Adventures in Beets

Beets.

People either love them or hate them. But when you really give them a fair chance, you begin to notice their complexity and delicacy. Raw beets have a crisp crunch not unlike a carrot, but take on a mild and clean sweetness that I find refreshing. When cooked, their natural sugars caramelize and turn the hearty root into a robust and juicy mouthful. With such diversity of flavors and textures, beets can highlight subtle nuances while also standing up to bolder combinations.

I decided to celebrate this dichotomy last weekend, as we gathered together for a family meal. This meal was particularly memorable not because of the meal, but rather because we celebrated my sister and her boyfriend’s move to their first joint apartment. Here’s another cheers to Katie and Chris!

Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 lbs baby red beets (~1.5 inch diameter each)
2 large golden beets
3/4 cup fresh horseradish root
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup + 2 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs dijon mustard
4 egg yolks
Krazy Jane’s salt to taste
Salt and Pepper to taste
Chives (garnish)

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 450. Peel, rinse, and pat dry baby red beets. Wrap each beet in aluminum foil and place on baking sheet. Bake for 1-1.5 hours or until soft. Remove from oven, unwrap foil, and season with salt. Allow to cool.

Peel, rinse, and pat dry golden beets. With a mandolin, cut golden beets into thin rounds (~1/8 inch think). Place in plastic bag with juice of 1/2 lemon, 2 Tbs olive oil, 1 tsp Krazy Jane’s salt, and pinch of pepper. Allow to marinate, refrigerated, for 0.5-2 hours.

Peel, rinse, and pat dry fresh horseradish root. Finely grate to make 3/4 cup.

Separate 4 eggs, reserving the yolks for this recipe. Place egg yolks, juice of 1/2 lemon, dijon mustard, and horseradish root in blender. Pulse until combined. With blender on low, slowly drizzle in remaining olive oil. Continue blending until aioli thickens. Season with salt and pepper, and refrigerate.

Remove golden beets from refrigerator and remove from dressing.

To serve, layer raw golden beets with dollop of aioli in the center. Place red beet atop aioli. Garnish with chopped chives (optional).

 

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