DemosNews: The Rich Succulence of Beets
The Rich Succulence of Beets
By: Kate Collins

There are lovely young beets in the market today, even though autumn’s already advanced. Savor their leaves and roots in separate dishes. Sautéed greens, shell-coddled eggs, and crumbled goat cheese shot with sherry vinegar make a nice light meal without need to run to the butcher. A little spoonful of balsamic/fig glaze transforms the roasted bulbs into an intensely flavored condiment for meat or cheese.

Select beets with fresh young leaves and smallish roots. They keep nicely in the refrigerator for several days if bagged with plastic.

1) Consume the leaves first because they’re time vulnerable. Wash them carefully and snip into two inch lengths. Segregate those with a thicker red rib in the center (i.e., toward the root end), and sauté them in a little olive oil over medium heat in a lidded frying pan, turning them from time to time. Let them soften for several minutes but not discolor, then add the daintier upper leaves. Cook a minute or two more, remove from heat, and uncover.

Meanwhile, boil a couple of eggs for five or six minutes. Aim that they emerge midway between soft and hard, the yolk moist and holding its shape, but not runny. Better to end up a tad too soft, than dry and flakey. Obviously, timing depends on egg size.

Heap the fragrant, glossy leaves on a serving plate. Crack open the eggs and add sections of white and yolk scooped from the shells with a spoon. Garnish with a few olives, crumbled goat cheese, and a pinch or sea salt. Dribble sparingly with fine sherry vinegar.

2) To enjoy the beet roots as accompaniment or salad, toss them with a little oil in an ovenproof dish. Add several tablespoons of water, and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake at 400º for one hour, or until tender to the poke of a knife. Roasting them yields a far richer flavor than boiling. Take care lest you scald yourself with steam as you remove the foil.

When the beets cool sufficiently to handle, slip the skins with your fingers and a sharp knife. Cut them into bite size wedges or slices, and add a little of the divine balsamic-fig glaze made in Italy by Mussini (Crema de Balsamico n Fichi from Modena) if you’re lucky enough to find it. Fig vinegar or balsamic serve well standing alone too. Or make a regular salad of it with Italian parsley, sliced scallions or sweet red onion, olive oil and vinegar.

© 2023 Kate Collins of DemosNews

November 2, 2008 at 1:41pm
DemosRating: 4.5
Hits: 1465

Genre: Food (Recipes)
Type: Creative
Tags: fig-balsamic, glaze, coddled, eggs, beetgreens,

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