Ingredient Spotlight: Beets

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Beets, as it seems, are as polarizing as political views at the Thanksgiving table. Either completely loveable or totally detestable, this humble root vegetable marches to the “beet” of its own drum, as nothing else tastes quite like it. All puns aside, this colorful ingredient is having a full-on culinary moment, and we’re not talking about your nonna’s mom’s borscht.

 

While it may seem ubiquitous now, beets first came on the food scene thanks to the now infamous beet and goat cheese salad. Created by chef-restaurateur Wolfgang puck in the early 1980s, it both made a name for him and the budding food-to-table movement based out of California.

 

“Earthy yet candy-like flavor.”

 

Russians and French chefs the world over might be scratching their heads when examining its popularity in modern American cuisine since their respective cultures have celebrated, neigh, even beet-colored blushed over this root in their classic recipes for centuries. Their small plate dynasty has moved to the U.S., creating a myriad of creative ways in which we have seen the humble beet be prepared. With every part of it being edible, including the greens, beets offer a variety of preparation with their sweet taste and bold colors. They’re highly nutritious, containing a great source of Vitamin C, Iron Magnesium and Potassium. Their earthy yet candy-like flavor pairs well with goat’s cheese, pepitas and bitter greens such as arugula or kale.

 

Like a more humble Midas, everything the beet touches turns pink. Pinterest is full of natural dye DIYs using beet juice for Easter eggs, cake icing and even lipstick. Vegetarian chefs have even gone so far as to use them as “blood” in veggie burgers, thanks  to its highly pigmented color. From the perfect pout to “bleeding” burgers, beets are now ubiquitous thanks to their  adaptability.

 

“Turn up the “beet” in the kitchen.”

 

Just note that while the ruby red variety is the most iconic, you can also find their golden and candy-striped cousins at your local farmer’s market or grocery store if you seek them out. No matter what color you choose to rock, we say go ahead and turn up the “beet” in the kitchen, because whether it’s at a Michelin-starred restaurant or the lunch menu of your local Cheesecake Factory, beets seem here to stay.

 

Check out our favorite beet-spiked recipes below.

 

 

 

 

Home Chef’s Un-beet-able Recipes

 

1. Chicken with Goat Cheese Butter with Roasted Beets

Sweet and tender beets compliment the gussed-up chicken perfectly. Get the recipe here.

 

2. Beet and Goat Cheese Farro Bowl

This bowl will put a spring in a step, so you can better dance to the “beet”. Get the recipe here.

 

3. Apple Butter Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Beets

The pork medallions are seasoned with cinnamon and chipotle, for an extra kick. Get the recipe here.

 

4. Roasted Garlic-Crusted Chicken with Beet Salad

 

Paired with a melodic beet, apple and fennel salad. Get the recipe here.