Beets belong to the amaranth family and are related to chard, quinoa, and spinach. The beetroot is the taproot portion of a beet plant, also known as the table beet, garden beet or red beet. They are known since the ancient Middle East, primarily for their greens, and were grown by the Ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. From the Middle Ages, beetroot was used as a treatment for a variety of conditions. Beet greens are some of the most nutrient-rich greens around!..
Although Bull's Blood beets are known to be among the best, not all beets are red. Beets come in a range of colors and sizes. Beets can be eaten raw or cooked into various methods.
Prepare beets right before cooking. Trim off greens from the bunches and save for later use (blanch leaves for ≈30 seconds). Soak beetroots in water for 10 min or so. Renew water, scrub and wash again until water comes out clear. Drain beets and pat dry.
Eaten raw, beets are great shredded or cut into shavings using a mandoline. Beets can be cooked using the sous-vide method or boiled or steamed or roasted in salt or wrapped in foil. Beets can also be immersed in neutral oil (confit) and cooked slowly over the stove or in the oven at 290ºF/145ºC. Whichever method you choose, always cook beet whole and unpeeled. Otherwise some of the nutrients and juice will be lost during cooking. Although each cooking method works fine, the steaming method remains the quickest while beetroots cooked in oil are best.
If your oven as a steam cooking feature – For half pound beets, steam for ≈20 min. If using the pressure cooker, add 2 cups/500g of water to the inner pot, place a steam rack on the bottom and add beets. Cook on steamer position for 20 minutes or so. Large beets will take longer. Let cool, peel and cut off ends.
Place cleaned beets on a thick bed of kosher or grey salt. It'll take an hour to cook for a 7-ounces/200g beets at 390ºF/190ºC for 2 hours. These 3 large beets (400g each) took 2 hours. Remove cooked beets from salt right after cooking. To roast beets in the oven, rub each cleaned beet in oil and wrap in aluminum foil. Let cool beets. Peel and cut off ends right before using.
Take extra care when cooking with oil. Place cleaned and pat dried beets in a large saucepan, cover with a cheap and neutral vegetable. It takes about an hour for a 7-ounce/200g beet to cook, so double cooking time for large beets. Bring to a gentle boil and cook slowly for 45 minutes on the stove or in a 290ºF/145ºC. Turn off the heat and leave it for ≈15 min more. To check beet doneness, insert a tooth pick into the flesh from the stem and push it to the center. Avoid thicker devices otherwise the beet may bleed. Remove cooked beets from the oil and let cool completely before peeling. Pass used oil through a cheesecloth and store in a cool area for your next batch.
Cooked beets can stored peeled or unpeeled for up to 4 days. Use paper towels to peel beets, the skin will come off easily, and cut off ends. Store beets in freezer bags and refrigerate for up to 4 days. Though, beets shelf-life can significantly be extended when vacuum-sealed. Avoid freezer.
Whisk the vinegar vigorously and pour the extra virgin olive oil in thin stream. Season to taste with salt, pepper and reduced balsamic vinegar. A hint of minced garlic, shallots or chives can be added to the vinaigrette if desired.
Greek feta cheese can be subbed for goat cheese log. However, feta cheese can only be crumbled over the salad. Chop nuts and add cocoa nids. Give a light toast over the stove and let cool. Rub and press the nuts onto the cheese and refrigerate. Cut into 40g serving size – keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
When it comes to food plating techniques, even basic dishes like a beet salad can benefit from thoughtful presentation—it makes the dish seem more appetizing and valuable. If you plan to make this salad for the whole family, place beet wedges in a large bowl, garnish with feta cheese, arugula, orange supremes and a light touch of red onion shavings. Season with vinaigrette to taste.
Beet salad plating for restaurant: arrange a few seasoned arugula leaves into a circle. Season beet wedges and orange supremes. Arrange beets and oranges artfully over the salad. Place goat cheese in the center and top with a walnut halve. If using feta cheese, crumble it over. Add a drizzle of vinaigrette.
Here is another cool way to serve beet. Use a large and whole red beet and trim it; just like a filet mignon. Top with Greek feta cheese and garnish with seasoned arugula, pomegranate seeds, orange supremes, red onion shavings, toasted hazelnuts and add more dressing. Enjoy!