A How To On The Beet
The beet comes in may varieties with the best know being the beetroot or garden beet. Other varieties include the leaf vegetables chard and spinach beet that go well in salads. But how does one pick, clean, and cook one of the least popular vegetables?
Selecting Your Beet
When choosing a beets you need to look for ones that are firm and round, do not pick ones that are soft or slimy. The color should be deep and the bulbs smooth, you need to avoid any with dark or black spots. If you are shopping at a road side stand or a open market do not worry if the beet has dirt on it that only means it has not been handles much and less change of damage.
Cleaning Your Beet
You will need to plan on using the beet fairly soon after purchase to insure the best tasting dishes. It would be a good idea to cover your work space with wax paper and wear rubber gloves to prevent staining from the beet. First you cut off the greens leaving about 1 inch of the stem on. Do not trim the root end off. Gently wash beets in cold running water and carefully scrub the delicate skin of the beet with a paper towel. Keep the skin intact to also reduce the amount of beet juice loss.
Cooking Your Beet
Steaming makes the beets tender and does not add anything to the vegetable. Peel and cut and place the beet in a steamer. Remember that the pieces need to be uniform in size so that they will cook evenly. Cook for about 10 minutes or until tender.
Baking or roasting
Leave the peel on and roast (375° oven) or bake (for small bulbs 300° oven) for 15 to 20 minutes depending on the size. When the beet becomes tender then you can remove the skin easier. Once the skin is removed you can use the beet in your choose of dish and season as you like.
Again you need not peel the beet when you boil them. Place the beets in a pot of boiling water. You can cut them in pieces or leave whole. Allow them to cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until they become tender. Then place in cold water and remove the skin. Once the skin is removed you can use the beet in your choose of dish and season as you like.
My favorite is the Harvard Beet, the recipe is below. But here is a list of ingredients that go well with the beet so that you can be creative with your own dishes.Allspice
Harvard BeetsIngredients¾- cup white sugar4- teaspoons cornstarch1/3 – cup white vinegar1/3- cup water15- ounces sliced beets3- tablespoons butter¼ – teaspoon salt and pepper
DirectionsStep 1 Combine sugar, cornstarch, vinegar and water in saucepan and bring to boil. Cook for 5 minutes.Step 2 Add beets and simmer for 30 minutes over low heat.Step 3 Stir in butter, salt and pepper and removed from heat.Serve warm or chilled.