The mother dear gave me two enormous beets about a week ago, that a client had given to her from her own garden. I didn’t know that beets could get so large!
Since it was her birthday on Saturday (one week after mine – Happy Birthday mother dear!), I decided to make something fancy for dinner for her. It was the perfect opportunity to experiment with the glorious beets! The menu consisted of the following:
Appetizer: Cheese with rice crackers (the three cheeses I chose were my favourite smokey Gruyere, a local red wine aged cheddar, and a spiced gouda from the cheese shop at the Forks).
Main: Sole steamed over vegetables with Herbs de Provence, plus beet tartare and a multigrain baguette from Tall Grass Prairie with a plate of EVOO and balsamic to dip it in.
Dessert: Homemade chocolate mousse.
It was a delicious meal, if I do say so myself And we enjoyed a (couple of) nice bottle(s) of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo to accompany each course.
The star of the evening (besides the mother dear, of course) was by far the beet tartare. I adapted it from a recipe in the Essential New York Times cookbook and it was so good that the mother dear is planning on making it for Thanksgiving this year. Since I altered so much of the recipe (I don’t like capers, couldn’t find cornichons, and didn’t have time to cook it the way the recipe says to), I figure I can easily share it here with all of you.
– 1 1/4 lbs beets (or one of those gigantic beets)
– 1/2 onion, chopped
– 1 tsp Worcestshire sauce, or to taste
– 1 tsp sherry vinegar, or to taste
– Sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes
– A few handfuls chopped boiled leeks
– 1 tbsp mayo (I used vegan homemade :))
– Pepper and just a tiny pinch of salt
1) Peel the beets and chop roughly. Steam them on the stove for about 15 minutes or until they’re tender when poked with a fork. ***Be careful to put enough water in there or you’ll burn the bottom of your pot like I did.***
2) Transfer the beets to a food processor and add all other ingredients except the mayo/salt/pepper. Process until it’s all well-blended and smooth (I had to do this just little bits at a time, since I have a super cute mini food processor).
3) Spoon the mixture into a bowl and stir in the mayo, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
Serve these beets warm or at room temperature. Like I said, they work very well with steamed fish, but Mr. Science noted that they could work well as a cranberry sauce replacement (for Thanksgiving!), and the Essential New York Times cookbook also recommends pairing them with any other seafood. You could even have it as the main event of your meal! The recipe is supposed to serve four, and mine certainly made enough to feed about six (but that’s likely because we had so much other food). Feel free to add other veggies to the mix too.
I still have one other gigantic beet leftover. What’s your favourite way to serve beets? Have you ever made beet tartare? Do you adore the Essential New York Times cookbook as much as I do? Share in the comments section below!