Pretty in Pink

January 6, 2008 at 4:19 am 8 comments

Beets boiled, peeled, and quartered 

Deb over at Smitten Kitchen spelled out her resolutions for 2008, one of which was to be more frugal in her menus by using up what’s already in the fridge before heading to the market.  To this I say, “here, here!!”   That was until I started looking around my own fridge and realized I should have taken on this resolution about four months ago – moldy cheese, sad-looking shriveled carrots, and dried out halves of onions that I was sure I’d use up the next day but forgot all about and ended up cutting a fresh onion.   Frugal I am not.

Questionable eets

One thing that did survive months of being snubbed for some other bright and shiny new ingredient were a bunch of beets I’d plucked from the farm some time in September or October.  Mind you, these beets were questionable at best upon first inspection with almost blackened skins and roots that, well, let’s just say the roots weren’t looking so hot. 

If I hadn’t opened the fridge with the intention of salvaging something that might otherwise go to waste, I would most likely have moved on to fresher possibilities.  But, as it was, I thought I’d give the beets a chance.  They were, after all, still quite firm.  It’s what’s on the inside that counts, right?  After a few minutes of hard scrubbing and precision cuts to lob off the defunct roots, the beets looked half way respectable.   And once the skins slipped off after boiling, they were some of the prettiest shades of pink.   

Sauteed Beets with Mustard and Lemon

The flavor also proved to be superb for this Sauteed Beets with Mustard and Lemon recipe.   Since the beets were actually sweeter for their lengthy rest in the fridge, I upped the lemon juice and wished I had upped the chile pepper too.  Still, this dish was deliciously light and be beauty to behold on the plate. 

The flavor agents

Sautéed Beets with Mustard and Lemon
Adapted from 5 Spices, 50 Dishes

4 or 5 medium beets
2 T. peanut oil
¼ t. mustard seeds
1 small chile pepper, slices into thing rounds
Pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper
juice of one lemon
1 T. minced cilantro

Scrub beets well.  Cover with water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat and simmer, covered, until tender – about 20 minutes depending on the size of the beets. Drain and let beets cool before sliding off their skins.  Chop beets into half inch thick wedges. 

Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over high heat.  When the oil begins to smoke, add the mustard seeds, covering to avoid splattering.  Once seeds stop sputtering, add chile pepper slices and stir once before adding beets and salt.  Toss to coat with oil and then cover and let beets steam over low heat for another 5-6 minutes. 

Remove from heat and place in serving dish.  Toss with lemon juice and cilantro.  Serve warm or cold. 

(serves 2)

Sauteed Beets with Mustard and Lemon

Entry filed under: Purely Vegetables, Recipes. Tags: , , , , , .

Friday Fun ‘n Flashbacks Try It. You’ll Like It.

8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. taylor  |  January 6, 2008 at 4:33 pm

    God, I love beets. I ate so many over Xmas that my poo got into the Xmas spirit, too (TMI?). Do you know I didn’t eat them until I moved to PA, ’cause I had only had pickled beets before and didn’t like them!

  • 2. Jennie  |  January 6, 2008 at 7:56 pm

    TMI, Taylor, TMI!!! 😉 I did not know that you hadn’t eaten fresh beets until a few years ago. Conversly, pickled beets are my favorite way to have them. 🙂

  • 3. Curious"C" at Idea Jump  |  January 7, 2008 at 10:10 am

    I just had roasted beets (and other root vegs) for dinner last night! Coincidence? (first time here)

  • 4. Jennie  |  January 7, 2008 at 11:54 am

    Curious “C” – I wouldn’t call it “coincidence” as much as I would “serendipity”… 🙂 Welcome and enjoy the blog!!

  • 5. Andrea  |  January 17, 2008 at 8:31 am

    I know what you mean about being frugal! I have a tendency to forget very small amounts of things, and they get lost in the forest of plastic containers in my frig. I think I need to make a resolution, too! 🙂

    Very pretty dish! I love beets and don’t cook with them nearly enough. Your recipe sounds delicious. Thanks for sending it to Grow Your Own!

  • 6. Jennie  |  January 17, 2008 at 9:09 am

    Hi Andrea! Thanks for stopping by! Yep, these are some yummy beets, although I have to sheepishly admit that about a half cup of leftovers wasted away in the “forest” and just got pitched yesterday. Next resolution is to finish any leftover before I start cooking again… 😉

  • 7. autumnmist  |  February 18, 2008 at 7:17 pm

    Can you suggest a possible substitute for mustard seeds? We don’t have any… 😦

  • 8. Jennie  |  February 18, 2008 at 8:25 pm

    Autumnmist…wow, I think you might have stumped me with this question… Do you have access to ground mustard? It wouldn’t be quite the same but it might work. I’m not fond of it in general, but horseradish might be an option…has some of that nip and heat to it. If I think of something else, I’ll let you know. 🙂


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