When I mentioned that I had leftover CSA beets on my Facebook page and asked for help, I received some really great suggestions. And what did I do? I picked the three most promising recipes, the ones with the most instant results, and I tried them: pickled beets, beet walnut dip, and beet chips. And you know what? I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the results. This trio of try-it-outs has greatly improved my beet perspective. Maybe it will brighten yours as well. At the very least, I’m not scared of the future beets in my CSA.
Ahh. The pickled beet. Of the three beet recipes that I tried, this was the least favorite in my house. Jason and Julia turned up their noses. Personally, I liked them. (Max did too, but he likes everything.) I followed this recipe. But Jason complained that pickled beets are “more tangy than a dill pickle,” which is a bad thing, I guess. I’ve eaten them plain, and I’ve put them on an egg salad sandwich. They provide a little zing and a whole lot of color, for sure. And this week, I think I’m going to put them on salads or even have them by themselves with some lemon zest and maybe parsley as a side dish for dinner. Some people do heat them up, but for some reason, warm pickled beets might be pushing it a bit too far for me.
(Thanks to Mary for this recipe.) It sounds random, doesn’t it? Beets. Walnuts. But this recipe was surprising because it doesn’t taste anything beet-like. And honestly it was more hummus-like than beet-ish. It has a wonderfully nutty flavor (thanks to the walnuts, duh). We’ve eaten it on toasted pita chips, but I think it would be yummy on other CSA veggies like carrots or maybe radishes or in place of mayonnaise on a sandwich. In my internet searching, I did read of people eating it straight with a fork, but I don’t think I’m quite going there. This recipe also forced me to make tahini (sesame paste), which was so easy, and I’m glad to have it in my refrigerator. We all liked this dip. Plus, it’s pink, and how can you not like that?
Should I be surprised that this was the most popular beet recipe that I tried? Kale chips were a hit, why not beets? Of course, beets aren’t as easy to chip-itize as kale. Mostly I had issues slicing the beets the same thickness for each chip, which complicated the baking since each chip baked in a different time. (I burned three batches before I figured it out.) Enter my Cuisinart and the slicer attachment that I’d never used before. But I’ll use it now. It made my beet chips long and skinny strips, but they were crunchy and good. All I did was slice them, spread just a little bit of olive oil on them, sprinkle with sea salt, and then bake them at 325 for about 30 minutes. Simple, right? Try it with your beets. I see more beet chips in our future.