By MIELLE CH´ENIER-COWAN ROSE | Moonshine Ink
These candy-striped beets are sweeter and less beety than regular red beets, so kids and beet-resisters might enjoy them more! Their greens are more lush and tender, too. They’ll lose their beautiful pattern if overcooked, so go for quick-roasted, steamed, raw, pickled, or even quickly deep-fried to retain the pretty stripes.
Chioggia Beet Carpaccio Salad with Farmer Cheese
6 beets, tops cut off
lettuce or arugula
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
1 tsp thinly sliced scallions
1 Tbsp cilantro leaves
4 oz fresh farmer cheese (or ricotta)
3 Tbsp lime juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp cumin seeds, toasted, and ground
4 Tbsp olive oil
Preheat oven to 350 °F. Peel beets and slice into 1/8” rounds. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place in a single layer on baking sheets, and roast until tender (about 25 minutes), rotating position of trays halfway through. Cool the arranged slices in a spiral pattern on top of a bed of lettuce or arugula.
While the beets are roasting, dry toast the pumpkin seeds eight to ten minutes, and the cumin seeds one to two minutes (until fragrant) — you can do this in a cast iron pan in the hot oven or on the stovetop. Grind the cumin seeds and combine with the dressing ingredients.
Place dollops of the farmer cheese around the plate and drizzle on the dressing with a spoon. Sprinkle the pumpkin seeds, scallions, and cilantro over everything. Serve.
Candy-Striped Beet Chips with Cilantro-Scallion Pesto Dip
1 bunch green onions, whites and greens
1 bunch cilantro, leaves pulled from stems
1 clove garlic
juice of 1/2 lime
2 Tbsp pumpkin seeds, toasted
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup sour cream
2 cups greens of choice
1/4 cup nut/seed base
1/2 cup cheese (optional)
Peel beets and slice into 1/8” rounds with a mandoline or very sharp knife (use the stems as handles). Pour at least three inches of high heat oil into a medium sized heavy pot. Heat the oil to 350 °F. Fry the beets, in batches, for about two minutes, until golden. Flip them around in the oil frequently so they cook evenly. First the slices will float to the top, then they will shrink and start to curl around the edges as they lose their moisture, and finally they will begin to turn golden. Drain them on paper towels and sprinkle with sea salt while they are still hot.
Pesto can be made from any combination of ingredients! Choose your greens (herbs, arugula, root tops, blanched kale, etc.), choose your nut/seed base (almonds, pine nuts, pecans, sunflower or pumpkin seeds, etc.), choose a cheese (optional, but pecorino, gouda, and Asiago are great), add olive oil, garlic and salt, maybe lemon juice, and voila!
Roughly chop onions and cilantro, and smash garlic. Combine all in food processor with lime juice, pumpkin seeds, and salt. Turn on and drizzle in oil until it forms a paste. Stir into sour cream and serve. This is delicious over grilled fish or chicken, too!
Quick-Pickled Chioggia Beets (also great for green beans & carrots!)
1/2 cup mild vinegar — rice, champagne, or apple cider
1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp cane sugar
2 tsp salt
pickling spices (1 stick cinnamon, 2 cloves, 1 bay leaf, 6 peppercorns)
3 medium Chioggia beets peeled and sliced very thinly across the grain
In a sauce pan over medium heat, combine vinegar, water, sugar, salt, and pickling spices to make a brine. Bring to a boil. Add the beets and remove from heat; allow to cool to room temperature. Place beets with brine in a jar and refrigerate.