Thursday, January 29, 2009

Can you feel the beet?


Simply Pickled Beets

2 lbs Beets Roasted
5 Shallots thinly sliced into rings
1 Cup Rice Vinegar + 1 Cup Water
1/3 Cup Honey
1 tbsp Salt

To roast the beets: Coat them liberally in vegetable oil, salt & pepper. Wrap them together in tin foil and roast at 400 degrees for 45 minutes. To peel beets I use a paper towel to rub the skin right off, it helps immensely if the beets are still warm

For the brine, bring the vinegar, water, honey and salt to a boil in order to dissolve.

Slice the beets (about a ¼ inch thick) and toss with the shallots, pack them tightly into your pickling vessel of choice and pour the hot brine over them allowing time for the air bubbles to escape. If you have a tight lid, you can give a a gentle jiggle to help the air out.

In 24 hours you have a pickle, but the more time in the brine, the better. (These pickles are good for about 4-6 weeks, but remember, they're not "canned", so they won't last forever.)

This recipe is simply delicious, but for some variations on this recipe you can add herbs like thyme or tarragon to the beats. I like them spicy, so I add a healthy tablespoon of fresh ground black pepper, and a few Thai chilies.

In addition to simply eating them, these pickle have a lot of uses.They are great in salads and the juice makes for a fabulous vinaigrette. They happen to be a great addition to a burger. Finally, for some reason, unknown even to myself, I go ga-ga for them over with cottage cheese.

Some notes on beets: I go for medium ones, the big ones can be woody inside, and the small ones require too much peeling. The greens are a great indicator of freshness and yes, you CAN eat them, they’re great sautéed simply with onions and garlic.

To top it all off, beets are very good for you. A great source of Vitamin C, Potassium, Magnesium and dietary fiber all while being surprisingly low in calories. They have more that their fare share of antioxidants and cancer fighting agents.
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