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Red beets, summery delight

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ChrisFlanders View Drop Down
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    Posted: 26 July 2012 at 06:45
Since we don't seem to have a "seasonal recipes" forum section, I'm posting this here.
 
Let's start with 2 variations on the same red beet preparation which is so refreshing;

I use storebought vacuum packed cooked red beet. They did nothing else to them than cooking them in water. So, they are ready to proceed.

Cut them in 2, then each half in thick slices, these slices in sticks and the sticks in cubes. Take a red onion and cut in half, then each half in thin slices.

Put in a plastic or glass container, add 2 tbsp of flavored vinegar (no balsamoc) and 1 tbsp of plain white sugar. Mix and let sit in the fridge, covered. You will now have an utterly delicious cold sweet and sour preparation. Here's two things I like to do in summer;

1. Warm tortillas to soften, but don't let them color. Spread a layer of Philadelphia cheese on the tortillas in wich you mixed chopped chives, cover with a few slices of smoked salmon, roll, cut off both ends, then cut in two. Serve with the cold red beet preparation. Delicious and so refreshing!

2. Use the same cold red beet preparation. Crumble some real feta cheese over the beets. Pour a little of your best olive oil over the cheese. If you like, also add some fresh oregano. My oregano died on me, so there's none on it and I don't like dried one on this.

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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 July 2012 at 07:16
Very nice - beets don't get enough credit over here on this side of the pond!
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pitrow View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pitrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 July 2012 at 09:58
I love beets, but I seem to be the only one in my family that does. Guess it's an acquired taste though, I hated them as a kid.

That beet and feta mixture you have there Chris sure looks good. I would like to try that sometime.
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Rod Franklin View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rod Franklin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 July 2012 at 11:44
Beet fan here, but don't have them often. My sister gave me some beets she grew in their garden and looked at me like I was a freak when I scooped up all the beet greens she just threw in the dirt and was stepping on.

I don't get it. She said they made her burp. Riiight...
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ChrisFlanders View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ChrisFlanders Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 July 2012 at 07:41
I know a lot of people don't appreciate the "earthy" taste of red beets.
The addition of the combination of vinegar and sugar changes it all! I recommend to give it a try, you'll be happily surprised...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 July 2012 at 08:43
Chris - you may be interested in my post on pickled beets:
 
 
a great way to enjoy them year 'round!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rod Franklin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 July 2012 at 17:34
Chris. Are you speaking of harvard beets? That's what I did with the beets and their greens that I got from my sister. I use a lot less sugar than most all harvard beets recipe calls for. Sometimes I think harvard beets recipes were made by folks who really don't like beets.

For example the ingredient list from this recipe for Grandma's harvard beets:

  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans sliced beets, drained
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Gads! That's a lot of sugar.


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ChrisFlanders View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ChrisFlanders Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 July 2012 at 04:37
My preparation is so much simpler than that harvard recipe, Rod. I use 4 beets that are sold simply boiled and vacuum packed in a plastic foil. The beets are peeled but otherwise still intact. Of course, fresh beets straight from the garden are always so much better. In that case -as you may know- you best boil them uncut and skin on, in water until done. Then peel them and proceed with the recipe above which is none other than cut the beets in small cubes, add 2 tbsp of vinegar per 4 beets and a tbsp of sugar and s&p. Anything else is optional; herbs and spices like thyme, tarragon or koriander, onion... etc. The main factor is that the vinegar and sugar covers the earthy flavor and give a very refreshing summery taste to this dish. A perfect combination with the slight acidity of feta cheese!
 
There's another preparation that has become very popular, which is shortly pickling young beets. These are processed raw (no boiling at all) very thinly sliced on a mandoline and put in a combination of equal parts vinegar, white wine and water and a little s&p.  Add sugar to taste; you really must be able to taste this liquid, it cannot be too strong. Shortly heat the solution and let cool again. Add the beetslices for around half an hour and you'll have fantastic marinated sweet and sour beets to go with anything. You can use this same kind of liquid to marinate carrots and many other root vegetables and, also very popular, many kinds of fresh fish like mackerel etc.
 
And yes, the method Ron is using for preserving beets must be a real delight!
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