Thursday, August 7, 2008


I've been eating beets lately. I even tried the golden ones they other day; very delish! I love cutting them open, all varities, and seeing the concentric circles and lush color. Have you been eating your beets?

From the NYT: Recipes for Health - Beets:
Published: August 4, 2008

Recently in the Well blog, Tara Parker-Pope wondered if she has been missing out on beets, which one researcher recently identified as nutritional powerhouses, high in folate, manganese and potassium.

If you, like Ms. Parker-Pope, have never made beets, then yes, you really are missing out. It’s easy to love fresh beets, and not just for their nutritional advantages. Beets have an earthy, hard-to-define flavor like no other vegetable’s, one reason they so often appear on high-end restaurant menus. But they're perfect at home, too, and so this week we'll be offering some simple ways to prepare them.

Beets are available year-round, but the best time to buy them is June through October, when they are at their most tender. Look for unblemished bulbs with sturdy, unwilted greens. In addition to the usual red variety, you may find beautiful golden beets, and pink-and-white striated Chioggia beets. Unless a red color is important to the dish, either type can be used interchangeably with red beets.

Often purchasers ask that the greens be chopped off. That’s a mistake -- the greens bring an additional set of nutrients to the plate, most notably beta-carotene, vitamin C, iron and calcium. Take your beets home from the farmer’s market with the greens intact.

Roasting is the easiest way to cook beets, not least because the skins will slip right off. Cooking them this way is easy.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Cut the greens away from the beets, leaving about 1/4 inch of stems. (Later this week, we'll show you how to sauté the greens.) Scrub the beets and place in a baking dish (or lidded ovenproof casserole dish). Add 1/4 inch of water to the dish. Cover tightly. Place in the oven and roast small beets (three ounces or less) for 30 to 40 minutes, medium beets (four to six ounces) for 40 to 45 minutes, and large beets (eight ounces or more) for 50 to 60 minutes. They’re done when they’re easily penetrated with the tip of a knife. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the covered baking dish. Cut away the ends and slip off the skins.

Roasted beets are wonderful on their own or simply dressed with a vinaigrette, and they will keep for five days in a covered bowl in the refrigerator. Best not to peel them until you plan to eat them.

Approximate Nutritional Information: 1 roasted beet: 44 calories; Total fat: 0.2g; cholesterol 0mg; sodium 77mg; Total carbohydrates 10.0g; Dietary Fiber 2.0g; Sugars 8.0g; Protein 1.7 g. (Data provided by


Linda/Mom said...

Beet salad:

Trim tops and hairy parts off beets. Gently simmer beets for about 12 minutes or so. Drain, cool, and peel. Cut into wedges. Slice a sweet onion into rings.

Mix marinade of 1 tbsp. of olive, several tbsp. of balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper, a few shakes of ground cloves, and more balsamic vinegar if the sauce doesn't seem sharp enough. Dress the beets and onions and let it marinate for several hours or even a day.

Have a healthy serving of these good guys and feel the richness enter your bloodstream!

Meg said...

Charlie and I love beets, which is convenient because they are a staple crop from our CSA. We often prepare beets raw or roasted without their peels, which gives them a chance to caramelize.

Peel beets, slice them finely. Add to this small carrots, sliced in half, and onions, thinly sliced. (Potatoes, sweet potatoes, other root vegetables are good too.) Roast uncovered in the oven in a shallow pan with rosemary (or thyme), chopped garlic, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. This dish is not fussy … I cook it somewhere between 350 and 400F for about an hour, mixing things around half way through, just long enough to make sure things have had a chance to brown/caramelize a little.

Grate raw beets finely (with or without carrots). Make a vinaigrette – I really like one with Dijon mustard and whatever fresh herbs we have on hand, but almost any version will be fine as long as it’s acidic enough (like your mom said!) to balance their natural sweetness. Salty things like crumbly cheese (feta, blue, chevre) or marcona almonds probably defeat the purpose of serving beets in their most nutrient dense form, but are a good addition. I first saw the basic version of this in Moosewood’s New Classics, but Deborah Madison has a similar cumin-inspired version that I’m eager to try.

Kristen Madhuizen said...

I've been eatin' my beets since I could chew solid food. Beets and boiled potatoes with a little bit of kraut is a traditional "dutchie" meal.

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