Russian Gourmet:Beets

Americans generally eat anything that moves (possum, snake, turtle, squirrel, etc.) with the side dish of anything that grows (sprouts, green beans, asparagus, etc). That’s why it always surprises me when my co-workers make disgusted faces and puking noises when I say something about beets. Why beets were chosen for the role of the hated vegetable is still unclear to me. What’s clear is the fact that they are delicious, slightly sweet, low calorie and help cure everything from cancer to icy roads.

I, on the other hand, love beets and eat them frequently. They can be boiled, roasted, steamed, microwaved and eaten in soups (readers of this blog already know about borscht), salads,by themselves and with other vegetables. My favorite simplest beet recipe is just shredded cooked beets, little bit of minced garlic, mixed with some mayo or sour cream. For a more complex but still easy to make salad I like vinegret (mine is not exactly like this guy’s recipe but he took better pictures).
So forget your childhood fears and on your next trip to the store buy a bunch of beets. You’ll be peeing red for a week!
For more recipes check out Alton Brown’s “Beet it!”
P.S. No matter what you’ve been told by crazy vegetarians, the root is the edible part of the beet plant, leave the tops for your pet goat.

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  • We love beets: especially Harvard beets. We have some growing in our garden as I type this. My mother taught me well. “I love anything that grows in the ground,” she said.

    So in her honor I say, Happy Mother’s Day.

  • I was given sugar beet seeds today. Want them?

  • No thanks, I never heard of people eating sugar beets, but I served in the military next to the sugar plant and the smell was nasty.

  • Beets = Bliss in my book, Meesha. They are delicious and believe it or not, there are times that I actually crave them. My Handsome Husband will look at me with horror in these moments, but whatever…they remind me of my Ukrainian and Lithuanian grandmothers and the dishes of my childhood. The same goes for red cabbage properly prepared. And potatoes. I adore your culinary tastes. Why isn’t there a Russian/Baltic restaurant in KC? WHY?!?

  • because nobody goes there, they tried to open one a few times and failed every time. your only choice it to befriend a Russian and invite yourself for dinner. 🙂

  • I like Harvard beets…and maybe a pickled beet on my salad. That’s it.

  • midtown miscreant

    Ive only had pickled beets, which I like, just not that often. I also dont fall under the eat anything category previously mentioned. No wild critters and no swine for me.

  • I love beets, but my husband is in the haters’ camp, so I seldom end up eating them.

  • travel

    Beets growing in my garden right now, too. One of those foods most people hate as a kid but learn to love and very low calorie too.

  • I am one of the pickled beet eaters (sounds almost dirty dont it). It took a while to develop an affinity for them, and I don’t like every example of the dish. I have never thought to try them any other way tho.

  • May

    I know beets are good for us, but I can never not taste dirt on them no matter how much I clean them! So, that’s my excuse.

  • You are supposed to peel them. 🙂

  • MEAF

    i’ve been on a search for beet pollen and have been very unsuccessful ….im not able to grow the beets myself but i need the pollen for school-related research
    does anyone have any ideas on where i could obtain the pollen or know of a way to help me out?

  • I didn’t even know beets HAD pollen!