beets on the brain

With certain foods, I tend to get stuck in the ways I prepare them. Beets are a good example. I like them roasted, with other root vegetables. I like making chips out of them, slicing them thin and baking them in the oven with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. When I’m feeling more adventuresome (and especially if I happen to have freshly made pasta on hand), I love this recipe for beets and greens pasta. But really, that’s about it. That’s my beet recipe repertoire.
In the last two days, I stumbled upon the following two recipes featuring none other than beets, so before they disappear from our local market for the season I wanted to share them with you. I hope you enjoy.

Beetroot Pesto, from Regitta Klint and featured at Design*Sponge.
Serves 4

  • 1 pound beets, cooked and peeled
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 ounces almonds
  • 2 ounces grated parmesan or pecorino cheese
  • sea salt
  • 1/4 cup plus a tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

{Note: If you prefer a sweeter taste, scrub and trim the tops from the beets and roast them in a foil-covered pan at 400ºF/200ºC until fork tender, about 1 hour.}

  1. Roughly chop the beets and run them in a food processor or blender with the garlic, almonds, grated parmesan and sea salt.
  2. With the blender running, gradually add the olive oil. Keep and serve refrigerated.
  3. Use beetroot pesto exactly as you would use traditional pesto: over roasted vegetables, with pasta, in risotto, or even better, serve with home-baked rye bread.

Red Beet Pancakes, from Weelicious

Serves 6

  • 1 Cup All Purpose Flour
  • 3/4 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 3 Tbsp Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Kosher Salt
  • 2 Medium Beets, roasted & pureed (about 3/4 Cups)
  • 1 1/4 Cup Milk
  • 1/3 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 3 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, melted
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla extract

Accompaniments: honey, maple syrup, butter, raspberry sauce

  1. Sift the first 5 ingredients into a bowl.
  2. Place the rest of the wet ingredients in a separate bowl and whisk thoroughly to combine.
  3. Add the dry ingredients into the wet and stir until just combined (you don’t want to overstir the batter — some lumps are good).
  4. Drop about 2 tbsp of the pancake mixture onto a greased griddle or pan over medium heat and cook for 3 minutes on each side.

Serve with desired accompaniments.

{NOTE:  To freeze: Place the pancakes in labeled zipper bags and freeze for up to 3 months}

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