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Ideas needed: beets for someone who hates beets

I bought a bunch of beets with plans to roast them and serve them simply seasoned...olive oil, salt, and maybe pepper. Buuut then I found out that my husband tried them once and hated them. Any suggestions for husband's-mind-changing ways to incorporate these into the menu?

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  1. I know this combo is trite at this point, but I'd make a salad with goat cheese and a balsamic dressing.
    Also quick pickle them.

    1 Reply
    1. re: monavano

      it's still good! I am not the world's biggest beet fan, but like them with goat cheese. Something sour really helps I think.
      And candied walnuts *never* hurts.

    2. Was your husband's unhappy experience with plain, cooked beets, or with pickled beets? If he's only tried one of these, perhaps he might like the other.

      And then there's the UK ways with beetroot, as they call it: http://www.lovebeetroot.co.uk/recipes...

      1 Reply
      1. re: mcsheridan

        Absolutely agree with this. I hated beetroot since it was part of my compulsory school meals, aged five (five!!) when pickled beetroot was served every Monday and we had to eat it. I never tried it again till about four years ago when I had it raw in a salad. A revelation! Now I often make a beetroot and carrot salad with a citrus dressing. It also does make a chocolate cake really moist, without making it in any way taste of beetroot.
        One thing however, I only use small beetroots as they get a bit woody when larger. We grow them, something my five year old self would be horrified to find out! And I still can't even think about eating pickled beetroot.

      2. Hate is a powerful word. Did he eat the canned variety? My guess is he didn't like them all that much, but hate? I doubt it. I agree a nice salad of mixed greens and peppery arugala and some goat cheese and radishes cukes and tomatoes might take the edge off. I love a great beet salad.

        My husband hated fish when we met many years ago. He is now a seafood junkie.

        I don't have a recipe, but once had an amazing beet risotto.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Bellachefa

          Plus 1 on the risotto. It looks spectacular and tastes great. Fine on its own, dotted with feta or goat's cheese, or as a side to cold meats.

          I peel, dice, and simmer (30 minutes, in not too much chicken or veg stock) beets, and use the resulting red potful to make a simple risotto.

          Something similar:

          http://realfood.tesco.com/recipes/bee...

          Errrr....When you next visit the bathroom you might think you have suffered kidney failure!

        2. DH didn't like beets too much, but I started roasting gorgeous golden beets, and now he loves them.

          1. I think you should roast them as planned, and see what he thinks. A shot of balsamic vinegar would perhaps lighten the earthiness that some people object to. And, I know that roasting brings out a wonderful sweetness that he may not have tried. You may change his mind, and if not, you can try pickling the leftovers for a 2nd try. I love cold beet soup, made with some potatoes, onions, garlic, broth, then pureed and swirled with some sour cream. Delicious hot or cold. And, if you have nice greens on your beets, steam them and serve like spinach.

            1. I was also going to suggest golden beets over the red ones in the future.

              Other rec would be to slice very very thin and bake or even shallow-fry until crispy, a la beet "chips." Some people are put off by texture. You can season with whatever you'd like.

              1 Reply
              1. re: nothingswrong

                Beet chips are delicious, especially when fried (as opposed to baked). Here's a recipe:
                http://localfoods.about.com/od/spring...
                It's not a bad idea to dredge them in flour beforehand - this dries them out a bit so they end up crispier. Like the best ones in a bag of Terra Chips, but even better.

              2. As someone on CH once wrote, beets (to me) taste like basement.
                I have tried roasted and pickled, neither of which I liked. Last year I had success. I bought fresh red beets because they looked so nice. I peeled, diced, then braised them the same way I would with any dark, leafy greens: sweated onion, garlic, etc. Perhaps in bacon grease but without bacon itself. I can't recall if I used red wine or stock - one or the other. I know I used balsamic vinegar and pomegranate molasses, and this being me, there must have been Trader Joe's 21-Seasoning Salute. I ate them as a chilled side. That's something I'll make again if I happen upon nice beets at a good price.

                1 Reply
                1. re: greygarious

                  And don't forget about the beet greens.

                2. I have tried and tried and tried....good luck. To me, they always taste like dirt. I have tried them 99 ways, and essentially end up thinking the same every time. I can juice them...with cucumber but then it is the cucumber overpowering them. The absolute best I have tried is shaved, fresh, over a salad with a great vinegarette. I would love to love them, but I have just arrived that they aren't my favorite. I will eat them, holding my breath, if served them, but if I choose the menu, I just choose another favorite vege.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: vstock

                    I'm right there with you, word for word.

                    My advice to the OP would be...if he doesn't like them, make them for yourself.

                    Most of us who can't stand beets have tried them over and over again -- and we'd really appreciate people NOT saying "oh, but try them THIS way!"

                    Make them in recipes that sound good to you -- if he tries them, great, but then at least you know that *you* will eat them.

                    (Brussels sprouts are that way at our house -- hubby wouldn't touch them on a dare, so I'll roast them and enjoy them all by myself...but I figure he's a grown man, and I'm not his momma, so if he doesn't want to eat Brussels sprouts, it's his choice.)

                    1. re: sunshine842

                      Agreed. Beets are such a strong, polarizing flavor. To me, they just taste like nasty, sweet dirt, no matter what you do to them. I can eat them fried into chips, and I find golden beets less objectionable than red, but in general, I just don't like them. I've come around on many other things due to preparation method, but not beets.

