Showing posts with label Beets. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Beets. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Thanksgiving Way Out West: Beautiful Beets

         My friend Ana didn’t stop with her suggestion that I serve Corn Pudding on my first-ever West Coast Thanksgiving.  She suggested that beets would be a great item to add to the menu.  And when Ana is right, she is right.  Not only do beets bring a shot of color to the amazingly 'brown' Thanksgiving table, it you use the recipe for salad that appears here, you beets will look positively stunning. But Beets not only make a beautiful appearance in any buffet or on your Thanksgiving plates, they are almost invaluable once you discover this simple method for making them.  That’s because flying in the face of all those who would roast their beets, thereby taking up valuable space in the already overworked oven, these beets are prepared on the stovetop.  For flavor and to keep the beets from bleeding, you can add any one of three things: Lemon Juice to give them great tang, Orange Juice to sweeten the already sweet beets or Vinegar which basically pickles the beets as they cook.  The skins slip off the finished beets and you can then refrigerate them until you’re ready to use them. And you’ll lose count of the ways you can serve them.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Two Salads adapted from Ina Garten: Roasted Shrimp and Orzo and Beets with Orange Vinaigrette

         Recipes that other cooks invent should be treated with great respect.  I’ve mentioned before that few things put me off more than someone commenting on a dish—very often negatively—that they have ‘doctored’ beyond recognition.   Still, if you do delve into the comments, you can certainly learn something and sometimes there’s a certain universality of opinion that is worth paying attention to.  In the case of today’s offerings, I didn’t make a single change to Ina Garten’s Beets with Orange Vinaigrette.  It’s a winner just as it is.  But when I got to Roasted Shrimp with Orzo, two things made me alter the original and, if I may be so bold, they were spectacular changes.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Roasted Beet Salad with Pecans and Queso Fresco

                              Sang Lee Organic Farms, Southold LI in Early Spring
                   (Special thanks to Karen Lee for sharing her photos.)

I was out on the East End of Long Island last weekend, on the North Fork to be more precise, when I met one of the owners of Sang Lee Farms, Karen Lee.  With her husband Fred, and their three children,   the Lees have run this organic family farm since the 1940s when Fred’s father George and his brothers, Kim Poy and Hugh, started farming Asian produce for New York’s burgeoning Chinatown.  The farm was first “up island” in Melville, later moving to East Moriches.  And to take advantage of the winter growing season, they also farmed in Hobe Sound, Florida.

 It was only in 1987 that Fred moved the business to Southold where the farm now produces a staggering array of over 100 varieties of specialty vegetables, heirloom tomatoes, baby greens, herbs and Asian specialty greens. You can order their produce over the internet at Last time I checked there was baby bok choy available there now.  It looked beautiful when I saw it in living color.  And how wonderful it was to go to the Sang Lee Farm stand and see an amazing array of vegetables this early in the season!  Thanks to Fred and Karen’s extensive greenhouse operation, they are able to open far ahead of any other farm stand around. 

Since I had no company last weekend and wasn’t entertaining, I didn’t go overboard.  I bought some perfect baby carrots, some purple scallions and last, but not least, the most beautiful baby beets.
Now I have a passion for beets. I love the color and the flavor. They’re not at all hard to roast, they pair beautifully with citrus and their sweetness is a great counter-balance to bitter greens.   I don’t remember eating beets at all as a child. I don’t think they were on our approved vegetable list which was on the short side anyway and leaned heavily on frozen peas and frozen green beans.  This may not have been a bad thing because Andrew has nothing but miserable memories of the canned beets he was served as a child and to this day, can’t really jump and down for the vegetable.  However, I’ve been making some progress in getting him to at least try them.  This Roasted Beet Salad has his seal of approval.  Here’s the recipe:

Recipe for Roasted Beet Salad with Pecans and Queso Fresco

1-1/2 pounds medium beets (I used a bunch of baby beets)
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
Kosher salt
1 (5-ounce) package baby spinach
6 ounces Queso Fresco (Mexican cheese) or Goat Cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup pecans, toasted
1 Recipe Vinaigrette (see following recipe)

Preheat oven to 375°F. Scrub beets and trim off stem and root ends. Peel and cut each beet into 6 wedges. Place beets and garlic cloves in 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Drizzle with olive oil and toss lightly to coat.

Cover pan with foil; roast 30 minutes. Uncover and continue roasting 20 to 30 minutes more or until beets are tender.

When garlic cloves are cool enough to handle, remove from roasting pan and peel. Place cloves on cutting board, and sprinkle with small amount of kosher salt. Using flat side of a knife, smash cloves into paste. Add to olive oil in roasting pan. Toss beets and garlic in oil to coat.

Place spinach on large serving platter. Arrange beet wedges over arugula. Sprinkle beets with goat cheese and walnuts. Drizzle with Vinaigrette. Makes 4 servings.

For the Vinaigrette:

In screw-top jar combine 1/4 cup olive oil, 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper. Cover; shake well to combine. Makes 1/2 cup.