Beets are a colorful and nutritious addition to a meal. They are a source of vitamin C and the pigment betanin, which holds detoxification properties. Beets are a prolific spring or fall vegetable crop in Southeastern Pennsylvania due to their hardy natures. They can withstand low temperatures at night and even frost. And beets are multi-faceted as not just the red bulbs are edible but so too are the green leaves, which can be used just as any other leafy green like kale or Swiss chard. Another wonderful aspect of beets are that they store very well in the refrigerator if wrapped in plastic—several months later those beets are still crisp and delicious. Here are a few culinary suggestions for those tasty beets for spring, fall, and winter eating.
1. Pickled Beets
Pickled beets add a bit of sweet and spicy flavoring to salads and sandwiches. They can be canned for lengthy, non-refrigerated storage, but if you don’t feel like going into the canning process they store for months in a refrigerator. Pickled beets make any dish festive.
2. Potato and beet bake
This is a hearty root dish that can be a meal unto itself or a side to a main course of fish or meat. This is a good way to use produce that stores through the winter: beets, potatoes, and onions. This recipe is also incredibly easy.
10 medium potatoes
5 large beets
2 large onions
½ C milk
¼ C butter
1 C chedder cheese
1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Wash and peel potatoes and beets
- Chop beets, potatoes, and onions into quarters and put into a large baking pan
- Chop butter into chunks and scatter over vegetables
- Combine yogurt and milk and then spread mixture over veggies
- Sprinkle rosemary, cheese, and salt and pepper over the top of the dish
- Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until vegetables are tender.
3. Beet salad with goat cheese
When combined with tender spring lettuces, this salad makes a great spring dish. Or when prepared in the fall, it provides a nice vegetable change from the tomatoes, peppers, and squash of the summer months.
Borsht is a great use for both beets and cabbage. This is a traditional Russian soup that takes on a deep red coloring. It’s a delicious, rich, and hearty soup, just perfect for cold winter days. Make a large batch and then freeze the leftovers for an easy meal during those long winter nights. Here are links to vegetarian and non-vegetarian versions of this soup.
5. Beet, fennel, and orange salad
This salad is a wonderful holiday salad due to its colorful appearance, but it will also brighten up any day.