Root Vegetable Stir-Fry

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By Alaina Sullivan

Roots are the gemstones of the vegetable clan. Unearthed from the soil they appear knobby and inedible, but pare away the tough exterior and you’ll uncover valuable flesh.

Grating transforms the roots from dense to delicate and readies them for a quick skillet stir-fry. Celeriac flesh shreds easily; sweet potato takes a little more elbow grease. With the beets, I opted to thinly slice rather than shred them to change up the texture a bit. I worked in three batches so that every ingredient would have a cheek against the hot skillet. As the beets cooked to an al dente tender-crisp, the shredded potatoes and celeriac became browned and soft.

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Raw Beet Salad

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Makes: 4 servings

Time: 20 minutes

Beets, like carrots, can be eaten raw. And they’re delicious that way, crunchy and sweet. So sweet, in fact, that they need a strongly acidic dressing like this one for balance. Recipe from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.

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Roasted Beets get a Japanese Twist

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By Freya Bellin

Beets happen to be delicious simply roasted on their own, but the spice mixture in this recipe really livens them up. It’s hot and citrusy and goes quite well with the natural sweetness of the beets. The headnote below mentions that you’ll have extra spice mixture, and you most certainly will. Sprinkle on a small amount at a time to cover the beets and add more as needed; it was much spicier than I expected it to be. I also highly recommend trying out the honeyed walnuts mentioned in the variation. The honey downplays the spice of the seasoning a bit, and the nuts add a nice crunch. 

If there’s one thing I learned from cooking this dish, it’s that peppercorns and sesame seeds are nearly impossible to grind by hand.  A spice or coffee grinder help tremendously. Your hands will thank you. Recipe from The Food Matters Cookbook.

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Posted in Japanese, Produce

Dinner with Bittman: Raw Beet Salad

Recipe from How to Cook Everything.

Raw Beet Salad

Makes: 4 servings

Time: 20 minutes

Beets, like carrots, can be eaten raw. And they’re delicious that way, crunchy and sweet. So sweet, in fact, that they need a strongly acidic dressing like this one for balance.

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Posted in Produce

Less-Meat Mondays: Beet Tartare

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By Freya Bellin

In the spirit of Mark’s recent spread on the wonders of the food processor, I thought I’d take a pass at this beet tartare.  The end result wasn’t what I had expected, but that, of course, doesn’t mean it wasn’t delicious.  I found it to be less of a tartare and more of a bright, refreshing raw vegetable salad.  The vibrant beet colors make it perfect for entertaining, and it’s a no-cook recipe to boot.  I made one batch with golden beets and dill, and another with red beets and chives, both for color contrast and taste comparison.

My preference was for the golden batch; golden beets have a mellower flavor than their red counterparts, which allowed the flavors of the other ingredients to come through a bit more.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that the dish tasted even better on day two.  I’m attributing that to the lemon juice, which had a chance to soften the beets overnight and let the flavors really soak in.  For an impressive presentation, scoop some tartare onto endive leaves, or just serve it in a bowl with a side of hearty crackers. Recipe from The Food Matters Cookbook.

Beet Tartare

Makes: 4 to 8 servings

Time: 30 minutes

I first learned about beet tartare—just love the name—from Jean-Georges Vongerichten, who uses roasted beets. I’ve eliminated that step and use raw beets. You can serve the dish as you would traditionally serve beef tartare: with chopped hard-boiled egg, onions, cornichons, a dash of Worcestershire sauce, or even a crumbling of strong blue cheese, like Stilton or Roquefort. You can have a bit of fun with color here: make one batch with golden beets and another with red—serve them side by side for a spectacular presentation.

2 pounds red or yellow beets (about 4 large), peeled

1⁄4 cup chopped red onion

1 tablespoon olive oil, or more as needed

1 to 2 tablespoons grated horseradish, or to taste

1 tablespoon lemon juice, or more as needed

1 tablespoon chopped capers

1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill, tarragon, or chives

Salt and black pepper

8 slices whole grain bread, 2 small heads endive, or crackers, for serving

1. Cut the beets into quarters and put them in a food processor; pulse the beets until they’re ground up into small pieces—about the size of grains of rice—careful not to overprocess. If you don’t have a food processor, grate the beets instead. If the beets release a lot of liquid, squeeze them gently with your hands or drain them on paper towels to remove some of the moisture.

2. Combine the onion, oil, horseradish, lemon juice, capers, and herbs together in a bowl large enough to hold the beets. Fold in the beets and sprinkle with salt and pepper; taste and add more lemon juice, oil, or seasoning if needed. If you like, chill quickly in the freezer or refrigerate for up to a day.

3. Toast the bread and cut each slice diagonally into 4 toast points. (Or separate and trim the endive into leaves.) Serve the tartare cold or at room temperature with the toast points, spooned into endive leaves, or in a bowl next to crackers.

 

 

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Beets Not Radishes

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by Clotilde Hryshko

The picture is of a bunch of Chioggia beets, destined for Rachel and Shale’s house. They are my favorite beet for summertime beets, though not for winter storage. You slice thinly – no peeling! – sauté with garlic, and add a dash of plum vinegar. Serve warm or cold.

But this isn’t about beets, except they made a great picture the day my elder daughter, Marya, was helping me with CSA prep. People seeing them for the first time easily mistake them for radishes – unless they look at the leaves.

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