Beet-O-Mania

I bought a 5-lb bag of beets at the grocery store because I could not resist the special offer. I told myself, “I love beets, after all, and I am sure I can cook them in different ways, without getting into the tedious routine of pickling them.”  Besides, my friend who taught me how to do pickled beets said that I would require at least 10 lb. to make it worth the work. This was by far too gargantuan a task for me.

I was prepared for the blood bath handling beets. Fortunately, the blanching and peeling all went well. I did not stain my countertop or my clothes and I was ready to go.

I decided to make a Beet Borscht. There was the usual stock base with beef bones, onions, carrots and celery. Into it I added five large beets. I put in one bay leaf, some thyme and a few pepper corn.  When the soup base is ready, I took the beets out, grated them coarsely, and grated two more uncooked beets to add back to the soup for colour. It all turned out well, and i served it with a dollop of sour cream.

My second dish was Roast Beet with Stir Fry Greens. While I was roasting the sliced beet in the toaster oven with grapeseed oil, I cleaned and cut a bunch of red Swiss chard. (I would use beet greens if I had them too.) When the beet was almost ready, I started to stir fry the Swiss chard, adding salt and pepper to taste. I plated the beet and greens together, and it was ready to serve.

The third dish was an experiment, because I had never seen it in any recipe books. The idea came when I was stir frying my Swiss chard,. I wanted to try a scrambled egg with beet as one of the ingredients. I dice a small onion, half a green pepper and one medium size beet and stir fried them until the onions and pepper are soft. I beat five eggs and poured the liquid into the other ingredients, It was a good and quick scrambled egg dish!  I was very encouraged by the results, and I felt ready to add beet to my omelette or my frittata recipe next time.

There were only a few beets left by now. I cut them up into small chunks, drizzled extra virgin olive oil over them and added one teaspoon each of coriander seeds and cumin seeds, half teaspoon of salt and half teaspoon of cumin powder and a little freshly ground black pepper. I stirred the beets to make sure they were coated well, and left them to marinate. They were ready in a few hours. These Spiced Beets were excellent if added to a green salad, or served as a side dish.

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