What the heck do you do with a big bag of beets? This question was posed to me last year after my sister harvested a ridonculous amount of beets from her garden.
“There are all kinds of things to do with beets,” I answered. ”You can roast them and freeze them, pickle them, grate them and freeze them for future, make beet and chocolate cake aka Red Velvet Cake, beet veggie burgers, beet salads….”
So when I was at a local farm a couple of weeks ago, I could not resist purchasing a big beautiful bag of dark purpleley crimson beets.
So now what do I do with them all? Funny when the tables are turned the question is a lot less easy to answer.
The big problem actually remains that I get bored with food too fast. I’ve had beets and kamut salad, beet veggie burgers, beet relish, roasted beet soup, red velvet cake, beet flan, beet and orange Salad, but I wanted something I’ve never had before. Something different.
My sister’s dilemma became more apparent. If it’s not a salad or a soup, the recipe tends to use very few beets. So how does one get through copious amounts of beets? My search on the internet lead me to the same old recipes or to be more truthful, very little inspired me. I did find 2 recipes I’m looking forward to trying but I’ll save them for the fall. I found a beet slider recipe that was fun but I didn’t feel like making little buns. I wanted something light, something with limited ingredients that would truly let the beets shine, but I wanted a substantial meal. A meal that doesn’t leave one feeling like “is that it?” or “where’s the meat?” Now in this particular recipe there is meat but very little and it is completely optional. Besides, even some vegetarians make an exception when it come’s to bacon!
I was inspired by a recipe from Chatelaine for Linguini with Lemon, Rosemary and Roasted Beets but this is what I came up with. Warm Lemony Navy Beans with Roasted Beets and a Mint Yogurt Sauce. Ok, so maybe they’re not very similar but it was the inspiration.
I gave Rob, the lovely man who was installing the blinds in our new place, a sample plate at lunch yesterday and he said it was one of the best meals he’s ever had. And no, I was not in the room at the time. I just overheard him saying that to my husband. I hope you’ll consider giving navy beans and beets a try!
Warm Lemony Navy Beans with Roasted Beets and a Mint Yogurt Sauce
- 8 small beets
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp coarse salt
- fresh ground pepper
- 1 cup dry navy beans or 2 cans
Prep the beans according to package directions. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Clean and trim the beets. Place the beets in a large roasting pan and toss with 2 Tbsp of oil. Sprinkle with salt and plenty of pepper. Roast the beets for 1 hour or until tender.
|The murder scene|
- 8 strips of bacon or veggie bacon (optional)
- 1 lb of asparagus
- 3 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
15 minutes before the timer goes off for the beans and beets, heat a frying pan to medium high heat. Cut the bacon strips into 1/2 inch pieces. Pan fry the bacon until the fat starts to render. Clean and cut the asparagus into 3 inch pieces. Drain any excess fat out of the pan before adding the asparagus. Add the asparagus to the pan and cook until almost tender. Add the cooked beans, lemon juice and waluts. Stir until well combined.
To serve, slice the beets and layer at the bottom of the plate, and reserve a few to garnish the top. Pile on the lemony white beans and drizzle with yogurt mint sauce.
Note: if not using bacon you’ll want to add 2 Tbsp of olive oil to the pan before sauteing the asparagus.
Minted Yogurt Sauce
- 1 cup yogurt
- 1 cup packed mint leaves
- 2 green onions
Combine these 3 ingredients in a food processor and mix until mostly smooth. Some green flecks should remain.
Note: I saved the olive oil from the beet roasting pan for salad dressings or for dipping bread. Waste not, want not.