Family Recipe Friday – Beets in the Box

My Hoskins grandparents had a big garden on their half-acre in Ottumwa, Iowa and Grandma did a lot of canning. Not as much as she did when she had a house full of kids to feed, but still – a lot. I liked to help her when I was a little girl. Sometimes I’d shell peas or snap beans or help fill jars. But help with the beets? Never. Eat her canned beets? No thank you! Those things bled when you cut them and they were simply too purpley red to eat!

I don’t remember mom ever serving beets to us, so maybe she wasn’t really a fan either.

DSCN3105These days I belong to a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm. I get a box of seasonal organic vegetables bi-weekly. This time of year there are beets in the box. As I have already reported, I don’t have a positive history with beets. My husband thinks beets taste like dirt.

I took the beets the first time they were in our box and found a recipe for roasting them. It has been my experience that you can eat most any vegetable if you roast it. They weren’t bad – but I knew I would need to develop a “taste” for them. Husband took a couple of bites without complaint, but he still prefers that I trade out the beets for something we like better.

Grandma had a recipe for Harvard Beets in with her recipe cards. I don’t know if she made them often or not. I’m going to share it here anyway for posterity’s sake. Then I’m going to follow up with a recipe that I want to try.

Harvard Beets

2 cups beets, diced
2/3 cup liquid (beet juice and water)
Heat.

Mix:
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/3 tablespoons sugar
2/3 teaspoon salt
dash pepper
1/4 cup vinegar

Cook until smooth and well blended.

Most recipes I find for beets are of the roasted variety or involve shredding raw beets to add to a green salad. I thought this recipe from Laurel’s Kitchen might have potential in a different direction.

Fruity Beety

4 beets                                              
3 oranges
2 tablespoons coconut
1 teaspoon honey
juice of 1/2 lemon
grated peel of 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons currants
(1 teaspoon vinegar)
pinch salt

Wash beets and steam whole until tender; then peel. Grate on ripple-shaped grater or slice in long, think sticks.

Peel, seed, and cut up oranges. Place half the oranges in blender with coconut, honey, lemon juice, and peel, and blend 2 minutes.

MIx all ingredients, balancing the sweetness with the additional vinegar if needed. Chill, letting the flavors blend for 2 hours or so.

Makes 3 cups.

Notes on Fruity Beety:

The recipe does not say how long to steam the beets. I think mine took about 25 minutes – I forgot to time them exactly. Easy to peel after steaming.

DSCN3107

Grated beets

I had three golden beets in my box this week and two fairly large oranges on hand, so that’s what I used. Since my beets were a golden variety, my salad is a monochromatic orange. Had I had the traditional red beets, this would have been some shade of red.

I didn’t use any vinegar. I added a little coconut on top to make it prettier.

DSCN3111

Fruity Beety

This wasn’t bad. I still haven’t developed a taste for beets, but I might if I make this a few more times. For those who really don’t like beets, but would like to cook with seasonal vegetables, you might add an additional orange and more coconut to mask the beets a little more. My husband said it tasted like oranges and roots. Obviously, he is still not a fan of beets. I tried. (sigh)

4 comments on “Family Recipe Friday – Beets in the Box

  1. Pickled beets are good. Don’t ask me how to pickle them!!

    • kathy on said:

      I never have liked anything pickled, so pickled beets don’t sound good to me. I’ve been wondering if Grandma’s canned beets were pickled. I don’t think I even stayed in the kitchen when she canned them, so I don’t have any memories of how she prepared them. :)

  2. Mariann Regan on said:

    Thank you for the new recipe — I do like the combination of beets, oranges, and coconut. And I want to congratulate you on belonging to a CSA farm . . . organizations like those can be so helpful even when the politicians can’t get it together about “Big Ag.” We use nearby farmers’ markets and organic food stores for meat raised on farms and organic vegetables. Seems important. : ))

    So far we’ve been making up a dish with roasted & sliced beets mixed with the sauteed beet greens. We chop and sautee the greens briefly with olive oil & garlic, and the whole dish has a kind of sweet-sour flavor. My opinion: better than collards. (We’ve tried and tried to make collards tender . . . but failed so far.)

    • kathy on said:

      If you try the recipe, let me know how you like it. I think I’m going to make it again – but maybe only half a recipe at a time since I may be the only one eating it!

      I’m trying to get more and more of my food from local sources, but it is a change from the convenience (and often the prices) we have grown used to.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

HTML tags are not allowed.