I came across some heirloom beets a few days ago and they were stunning! I bought two types. The first looked like a standard fuchsia beet on the outside, but slicing them exposed contrasting pink and white concentric rings. Delightful! The second, were bright orange-skinned, with yellow flesh.
I roasted both of them. Unfortunately the defined colours of the concentric rings dissolved somewhat in the roasting process, but they still tasted fabulous. According to some food writers you can avoid obliterating the lovely rings by steaming the beets as opposed to roasting.
The pink and white beets are defined by a sweet peppery flavour. The yellow-fleshed beets were sweeter again. I served them once they had cooled in a green salad, with bok choy flowers, salty sheeps feta, and an orange and poppy seed and pistachio nut dressing. A delicious combination!
I also held some of the beets back and mixed them into pasta dishes and added them to steamed greens over the following couple of days. Once roasted, the beets will keep for around a week in the fridge. Here’s the recipe, I hope you like it!
Three heirloom beets chopped into wedges (whichever you can find)
50 grams sheeps feta (crumbled)
Three handfuls salad leaves, I used a mixture of baby Spring greens including beets tops
Handful of bok choy flowers (if you can find them)
Handful roughly crushed pistachio nuts
Juice of one orange
Glug of olive oil
Two tea spoons of black poppy seeds
Salt and pepper
Step One: Roast your beets by placing them in a covered baking tray filled with water (to allow themto steam and roast), at 180C. They’ll take around 25 minutes, but you’ll know they are done when you can slice through them easily with a knife. Once they are cooked, drain the water the let them cool.
Step Two: Mix the dressing. In a small jug, squeeze the juice of your orange, add a glug of olive oil, a pinch of salt, the poppy seeds, and some ground black pepper. Shake it, or stir it and taste. It should be sweet and peppery.
Step Three: in a salad bowl place the greens, the bok choy flowers, the cooled beets, and crumbled feta and the crushed pistachios. Then pour over the dressing and mix with your hands, ensuring each leaf is coated with dressing.
Et voila! Serve and enjoy. And if you have any tips on cooking candy-striped beets and keeping the contrasting colours, I’d love to read them.