it's a bit long on ingredients. Substitutions are forgiving (we once modified this with fresh coriander and coriander seed instead of the curry leaves and mustard seed.) The spicy, crunchy, sweet and savory flavours of this dish make it completely worthwhile. Can be eaten with some store-bought naan bread, a cucumber and onion salad, and a simple chutney to make a filling vegetarian meal.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: unturtlesoup
                                      blythe RE: unturtlesoup Jun 29, 2011 12:41 PM

                                      I keep looking for new recipes due to my farmer's market bag always being stuffed with them. We use the greens - clean them well, put them in a put with a little water to steam. Then S&P, and a little balsamic vinegar. You can add some sauteed garlic. For the beets - I like to either roast, boil, or grill them, then toss with a good amount of cherry balsamic vinegar. I bet they would be good if I tossed in some mint, parsley, basil, thyme or some other herb.

                                    2. ROCKLES RE: seconds Jun 29, 2011 01:48 PM

                                      I heard about this from a friend who said it was good. I know they make sugar from beets so maybe..... anyway worth a shot


                                      1. ursy_ten RE: seconds Jun 29, 2011 08:11 PM

                                        Google chocolate and beetroot cake.
                                        (There are a few recipes out there, and not having tried any of them yet, I was hesitant to link to any).

                                        1. sunshine842 RE: seconds Jun 30, 2011 01:29 AM

                                          Put beets in a paper bag.
                                          Take to neighbor's house (preferably one you don't like very much).
                                          Place bag on door step.
                                          Ring doorbell.
                                          Run like hell.

                                          Works every time!

                                          (another of the "will eat them to be socially correct when I really want to jump up and down shrieking ICKY ICKY BEETS like a four-year-old" camp)

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: sunshine842
                                            magiesmom RE: sunshine842 Jun 30, 2011 04:59 AM

                                            you can bring them to my house anytime :]

                                            1. re: magiesmom
                                              scubadoo97 RE: magiesmom Jun 30, 2011 05:19 AM

                                              Yeah, I was getting ready to post my address

                                          2. h
                                            Heatherb RE: seconds May 8, 2013 02:59 PM

                                            Roast the bejesus out of them, and serve over greens with goat cheese, walnuts and a light vinaigrette. HEAVEN.

                                            I have also had them in a risotto with butternut squash. It was beyond amazing. But I don't have the recipe :(

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: Heatherb
                                              nonyabizz RE: Heatherb May 8, 2013 06:35 PM

                                              Dang... Can't eat the cheese, and I try to avoid nuts... But the consensus is to roast the hell out of them, lol

                                              1. re: nonyabizz
                                                Heatherb RE: nonyabizz May 9, 2013 01:12 PM

                                                You can do a root vegetable roast with them too - turnips, rutabaga, parsnips, potatoes. Or just use a vinaigrette on the roasted beets, as someone mentions below. But they are wonderful roasted.

                                                I do have one friend who continues to hate them. She says they taste like dirt and sugar. :P

                                            2. c
                                              cheesemonger RE: seconds May 8, 2013 07:25 PM

                                              beet chips! I see some recs for grilled chips, but I slice them thin, toss then with some oil, and make them like homemade oven potato chips, a little more dehydrated this way.

                                              And I hated beets as a kid- mostly the awful canned slimy stuff. But beet chips are great.

                                              1. d
                                                Doreen RE: seconds May 9, 2013 09:03 AM

                                                Wash them and roast them in foil, as you would heads of garlic. Drizzle with oil & s&P. Roast at 359-375...depending on size 30-45 min and longer if necessary. I then dice or slice and serve as a salad with sherry vinegar and oil. To me they are the best this way.

                                                1. h
                                                  HillJ RE: seconds May 9, 2013 12:31 PM

                                                  Beet bread. Never actually met a beet hater but no one turns down homemade warmed beet bread smeared with thyme or sage butter!


                                                  1. l
                                                    lottobear RE: seconds May 9, 2013 01:22 PM

                                                    I realize this thread is from 2008 but since there is some recent activity:

                                                    I would roast them (preferably a mix of different beet colors and some of those tiny and thin carrots (dunno the english)) in the oven with crap loads of olive oil, garlic and balsamic vinegar, ending with thyme and feta cheese.

                                                    Together with chicken breasts, some greens and this tasty dip sauce for the chicken:

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: lottobear
                                                      nonyabizz RE: lottobear May 9, 2013 01:58 PM

                                                      It does appear that the only way to like beets (if you don't already) is to hide the flavor with butter, oil or cheese.

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