My newest ongoing challenge involves cooking vegetables that I have either never heard of or never cooked before. This has been particularly fun because I have recently become a co-op member, and our produce section weekly involves at least one unique vegetable, sometimes two or three.

Beets are not unique. But they fit my category perfectly for a fun challenge because until I bought them from the co-op I had never cooked beets before! I searched online for a while before I settled on what I thought would be the best way to cook them. But first, a beet travel story!

In Cordoba over Christmas 2010, I decided to splurge on a more expensive meal than the ones I had been eating before. This meal was something of a “chef’s special,” and among the delicious treats on the menu was pureed beets. I can say with all confidence and ease that that may have been the single most delicious dish that I have ever eaten. I think about it often, and now that I have a good recipe for preparing beets I will try to recreate it at some point… if I can remember the subtle flavors from three years ago!

Anyway, back to the beets. I researched the best method of cooking them and came across one that I really like. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees, and find a deep pyrex bowl or tray. Submerge the beets in water in the oven-safe tray and put them in the oven. Leave it for a good half hour to 45 minute, long enough for the beets to get very soft. Once you think they are finished, peel them and cut them into cubes.

You can make all kinds of things with these cubed beets, over several days. One day I made this beet and salmon tartar: Salmon beets

Very simple! Let the salmon marinate in lemon juice with onions in the fridge, then add thyme, jalapenos, salt, and pepper, and add the salmon to a bed of salmon. It is absolutely delicious!

The following day for lunch I made a beet and walnut salad, very easy to throw together when you’re running out of the house for work (balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and salt and pepper; notice my work desk!):


And finally, that evening for dinner I made a beet and palm heart salad (lemon juice, salt, pepper, olive oil, thyme) over couscous: IMG_3598

My only warning when it comes to beets is that they will dye your hands, and do not be alarmed when your bathroom breaks turn the toilet water pink. It all comes with the territory!

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