Our CSA is sadly drawing to a close. We’re taking it week by week seeing what’s still available, rather than having a specific end date. Our Monday pick up was amazing, and I’ll be sharing it with you soon, but as I looked back over my meal photos, I realized there’s still a lot of our CSA bounty I haven’t shared with you. Like the one and only way I can get Eric to eat beets. Perhaps, like me, you’ve been trying to figure out how to get a beet hater to eat beets. I’ve tried several beet recipes, even sneaking beets into food, but this beet and potato roesti (or pancake) is the only thing he’s eaten more than one bite of. Each recipe I try leads Eric to ask “Why eat beets? Can’t we just throw them away when we get them in our CSA?”
There is the obvious reason of not wasting food, I don’t even throw away the greens of our vegetables. I just had a lovely carrot and blueberry smoothie, made with carrot greens (no actual carrots!). So no, wasting is not an option. Perhaps you’re wondering if you should bother buying beets in the store. Maybe you’ve also asked “Why should I eat beets?” I’m no expert, but I’ve got some answers! The nutritional benefits of beets are pretty amazing. For instance, studies have shown that the large amounts of betacyanin (which give beets their lovely color) are powerful cancer fighting agents, especially effective against colon cancer. Beets are rich in the B vitamin folate, which helps protect against birth defects. Folate is essential for normal tissue growth, and if pregnant moms don’t get enough, it can lead to an underdeveloped spine for their infant. One cup of chopped beets meets the recommended daily dose of folate. (Guess I should save some of my pickled beets for when we’re pregnant!)
I’ve had a little more trouble in using beet greens than swiss chard (which is in the same family). I tried putting them in my green smoothies, but the beet taste really overpowered the other fruits. Beet roots can last about a month in a plastic bag in your fridge, just cut the greens off so they don’t suck the moisture out. For now, I’ve just been pickling beets for myself (so I don’t have to use them up right away), and making the roesti once in a while, like for this CSA vegetarian dinner we had.
The cooking away my CSA group has been really helpful in providing ideas for using our CSA produce. I haven’t been doing a very good job of posting there, it’s hard to keep up with everything! But I found two of the recipes for this meal there, and although the maple syrup and walnut radish recipe didn’t really do it for us, we loved the kohlrabi pasta. I pretty much stuck to the recipe so you can find it here.
For the roesti, Katerina found a recipe for a beet roesti in a Mark Bittman cookbook. She decided to add green onion and potatoes, while taking out the rosemary. I think the green onions were a great addition and the potatoes helped to cut the beet taste. I kept my version practically the same, but I ended up doubling the amount of scallions (or green onions) because we like them so much, and get a lot in our CSA. We typically like some kind of dip or condiment with any sort of vegetable fritter, like the lime and dill yogurt for our zucchini fritters. If you really like beets, you may just want to take out the potatoes and use all beets! Or, try some delicious roasted beets and carrots.
Beet and Potato Roestiserves 4-6 as a side
4-6 medium beets, About a 1/2C when grated
2 small potatoes, scrubbed
salt and pepper
4 scallions, chopped
½ cup flour
2 tablespoons butter
Trim and scrub the beets then peel them. Grate them into a medium bowl. Start preheating a large (12″) skillet over medium heat. Working fast, so they don’t discolour, grate the potatoes into the same bowl as well. Add the salt, pepper, and scallions and combine well. Then add the flour a few tablespoons at a time until well combined.
Melt the butter into the skillet until it foams. Put the mixture into the middle of the pan and flatten out with a spatula. It should be a centimeter or thinner. Cook for 8-10 minutes until nice and crispy.
You will need to flip it over. To do this place a large plate over top and flip the frying pan over then slide the roesti back into the pan. Cook until the other side is crispy about another 8 -10 minutes.
Serve hot or at room temperature with green onions on top. We also like to dollop some sour cream or plain yogurt on each slice.
Approximate cost/serving: More good news about beets, they’re cheap! So are potatoes. Without a dipping sauce, this can be less than $1 to make and comes out to 15-25 cents a serving!
Vegetarian/Gluten Free: This is not only vegetarian, but can be vegan if you sub olive oil for the butter. I think a gluten free flour could work great in this. Spelt might be an interesting choice (Spelt is NOT gluten free! Thanks to Nancy for this list of gluten free flours. I’m thinking oat flour, I really want to try that!). If you try it let me know!
Have a picky eater? Try Quesadilla Pie for the Bean Hater!
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Nutritional and cost information is for estimating purposes only, and subject to variations due to region, seasonality, and product availability.