Beets Three Ways

Ode to the beet, which brightens the darkening days of winter with life-giving colour. Heavenly greens and earthy sweet roots, crisp with shocking fuchsia, gold or candy cane. Elegant and crunchy raw; warm and
satisfying cooked. Low in calories and high in nutrients, strengthening our blood and immunity.

Truly blessed we are for having this bounty of food grown for us by our local farmers. We gathered ingredients for this beety adventure from Dan’s, Mitchell’s, the Plot, Little Bird Farm, Black Rose Farm and Foragers Galley, all heroes in building our Island’s food security. Yay farmers! Thank you.
photo by Janis Jean Photography and styled by Fiona Percy

BEETHOVEN’S NINTH – Sister to our Carrot Cake of Love.

Shred 6 cups of red BEETS (about 6 medium beets), place in a medium mixing bowl and let rest for juice to release.

In a large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients: 4 cups of FLOUR, 1 cup of SUGAR, 4 tsp of ground CARDAMOM, 4 tsp of ground, roasted CARAWAY (heat seeds in a pan over med/low heat until slightly browned, stirring occasionally. Let cool on a plate then grind.) 1 tsp of SALT, 4 tsp of BAKING SODA, 4 tbsps of BAKING POWDER.

In a third mixing bowl, mix together until smooth, 8 EGGS, 2 cups of CANOLA OIL, 1 cup of SOUR CREAM, 2 tsp of VANILLA EXTRACT and 2 tbsps of LEMON JUICE.

Back to the bowl with the shredded beets; squeeze out and save excess beet juice (for icing). Toss beets with a ¾ cup of BROWN or RAW SUGAR and 1 cup of CHOPPED WALNUTS.

Stir wet ingredients into the dry and then stir in the the beets. Grease and flour large cake pan (we use a 10″x 3″ round) and line bottom with parchment paper. Pour batter into pan and bake at 350° for 70-80 minutes. Let cool completely.

Make Pink Cream Cheese Icing – in a mixer, mix until smooth – 1/2 lb of BUTTER, 2 lbs of CREAM CHEESE, 1¾ cups ICING SUGAR, 1 tbsp of LIME or LEMON ZEST, 3 tsps of ground, roasted CARAWAY and 4-5 tbsps of saved beet juice.

With large serrated knife, cut through the middle of the cake, creating two layers. Ice the middle 1/2″ thick. Put top of cake back on and ice entire cake 1/2″ thick. Garnish with fennel flower – or whatever brings you joy.

TURN THE BEET AROUND – A salad guaranteed to improve your dancing. Serves 6-8

In a large pot, boil 15 MEDIUM BEETS (golden, red, candy cane) and skin when cooled. Then cut into 1/8ths.

In a pan, roast 1 lb. of BLUE OYSTER MUSHROOMS with a little OLIVE OIL, salt and pepper at 350° for 20 min. Add to the roasting pan full leaves of RADICCHIO or SWISS CHARD for 2-3 minutes (sweetens and softens the leaves).

In a large bowl, lay down the roasted leaves, and playfully assemble beets and mushrooms with 2 bunches of chopped raw BEET GREENS, 1/2 lb FAVA SPROUTS, 6 oz. of GOAT CHEESE in pieces and 4 small FENNEL BULBS (or 1 large) shaved.

Toss with Apple Cider Vinaigrette (in a jar, combine 1 clove of chopped GARLIC, 1 cup of OLIVE OIL, 7 tbsp APPLE CIDER VINEGAR, 1 tsp of MUSTARD, a pinch of salt and pepper and 1 ice cube. Shake up.) Add a few edible flowers and eat listening to DISCO.

GOLDEN SOUP – Devine. Serves 6.

In a large sauce pan, sauté 1 ONION, diced, and 2 good looking Chanterelle Mushrooms in OLIVE OIL over medium/low heat. Remove mushrooms and set aside (for garnish). Peel and dice 12 MEDIUM GOLDEN BEETS, 1 large or 2 small CELERIAC (celery root), 4 TART APPLES, 5 oz CHANTRELLE MUSHROOMS. Add to the cooked onion, stirring for a few minutes on medium heat, browning slightly. Add 1 litre of vegetable stock, salt and pepper and simmer until tender (about 20 min.) Blend smooth. Season to taste, bowl up and garnish with shaved FRESH HORSE RADISH, PARMESAN, a sprig of ITALIAN PARSLEY, those 2 good looking Chanterelles and a drizzle of Olive Oil.

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