Here we are in our last weekend of the summer, although officially we still have few more days before the equinox. You know, that time when the day and night are equal in length, that’s when the autumn officially starts (September 23rd this year). Which also means I still have time to use my fresh herbs from the garden. I am still sad that I don’t know where my summer went and I didn’t get to share as many summer recipes as I had in mind. Well, that happens more often than not 🙂
How about some beets to get you in the end-of-summer/fall mood? I have been getting beets on my CSA box and I’ve been able to eat them in many different ways. Last week I made this beautiful and yummy Sautéed beets with orange, cilantro, mint and pistachios; it turned out so great that I have to share. I love that I had all different color beets and it looked so pretty, but you could use any kind of beets, although the red ones are sweeter in flavor they are also very messy. My mom used to have red hands for a couple of days every time she made her beets & eggs salad. I actually wear gloves and cut them in plastic or rubber cutting boards to avoid all the staining.
I normally roast beets in the oven but that takes from 45 min to 1 hour. The easy part is to peel them after because the skin just peels off quickly. However during the week when I come home from work I don’t have the time to roast in the oven, so my quick solution is Sautéing which basically just means I cook them in a frying pan with high heat and they get brown in the outside and tender in the inside. I like my vegetables to have a nice bite, cooking them in a sauté pan helps me control that. In this recipe I cooked the beets by color, starting with the yellow first, they cook faster and don’t bleed. The red beets take longer to cook so I help the process by adding a little bit of water. This orange-cilantro-mint dressing is great to use your fresh herbs if you have them in your garden, I also used this dressing the next day on top of grilled zucchini and it worked just as good. Let’s just get cooking, shall we?
1 1/2 Pound mixed beets (I used yellow or golden, candy striped & red)
1/2 Stick cinnamon
1/4 Cup extra virgin olive oil + 2 Tablespoons
1 Shallot, finely diced
1/4 White balsamic vinegar (you can substitute with white wine vinegar)
1 Tablespoon orange zest
1/4 Cup orange juice
1/4 Cup Finely chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 Cup finely chopped fresh mint
2 Tablespoon finely chopped chives
1/4 Cup pistachios, toasted and roughly chopped
Salt & pepper to taste
1) Peel the beets using a vegetable peeler, start with the lighter color beets. Slice them 1/4 inch thick.
2) Meanwhile heat one tablespoon olive oil in a sauté pan and add the cinnamon stick (keep the cinnamon in the pan until you are done cooking all the beets, then remove and discard).
3) Add the yellow and stripped beets in just one layer, don’t overcrowd the pan. Sprinkle with salt & pepper to taste. Cook until they get a brown crust in one side, about 2 minutes, turn over and cook until tender, about 2 more minutes. To test if the beets are ready just pinch down with a fork, if the fork comes out easily they are ready. Remove from the pan and set aside on a plate.
4) Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to the pan and add the red beets in one single layer (depending on the size of the beets, you may need to repeat). Season with salt & pepper to taste. When they get a brown crust, about 2 minutes, turn them over and add 1/4 cup of water to the pan, continue to cook over high medium heat, the water will evaporate and it will help cook the beets inside. Test with a fork and remove from the pan when they are tender.
5) While the beets are cooking make the dressing. In a medium bowl mix the shallots and vinegar, let it sit for a couple of minutes. Then add the orange juice & zest, chopped herbs and stir. Slowly whish 1/4 cup olive oil and season to taste with salt & pepper.
6) Arrange the beets on a plate and pour the dressing over, top with pistachios and serve. Enjoy!
This recipe was adapted from Food & Wine Magazine.