Beets

Beets are my new discovery. I had beets before. Here in Central Europe we pickle them and eat them with the main course. We use very ripe beets, the bigger the better. I find them pleasant but nothing special. The idea of using  “baby” beets, roasting them and experimenting with them came from the internet.

Beets are amazing. There is a range in colours, sizes and shapes. I love to grow heirloom beets. This year I have planted 6 different varieties. They loved our soil and they were pretty happy. Some kind of field mouse must have been thinking the same, because once I pulled a chewed beet. Whoever it was chewed all the way up to the greens. I am happy to share, so I took it as a compliment.

In this post I would like to share with you some of my favourite recipes that include beets. The simplest and most straight forward is “steam them”. Steamed and cooled beets are great on sandwiches or as a side to a main dish. Please do not forget to use the greens — they are amazing ! I just saute them with olive oil and little salt, for approximately 40 sec on each side. Now that is something ! And if you want to go fancy, saute them with garlic. Done!

One of my favourite recipe for beets is from Jamie Oliver’s show “Jamie at Home”. I can highly recommend that show for every gardener/chef. His book is also very good. You can find his recipe here “roasted carrots and beets with juiciest pork chops”. I have to admit I tried only the veggie part of this recipe.

This morning I was experimenting and invented a pretty simple and amazing recipe. I had some leftover steamed beets in the fridge. I chopped them up and added some tomatoes, tossed it all together with a drizzle of olive oil, a little salt and put it in a small oven-proof baking dish. I topped the mixture with cheese (I used cheddar, but I can imagine a mixture of mozzarella and parmesan or any good melting salty cheese). I put it under the grill for cca 7-8 minutes until the cheese melted. I prefer beets cold or just lukewarm, but I loved the gooey cheese on the top.