Off the Menu with Dara can be heard every Saturday from 11:00-Noon on News Radio 830 WCCO!
Have you noticed that there are bags of frozen raw beets in the freezer case lately? Look for them! They are there. I think we have the smoothie-makers in the crowd to thank, because beets are full of magnesium, potassium, vitamins A, B, and C—and then if you throw one into a smoothie everything turns bright pink, so that’s a win win. However, you can also cook them! And it can be really fast, and a good thing to do. How can you cook them? Like this! Here are my top-five frozen beet recipes.
Basic Pickled Beets
Take your bag of frozen beets. Cover in a microwave-safe dish. Add a little water. Cook for five minutes or so, depending on how powerful your microwave is. You want them to get hot. Now slice a white onion, add a half a dozen cloves, a dozen peppercorns, and cover the whole thing with cider vinegar. Refrigerate for at least four hours, or up to a month. If you add hard-boiled eggs to the mix for not too long, a couple hours or overnight, they’ll turn bright pink and it’s really cool.
Roasted Walnut and Beet Salad
All you need to turn frozen beets into roasted beets is a roasting pan, a little olive oil, and heat for half an hour. You don’t have to defrost them or anything, just toss the beety frozen blocks with olive oil and roast till they’re cooked through. Then, a little garlic and oil and vinegar—walnut oil if you have it, olive oil if you don’t—add some toasted walnuts and a little blue cheese. Very fancy and good.
Just throw a beet in any smoothie to make it purple—but the New York Times has one that’s even more colorful, with lots of berries. The berries mask the beet flavor. If you think such a thing needs to be masked. Which I do not!!
Barefoot Contessa’s Summer Borscht
Yes, you can use frozen beets for borscht. Just cook them in the microwave. Make sure you save the red liquid which comes off them in the cooking! Add it to yogurt, stock, some veggies—invite your Ukrainian grandma over for dinner and show her what a genius you are!
The Ubiquitous Beet and Goat Cheese Salad
Look, there’s a reason why roast beet and goat cheese salad has been on every menu for ten years. That is a good salad! It’s this easy. Cook your frozen beets in the microwave. Let them cool. Drain off the cooking liquid. (Or reserve for tomorrow’s smoothie if you’re feeling thrifty.) Toss the beets in a little oil, and salt and pepper them. Dress some arugula in a dressing of one part balsamic vinegar to two parts oil. Put the beets on the arugula. Scatter some goat cheese hither and yon. Add some nut or seed if you like—pecans, walnuts, pepitas, they all work. Pepper the whole thing to taste. You’re done! That’s good stuff.