Thursday, May 19, 2011

Beets Divine

Alright, I'll be honest.  Ever since I joined CSA, I have been completely stumped about what to do with my fresh beets.  I tried them in a few different recipes (including beet soup and beet-beans) but I just couldn't get them right.  
For the most part, I considered them to taste just like dirt.  A few times I pawned them off on a some unsuspecting friends but a few more times I "accidently" just let them go bad in my fridge.
I feel a little guilty about it, too.

But, finally, I made a dish that I love!  I tried it again last night and it turned out just divine!

So here is the recipe.  It's real simple.  You only need 3 ingredients:

1/2 lb of diced chicken
4-5 medium sized fresh beets, tops included
Olive oil
Salt to taste

The beets take about an hour to cook in the oven, so you should start preparing the beets at least an hour before dinner time.  Preheat the oven to 350.

First wash them and get all the big chunks of dirt off.

I like to peel my beets, so they don't seem hairy ;)

Make sure you rest them on something that won't get stained.
My paper towel turned pink instantly.

You can cook them first and peel off the skins later, 
but I think peeling them first is less messy. 
After they are peeled, chop off the tops and tips of each beet.

Set your beets in a glass dish (or in tin foil) and coat them with olive oil so they'll roast up nicely.
Here is an image of how you can fold beets up into tin foil:  here.

I sprinkled the beets with salt and put them in the oven at 350 for about 1 hour or until I could slip a knife in easily.  They should be soft like baked potatoes.

Whle the beets are roasting, I cut up the green tops:

I stored them in the fridge until my beets were done roasting.

Right before the beets are ready to come out of the oven, you can stir-fry some meet in some more olive oil.

1/2lb of meat is plenty for me and I cooked it until it was light brown.

Then I added the beet tops and more olive oil so that they were completely coated in the oil.

It looks like there is a lot green beet tops, but they cook down quite a bit.  They take a good ten minutes to saute, stirring constantly.  You want them nice and soft before you serve them.

After the beets were completely roasted, I cut them up in the glass dish.

The roasting helps dampen the earthy flavor and bring out the sweetness in the beets.  

I tossed the red beet chunks in with the greens and chicken and salted the dish to taste.  It was sooooooo good! 

 I just love the flavor of the chicken with the beets and it made a perfect side dish to compliment my pasta-in-artichoke bowl

I am so happy I have a beet dish that I love now!  
No more will I be letting those beets go bad in the fridge!



My name is Becka said...

This looks fun! I have to try it!

Mrs.HansenHomeschools said...

Fresh beets are one thing that never go to waste in our house, and I was disappointed that I didn't get a bumper crop in the garden last year. But I never thought to combine it with chicken and the greens in one dish. I can't wait to try this!

Liz said...

I don't know that I've ever eaten a beet before, but you make it look so gourmet and stuff. :)

Melissa said...

That looks delicious!!

I cook beets almost exactly like that. I lopp off the greens & stem & stick them point-side-up on a cookie sheet, spread them with butter (it has a lower burning point, so it crystalizes & sweetens the beet), salt, pepper & garlic & roast them for about 30 min @ 450º. Then I sautée the greens in butter & salt on high until they get crispy. It's SO tasty!

Liz said...

Beets are so pretty, I love the color. This looks yummy!

Papgena Made It said...

I don't use beets either but I'm curious now.
On the other day, I saw a tv show where they mixed grated beets in chocolate cake batter so that the cake had fewer calories (they also put half the sugar only).


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