The beet goes on …

Quick and easy borscht recipe from Stefanie Samara Hamblen.

Published: Friday, November 1, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 9:58 a.m.

Deep crimson, pink, striped, golden or white, beets can be found both spring and fall at our local farmers markets. Known for their bulbous taproot, they have been featured in worldwide cuisines for hundreds of years. Beets were a homegrown staple of Eastern European diets, most commonly found in the many varieties of a soup or stew called borscht.

The deep rich taste of cooked beets can be served on their own or featured in a variety of dishes from cold pickles, soups and salads to hot soups and casseroles. Additionally, raw beets may be juiced or grated into salads.

Beet greens are also edible. Very fresh greens may be served raw in salad, while even greens past their prime, but not yet yellowed, may be served sautéed or steamed on their own, or added with other veggies to stir fries and soups.

With all the delicious ways that beets may be served, it is hard to believe that there are some people who do not like them. Even the most emphatic beet hater can be converted to a fan of Oven Roasted Beets, since the natural sweetness is enhanced by baking beets in their skin.

Once baked, the skin is easily removed and the roasted beets may be grated to make Quick and Easy Borscht, or diced for salads and casseroles. Served in a composed Roasted Beet Salad, the sweet beets offset the bitter greens and the tang of goat cheese.

Beets take up very little room in the oven, so roast some other root vegetables at the same time to make the Roasted Root Casserole. It can be made ahead and either served at room temperature or hot with cheese melted over the top.

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