Beets are bloody lovely this time of year with their sweet, sticky sanguine appeal. For die-hard carnivores beets offer a gateway vegetable to help supplement their meaty diet and for the opposing side it can help vegetarians fulfill their animalistic blood lust. For omnivores stuck in the middle… if you can’t join either of ‘em, beet ‘em.
10-12 small beets or 4-5 medium beets
700 ml tomato sauce puree
10 whole garlic cloves, peeled
salt, to taste
drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
700 ml bottle of tomato purée
4 hoagie/sub buns
200 g goat cheese
1 heaping Tbsp of mayonnaise
2 Tbsp finely chopped chives
horseradish, to taste
salt, to taste
Preheat your oven to 350˚F.
Chop the top ½ inch off the heads of garlic and place the garlic and beets in a deep baking dish. Pour ½ inch of water into the pan and cover tightly with tinfoil.
Roast the beets for 2 hours. Shake the pan around every half our or so.
Check to see if they are done by poking the point of a sharp knife into the beet and if the beet is soft and the knife slide back out easily the beets are done. If they’re not done roast for another 30 minutes and check again.
When the beets are done let them cool while you prepare the tomato sauce and the goat cheese.
Place the goat cheese, mayonnaise, chives, horseradish and a pinch of salt in a sealable sandwich bag. Mush it all up and snip off one of the corners to make pouring easy.
Get a large pot on the stove over medium heat and pour in the tomato sauce. Squeeze out the roasted garlic cloves into the sauce and season with a good pinch of salt. Let it simmer away while you peel the beets.
To avoid getting caught red handed you can peel the beets under trickling water in the sink or you can use rubber gloves. You won’t need a peeler because the skins are soft enough to just rub off with your thumbs.
Plop the beets into the pot of tomato sauce and cook for 5 minutes. If you have medium sized beets, you might want to quarter them to make eating possible.
Get a nice soft hoagie/sub bun and squeeze on some of that awesome goat cheese sub sauce, pile on the saucy beets and as much tomato sauce as you can handle and then scatter on a few left over chives. If there’s any room left drizzle on some really good olive oil.
Get some napkins handy, disconnect your jaw and take a big bite, careful it might be hot! If you were ever going to wear a bib, now’s the time.
gets along with
Apples, butter, carrots, chives, soft cheeses, cream, garlic, goat cheese, honey, horseradish, olive oil, orange, pinenuts, smoked meat, sour cream, walnuts, vinegar.
Go get some Alberta beets out in Bowden at the Eagle Creek Farm (eaglecreekfarms.ca)
Pick beets with tight, dry skins. They should be hard with no soft spots. Ideally you can get them with dark green leaves on top, which are lovely fried in butter with garlic and a splash of balsamic or sherry vinegar.
They come in loads of different colours from yellow to pink to candy striped. But the best beet flavour comes from the dark crimson red beets.
You can enjoy beets raw with this simple BEET TARTARE
. Peel 2-3 beets
and grate it into a bowl. Add a splash of olive oil
, some orange zest
, a little scoop of Dijon mustard
, 10 capers
, 1 finely chopped gherkin
pickle. Use a 4 inch metal ring (Or take both rounds out of a tuna can) to shape the beet mixture into a nice round shape on a plate. Top with little chunks of soft goat cheese
and a fried egg
and some freshly chopped chives
and lots of fresh cracked pepper.
No matter how often I eat beets, I am constantly alarmed the next day to discover that I am urinating blood . . . or so it seems. The dye in beets gives your urine a faint red tint and may come as a shock if you are not expecting it.
You’ve been warned.