and the beet goes on

by Stacy

Other than picking up the CSA, I’ve been so busy running around doing exciting and blog-worthy activities that I haven’t been home long enough to blog about them! Poor me, right? But Mom is safely in Florida and I have ample to free time to catch up on all the stuff I put off while she was here.

Now I’m able to share yet another beet recipe with you. There probably aren’t mobs of beet-lovers out there looking for recipes so much as there are people who haven’t yet found the right preparation that convinces them they like beets. I didn’t love beets right away, it took me several tries: sauteed beets, sweet beets, and spicy beets.

What sold me on this particular recipe was a sudden abundance of grapefruit. My husband would call it an overabundance, but I think that’s just a lack of commitment on his part. Grapefruit are delicious, especially organically-grown ones from your family’s tree.

fresh squeezed grapefruit juice

One cup juice? Check. This will be the base for a tangy sweet-and-sour-style glaze. The pop of acidity really helps balance the heartiness of the beets. I’m also a sucker for glossy glazes.

roasted red beets

The time-consuming part of this recipe is roasting the beets which takes about an hour. I roasted these when I got home from work, let them cool, then tossed them in the fridge. The next day I made the sauce while they re-heated for a few minutes. Easy!

My friend Angela hates dealing with beets because of the awesome Barbie-massacre staining power of beet juice. I’m here to tell you that it’s ok! Roasted beets are exponentially easier to peel than raw ones; the skins slip right off. The juice can stain clothes, so be careful, but just scrub your hands with soap and you’ll be stain-free.

These beets had been imprisoned in the fridge drawer for a while, so the greens had been lopped off long ago. I had this for lunch served with a simple side of sauteed chard with onions, a lovely combination. The beet greens themselves would have been nice, too.

What vegetable have you tried to like but just don’t? What veggie didn’t you like and now do?

beets with grapefruit glaze

Roasted Beets with Grapefruit Glaze

Adapted from Mollie Katzen’s The Vegetable Dishes I Can’t Live Without
Serves 4-6

I used all red beets since that’s what I had, but a mix of red, gold, and Chiogga beets would be really striking. The sauce comes together quickly, so you can make it when the beets are cooling. Or, roast the beets beforehand and just warm them up before tossing with the glaze (I leave them in their foil packet until room temperature then throw the whole thing in the fridge).

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds beets
  • 1 cup fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice (this took 2 medium grapefruits for me)
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 3 scant tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450F. For a small batch you can use the toaster oven.
  2. Trim the stems of the beets (if needed) to about an inch long. If the beet greens are still attached, save them — chop and saute them for a delicious side or save for another use. Divide the beets into two approximately even groups. Place them on large pieces of tin foil, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of water, and fold the foil into a snug packet. Place the foil packets in the center of the oven for about an hour (check after 40 minutes if your beets are small) until the beets can be pierced with a fork.
  3. Remove the beets from the oven, open the foil packets, and let beets cool until you can handle them comfortably. Trim off the rest of the stems and rub gently to easily peel off the skin. Don’t worry about staining your hands (DO worry about your clothes), beet juice is water soluble, just scrub well with soap.
  4. Slice peeled beets thinly.
  5. Whisk together grapefruit juice, vinegar, and maple syrup in a bowl.
  6. Measure cornstarch into a small sauce pan. Whisk in the liquids gradually to prevent clumps from forming.
  7. When all the juice is added and the sauce is a uniform consistency, place pan over medium heat. Cook just until boiling, whisking frequently. Reduce heat, stirring often, about 5 more minutes. Sauce should be thick and glossy. Remove from heat.
  8. Serve the glaze drizzled hot over the beets. Serve immediately.

beets with grapefruit glaze

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