Wahoo! The beets are here! Beets just add so much color to life! Their vibrant, regal purple, golden or even candy-cane striped hues light up any plate that they touch and with their earthy sweet flavor, we love them for so many applications, savory or sweet!
I have had an incredibly busy week/weekend and it seems to be carrying over into this week, so admittedly, I have not been cooking as much as I like to. 😦 But beets have been one of my muses for a long time now so I thought I might share a few of my favorite beet recipes from the past as well as some incredibly inspiring dishes made with beets from the great and talented Matt and Justin of Hazelnut Kitchen!
First up, a dish that I made many many moons ago for some new friends. I was in the mood to cook and had just picked up my CSA share and decided to throw an impromptu dinner party. I stuffed some chicken breasts with kalamata olives and feta cheese and then grilled them. They topped some juicy sweet carrots that I had roasted with some cumin and coriander, until tender but still with a nice crunch. But the piece de resistance was the beet risotto! I made a flavored stock by using store bought chicken stock and simmering beets, carrots, onions and celery into it. When the vegetables were tender, I blended the “beet stock” and then strained it through a sieve! It was a whole lotta purpliciousness that really made that risotto really jump off the plate! Everyone loved it if I remember correctly 😉
More recently, I employed a method for roast/steaming beets that I picked up at The Hazelnut Kitchen to make a delicious salad to go underneath crispy skinned salmon! I took the bottoms off of the beets and trimmed the stems to about an inch. I placed them into a deep roasting pan and poured in some vegetable stock about 1/4 of the way up the beets. I added some vinegar, lemon peel, black peppercorns and fennel seeds to the liquid before covering the whole thing with aluminum foil and placing it into the oven until the beets were fork tender. The skins should slip right off, the flesh will be shiny and soft and the beets pick up a nice tang from the vinegar! Slice and enjoy!
The chefs at the Hazelnut Kitchen used beets cooked this way to support a beautiful piece of pan-seared halibut on Valentine’s Day that was topped with grapefruit, basil and was finished with a blood orange vinaigrette, which also happened to be what inspired the above salad!
As the end of last summer, when peppers were abundant, I made a delicious pizza for Katie and I with leeks that were lightly creamed with creme fraiche, roasted beets that had been marinated in an artichoke vinaigrette and a quick pickled banana pepper with goat cheese! It was to die for!
Matt and Justin, chefs of the Hazelnut, have to cook with beets year round so the creativity that is employed with this particular root vegetable is something fierce! This salad was something that came off of my station last summer: roasted beets tossed in caramelized honey over a horseradish yogurt, topped with pea shoots, dill pollen and Wide Awake Bakery croutons and garnished with thinly shaved, raw golden beets and Lively Run feta! It was amazing!
This was a spring version of a beet salad at the Hazelnut which featured roasted beets with a jalapeno creme fraiche, toasted hazelnuts, fresh grapefruit, feta cheese and tat soi!
Hope all these beet dishes inspire you to create something new! We have all summer long to enjoy these babies!