At the April OCH Art Market, we served pureed beets on a plate with jasmine rice, fresh greens from the Crescent City Farmer’s Market, and purple carrots and baby radishes. The beet puree was based largely on this delightful beet salad recipe that we came across way back in 2004 in the The New York Times and have been cooking ever since. We wanted to make use of the fantastic color and flavor of the beets, but to contrast them with the greens and to the other root vegetables that we wanted to serve intact. Pureeing the beets allowed us to keep everything else really simple. Greens could just be greens. Carrots carrots. Radishes radishes. Rice rice. This recipe doesn’t take long to make, and you’ll end up with something that will keep for a week in the refrigerator, and is good with bread, as a garnish for a soup, with eggs and cheese, or pretty much as a fine addition to pretty much any meal we can think of.
Ingredients: beets, lemons, parsley, garlic, oil, salt and pepper
1. Cook beets by boiling them in water. If you’re in a hurry, a quicker way to handle the beets is to peel and cut the beets before you cook them, so that they take 10 minutes to cook rather than the 45 stated in the NY Times recipe.
2. With a blender or food processor, puree the beets with lemon juice and oil, adjusting quantities to achieve desired consistency and acidity. We served a puree that was thick and a little rough like creole mustard, something that held its shape when spooned onto a bowl of rice, but could also be mixed into that rice without too much trouble. (see picture from preceding post)
3. Add cloves of garlic, a couple handfuls of parsley, salt, and pepper, and pulse. We add a clove or two of garlic for each beet we blend — a lot — so that the raw garlic provides a bit of unexpected bite to the beet puree.