Article by Chef Linda Weiss
Photo by Robert Shober
first time I remember having beets was on a visit to my maternal grandmotherÕs
home in Mobile. Mommy, as we called her, served the beets with orange sauce in
an oblong china dish. They were the prettiest dark color and I could see the
rind of the orange that had been grated over the beets. Now days the rind would
be known as zest, but back then she didnÕt have a zester, and everyone used a
grater for taking the rind off without getting any of the bitter white part in
the food. Today we know it as zesting.
I learned to love the earthy flavor of beets back
then but when I got older, I was always afraid to cook them. I guess I thought
that I wouldnÕt know how to peel them or wouldnÕt cook them long enough. But,
you know the little red jewels are easy to work with and to cook.
Beets with orange sauce, also known in some areas
as Harvard Beets, have been around for many years, still as good today as they
were over 55 years ago on my grandmotherÕs table. But, I also have a new recipe
for you thatÕs really pretty and really good. ItÕs a beet salad. I used roasted
beets on a bed of baby greens, topped with feta cheese and raspberry
vinaigrette. Mmmm, very good and very fresh tasting. Even my visiting
granddaughter, Rebecca, liked the salad.
Enjoy the recipes this week and if you have any
cooking questions, need a recipe or just want to e-mail me, by all means please
do, at [email protected]
Beets on Baby Greens with Feta
2 medium beets or 1 large beet per person
Baby salad greens
1 (8-ounce) container Feta cheese
Orange juice and zest
Preheat the oven to 350. Place unpeeled, trimmed
beets on foil in an ovenproof dish. Cover with foil and bake the beets until
they are tender, 45 to 60 minutes depending on size.
When the beets are done (tender), remove from the
oven to cool. When ready to peel, put on rubber gloves to peel the beets,
otherwise your hands will be stained deep red from the beet juice. The peel
should slip off but if it doesn't, just use a knife and peel as close to the
meat as possible. When the peel is off, cut the beets into slices or cut each
beet into 4 wedges. Salt the beets.
Place 1 ½ cups baby greens on each salad
plate. Place the beet wedges or slices in the center of the greens. Crumble
feta or cut into cubes and distribute among the four salad plates. Drizzle the
beets lightly with orange juice, and then drizzle the salad with Raspberry
Vinaigrette. If you like, you can use some of the zest of the orange over the
salad. Serves 4.
1/3 cup seedless raspberry preserves, or jam
1/4 cup vegetable oil
4 teaspoons rice vinegar
4 teaspoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon dry white wine
1 teaspoon Country Dijon Mustard
In a small bowl, mix the preserves, vinegars,
white wine and mustard. Slowly drizzle the oil into the dressing while
whisking. Store in the refrigerator. Better yet, use a jar to mix the dressing
and keep in fridge in that same jar.
don't have my grandmother's recipe for Beets with Orange Sauce (or Harvard
Beets), we'll use an orange sauce recipe to put over roasted beets. You can use
the same recipe for roasting as we used for the salad. Instead of cutting the
beets into quarters after roasting and peeling, cut beets into slices. This recipe comes from Charleston
Receipts, published by the Charleston Junior League in 1950.
Beets with Orange Sauce
1 cup orange juice
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon butter
2 level tablespoons cornstarch
Salt to taste
*Add the zest of the orange
Combine sugar, salt and cornstarch, blending well.
Add juice and butter. Cook in top of double boiler 5 minutes. Serve over sliced
boiled beets. *I changed this to roasted beets, and added some of the zest over
the top of the beets with Orange Sauce. The oils in the orange zest give it
such a good fresh flavor.