Beets (roots and leaves)
When I was at the market, I was thrilled to find not only the usual purple/red beets, but also chioggia and white (!) beets, all with their tops. This gave me the chance to double my future dining pleasure.
Roasted Beets: I discovered last year that roasted beets freeze really well, with only a minor loss in texture. Follow the instructions at http://www.god-dess.com/services_recipesOctober03.html
and then slice the cooked beets in ¼" or 3/8" slices. Lay the slices on pieces of plastic wrap, and wrap tightly, preferably in single layers, but I've sometimes doubled up the slices, separating each layer with plastic wrap. Even frozen, a salad in the dead of winter made with these frozen beets and dressed with olive oil, balsamico, some toasted walnuts and bleu cheese never fails to elicit gasps in awe of the beauty and the flavor
I would use waxed paper between the layers of beets, since I don't like to have have plastic next to food for any period of time.
How about a red velvet cake made with beets?
Traditional Red Velvet Cake (with beets)
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1¼ cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup pureed cooked beets 1 cup granulated sugar
2¼ cup flour 3 large eggs
1/3 cup cocoa 2 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. baking soda 2/3 cup buttermilk
½ tsp. salt 2 tsp. cider vinegar
1½ sticks unsalted butter, softened
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour two 9 inch cake pans.
- Melt chocolate in double boiler and set aside.
- Sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.
- In a bowl beat butter, sugars, eggs and vanilla until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
- Beat in chocolate.
- In four steps, alternately beat in flour mixture and buttermilk mixed with vinegar, beginning and ending with flour. Beat until incorporated.
- Add pureed beets and mix until well blended.
- Divide the batter between the pans. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean and top of cake springs back when
- Cool cakes in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes and invert onto racks to cool completely.
To Make 4 layers, slice each layer in half when cool.
Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz cold cream cheese
¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
Confectioners (icing) sugar (about 3-4 cups)
A few Tbs. beet juice. Enough to give a pink
colour to frosting
- Beat cream cheese with softened butter and vanilla until combined.
- Gradually add 2 cups of icing sugar.
- Continue to add more icing sugar until you reach a good consistency for spreading.
- Add beet juice and blend for even colour.
To Make Cooked Beet Puree
Easy Method: Buy a can of cooked beets (NOT pickled). Drain the beets, reserving the liquid, and puree the beets in a food processor adding liquid as needed. Reserve remaining liquid for Cream Cheese Frosting.
Traditional Method: Take 3 medium size beets. Cut into small pieces and cook covered in water over medium heat for approximately 45 minutes or until soft. Use a fork to test. Drain the beets, reserving the liquid, and puree the beets in a food processor adding liquid as needed. Reserve remaining liquid for Cream Cheese Frosting.
You can freeze the puree for later use.
This was fun!
I was at the farmer's market this morning and I went to buy more beets. They had all kinds of other things so I asked "I've never cooked parsnips or rutabagas, do I just cook them like beets?". The sellers said "Yeah, that's how we cook them..." and this lady stepped up and started telling me all the different ways I could cook them, going on and on with recipes and ideas. Everyone was gathering around saying "Wow. You really asked this question at the right time!" and started asking her questions.
She slipped me her card. Diane Morgan, cookbook author, whose latest book is "Roots" -- all about root vegetables! Check her out: http://www.amazon.com/Roots-Definitive-Compendium-more-Recipes/dp/0811878376/ref=sr_1_fkmr1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1353270875&sr=8-1-fkmr1&keywords=roots+diane+organ
roast parsnips, it really brings out the sweetness and nutty flavour
She was telling me you can make a cake from parsnips -- that it's better than carrot cake.
Very cool! Too bad the book is unavailable. I think my MIL would enjoy it.
I'm having dinner with a friend on thursday, and she is making something with rutabagas, parsnips, turnips, I'm afraid to ask what else...
I'll keep an open mind and try to report back.
(still not doing beets)