                      1. re: sunshine842

                        to be fair, apparently her husband has tried them "once". I think at least one more go-around is not inappropriate.
                        Beets were one of the two things my parents didn't make us kids eat as kids when they had it (liver was the other). But they were heated-up-from-a-can so no wonder I didn't like them.

                        While as I said, today they are not my top favorite thing on earth, I will from time to time buy them and do some sort of dish with them. If I had just said "I hate beets 'cause I tried them once" I wouldn't be doing that now.

                        1. re: DGresh

                          nah, he's a grown man, she's not his momma, and if he doesn't want to eat them, it's his choice.

                    2. Try them on pizza, and then you have "Beetza"

                      A place we like to visit has it on the menu, and I've adapted it for home cause it's cheaper. . .

                      Steam and peel the beets, then slice them very very thin. A thin pizza crust, with either goat cheese or ricotta over the crust, spread the beet slices, along with some caramelized onions, a bit of prosciutto, and top with grated gruyere. Bake at 500 until crust is done and cheese melted, then top with arugula or similar green.

                      1. They are great sliced very thinly & served with fried blood sausage and wasabi mayo.

                        Or as a carpaccio with a good salty feta and lemon oil.

                        He might find them less offensive that way (thinly sliced) -- less beet flavor, more of the other stuff.

                        1. Dessert? Chocolate Beet Cake is very good.
                          There are many kinds of Curries, Salads and Fries in India that may fit the bill. Beetroot Thoran, Poriyal, Pachadi or Sabji

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: chefj

                            I had no idea that there were so many wonderful Indian preps for beets. I am very happy to know this. Thank you.

                            1. re: magiesmom

                              There is also one that uses a huge amount of Dill, more as a Vegetable than a Seasoning, it is a really surprising use of a familiar western flavor combination. Unfortunately I do not remember the Name of it.

                          2. Grated, with minced fresh rosemary and/or other herbs, salt, and a little flour to bind. Press into delicate beet pancakes and saute with a little butter. Gets lots of sweet caramelization. I like to serve them on dressed greens with a little goat cheese as a first course. Delish. You could any spices that sound nice, too.

                            1. New Scandinavian Cooking ran the pike/beaver episode again yesterday. Beaver boiled for 3 hours in white wine, in a pot hanging from a tripod over an open fire; champagne added at the end. He did that, he really did....Before that, pike ground multiple times, with potato and an egg that gushed obscenely from the grinder, then reground with beets, before forming into repellent-looking fishcakes. Sure to cement any beet-shunner's loathing.

                              1. Personally, I'd go with roasted in a cast iron skillet with bacon fat, garlic, salt and pepper. If you succeed in converting him, think about borscht. There are gazillions of recipes out there - I like a creamy, chicken broth based version.

                                1. This slaw is very very different from any cooked beet flavors or textures. I shredded the beets on a large hole grater and used a little less olive oil, prob a 1/4. The crunchy crispy chewy textures combined with a sweet earthy acidic flavor make this more complex than you would think. Something about a slaw makes most veggies more appealing....
                                  http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/carr...

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Ttrockwood

                                    Oh my sweet lord, that looks so good. Thanks for the link!

                                  2. Caramelize them as you would onions.

                                    1. You can make a chocolate cake with them, done during war times during food shortages.

                                      1. Boil beets (babies are sweetest), cool, skin, and grate the beets on a medium setting. Set aside.
                                        Skin and finely grate a root of nice, fresh, hot horseradish. Set aside.
                                        Make 1/4 in cubes from a kidney shaped hunk of farmer's cheese (in Poland often referred to as mother's cheese), combine cheese with grated beets and horseradish to taste. Apple cider vinegar is sometimes added for kick. You can sub feta or other crumbly, young cheeses, but you may need to add salt. Serve as a side dish, especially at Easter with a baked ham, or as an appy with fresh rye and Maslo (Polish) butter.

                                        1. HOw about raw beet salad? Good, but tastes nothing like cooked beets.

                                          Peel and grate, toss with fresh lemon juice, olive oil, toasted cumin seeds, salt and pepper. Better if it sits for a while before eating. You can mix carrot and beet if you want.

                                          1. On the sweeter side, mix with mandarin oranges (canned is fine) and a creamy poppyseed dressing. With or without greens - lettuce or shredded cabbage.

                                            1. It's difficult to change a persons food antipathies, but you might try Harvard beets.
                                              (If he hates Harvard, call 'em Yale beets).

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: DonShirer

                                                Princeton is truly a clown college... hmmph.

                                              2. This Beet Rosti is the one for non-beet lovers. http://dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.co...

                                                The beets get all sweet and creamy and caramelized. If your husband doesn't like these, he just won't like beets!

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: Chris VR

                                                  That's what I was suggesting above. So darn good. Thanks for linking to an actual recipe. Now that I think about it, I believe mine actually comes from one of Bittman's books.

                                                2. i've converted at least two beet-haters with this salad:

                                                  cooked, thin sliced rounds of golden and red beets, layered with slices of avocado, crumbled goat or feta cheese sprinkled over that, chopped chives, toasted pine nuts, and a dressing of dijon, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, minced shallots, and s&p. the dressing should be super lemony. this salad disappears at our parties first every time.

                                                  i actually love their earthy taste, but this makes them nice and bright, sweet & tart.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                      Yum. Will be making that in the very near future.

                                                    2. This thread made me learn that there are actual beet haters. I did not know that. I know a lot of cilantro or ginger or lamb or venison or tomato or mushroom haters, but never met a beet hater. Plenty of fellow diners that could take them or leave them,, but no haters. Now I know better.