Beets Beets Beets
We have a TON of beets in the garden right now.
To be specific, we have a ton of HUGE beets. Like 3 pounders. Massive, massive beets. We aren't even counting them as member points they are so heavy.
If I had my staff of kitchen helpers (not to mention a commercial kitchen too), I would be creating a product with them. But, alas, not this year. This year, I will be donating them (along with many of our other garden abundance) to a wonderful local organization, Ceres that provides free nourishing meals home- delivered to the critically ill and low-income throughout Marin and Sonoma counties.
However, we still got one more week with them in the gardens. I have been having a wonderful time in the kitchen inspired to create many different dishes with them. I wanted to write a quick note of a few unique bangin' recipes (below) which I encourage you to make before they go.
And it seems, according to some incredible chefs out there, that large beets are where it is at. The bigger they are, the sweeter they get.
Now, go get em and make something!
I am not a fan of cooking with aluminum foil so This is my favorite way to cook the big guys.
Preheat oven 375
In a large roasting pan with a lid or a large oven-safe pot. Cut the bottom and tops off your beets so they can sit up evenly and balanced. Add all your beets to your pan or pot. I like to do a bunch of beets at a time, so I encourage you to pack in tightly.
Pour about 2 inches of water into the pot or pan. You just want to add enough, so the water is covering the bottom, not submerging the beets in water.
Drizzle a gulp of olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt over the beets. Cover with lid and put in the middle rack of your preheated oven for 1 to 1/2 hours, depending on how big the beets are. They are done with fork tender but not too soft.
When cool the skin will easily come off with your hands or a small knife.
They are now ready to use in the below recipes (!!)
Beet Salad with Dried Cherries, Garden Herbs and Feta
This is kinda of a throw as much as you have in a bowl kinda of recipe. So, having said that, here we go.
- 4 cups of roasted beets (recipe above!), peeled, sliced and cut are around the same size
- 1 cup dried dark cherries
- 1/2 cup Italian Parsley, leaves chopped
- 2 TB fresh mint leaves, chopped
- Redwood Hill Raw Goat Feta is my all time favorite but use your favorite if you like
Add everything, except the herbs and feta, to a large bowl. Make dressing below.
- 6 TB extra virgin olive oil
- juice of 1 lemon
- 3 TB raw apple cider vinegar
- 1 TB runny honey or maple syrup
- nice pinch of cayenne or red chili flakes
- 1 tsp sea salt
Whisk everything together.
Drizzle all over beets. Mix in freshly chopped herbs and toss to combine. Taste. It may need a splash more of vinegar or lemon juice or a pinch more salt. Sprinkle raw goat feta to top. Serve.
Fresh Pickled Beets
You can use as many or as little of roasted beets as you like. This recipe will make 2 large glass jars of pickled beets.
Peel and cut into bite size pieces and place in clean quart size canning jar.
In a medium pitcher, whisk together 1 cup filtered water, 1 cup apple cider vinegar, 4 TB honey and 1 1/2 tsp sea salt. Pour pickling liquid over beets in an airtight glass jar (you may have a little left over), cover and keep in the refrigerator.
Enjoy within 1 month.
Dark Chocolate Beet Cake
This may become your new favorite chocolate cake as it has most definitely become mine.
- 7oz unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
- 2 medium cooked beets to make 1 cup beet puree
- 7oz dark chocolate (70% cocoa )
- 4 tbsp hot espresso (optional)
- 1/4 cup almond flour
- 3/4 cup spelt flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3 TB cocoa powder
- 5 eggs, separated
- 3/4 cups plus 2 TB coconut palm sugar or sucanat (cane sugar)
- freshly whipped cream, to serve
Preheat the oven 350F.
Grease a 9in cake pan with a little butter and line the bottom of the pan parchment. *you will have to cut out the parchment paper the size to fit your pan. Also if you have a removable bottom that is preferable but other will do fine.
Blend the beets in a high speed blender or a food processor to a rough purée. You will only need 1 cup beet puree.
Melt the chocolate in a double broiler with a heat resistant bowl over a pot of hot water (do not allow the bottom of the bowl to touch the water). Once melted, pour in the hot coffee to the chocolate, if using. If not, just stir in the butter in small pieces and leave to soften. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, sift or whisk the flours together, baking powder and cocoa together in a bowl and set aside.
Separate the eggs. Whisk the yolks in a bowl until frothy. Stir the eggs into the chocolate and butter mixture, then fold in the beet puree.
Whisk the egg whites until still peaks form when the whisk is removed. Fold in the sugar.
Fold the sugar and egg whites into the chocolate mixture, then fold in the flour and cocoa mixture.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.
Allow to cool in the pan then carefully remove the cake, dust powdered sugar over top (optional but looks so pretty) and serve alongside freshly whipped cream.