Beet rendezvous

Posted by Chie

Beets are one of those vegetables that we just don’t hear about in Japan. My first taste of them was from a canned variety at a salad bar somewhere. I didn’t taste the real thing until I went to college here in the Northwest. Wow, they seemed like a treat!

A family friend of ours used to make a delicious creamy red soup…now I know it was Borscht.

Here are two dishes I make regularly when I see beets glowing amongst the other fruits and vegetables.

Pickled beets

At our house, we eat these as a snack. I’ve read that when you are craving sweet and you eat something sour, it satisfies that craving.

3 medium beets or 6-7 small ones

Extra virgin olive oil

3 sprigs of thyme

½ c apple cider vinegar or brown rice vinegar

¼ c water

½ – 1 tsp Celtic sea salt

1-3 tsp honey (Adjust to desired sweetness)

Wash beets and cut off the stems. Place in a piece of foil big enough to enclose them. Drizzle with oil and sea salt. Toss and fold the foil over so the edges can be crimped together to form a tightly sealed pouch.

Place on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes or until easily pierced with a knife.

Cool just enough to be able to peel the skins off. You may want to use a towel that can get stained to hold the beet in your hand and peel off the skin. The skin should slip right off with a little pressure. Cut into wedges and place in a jar with a lid.

Dissolve the vinegar, honey and salt in a small pot. Pour into the jar over the beets and add the thyme sprigs. Let sit at room temperature for about an hour to let the flavors meld together. Store in the refrigerator for two weeks.

Beet, chevre and walnut salad

One of my friends in culinary school, Brandy, inspired me to make this salad years ago. Now it’s a favorite.

6 medium beets

1 T + 1/3 c extra virgin olive oil

½ sea salt

1/4 c balsamic vinegar, or to taste

2 cloves garlic

1 medium shallot, minced

½ bunch thyme leaves

3 oz chevre

½ bunch Italian parsley, chopped

1/3 c walnuts, preferably sprouted (soaked and dehydrated to be more digestible), chopped

Place the whole beets and about one tablespoon oil in a piece of foil big enough to enclose them into an airtight pouch. Roast at 375 F for about 45 minutes or until they’re easily pierced with a knife.

Slice the garlic, sprinkle on some salt and mash into a paste with the side of your knife.

Remove beets from oven and allow to cool to handling temperature. The beet skins will come off easily if you want them peeled though you may keep the skins on if you’d like. You may want to use a towel that can be stained so your hands won’t stain. Cut the beets into 1/3-inch cubes.

Toss with the balsamic, oil, sea salt, shallots, thyme leaves and garlic paste.

Place in a medium serving bowl. Garnish with parsley, crumbled chevre, and walnuts.

You can eat these on romaine leaf “boats” for a fun variation. Enjoy!