The beet (also called beet) is a type of vegetable that is harvested from the beginning of autumn until the first months of winter and which, with its bright color, gives a touch of color to dishes in the coldest period of the year. The most common beets in Italy have a purplish color but the varieties that can be brought to the table there are many, including those with white and pink stripes and those of color intense yellow. The plant from which they come belongs to the same family as the Sugar beet; in both cases, the tuber of the plant is tapped, in which the reserve substances are stored. Even the beet, although not used for the production of sugar, still retains a slightly sweet taste (so that it can also be used in certain sweet preparations). But the leaves of this plant can also be eaten, for example by sautéing them in a pan with a clove of garlic, because their bitter taste is reminiscent of Swiss chard. Another peculiarity of these foods is the fact that they release a very pigmented juice. One of their uses in the kitchen is to natural dye: the water they release, as well as the pulp, can be used to give a pinkish or purplish color to gnocchi, fresh pasta, risottos or sandwiches and can also be used as a coloring substitute for cakes and icings.
Beets are found on the market mainly in two forms: that Naturalyet to be cleaned and cooked, or already cleaned, boiled and vacuum sealed, ready to be consumed or reworked in other recipes. In case you buy them raw, the best ways to soften them are here boilingthe steam cooking where in the oven. Before cooking, they must be rinsed well, to remove the soil that remains on the skin due to the porous surface. In any case, to peel them, it is better to wait until after the cooking phase: as long as they are raw, in fact, they are very tough and difficult to remove. Beets can also be eaten believed: it is indeed cooked in the form of carpaccio or tartar and can also be used for the preparation of smoothiesas well as other fruits and vegetables. Although their use is not new in the kitchen, it is not a very popular vegetable. However, there are many recipes in which they are the protagonists, starting with Borsc, a soup from the Ukrainian culinary tradition. Here are more ideas to try for those who every year are tempted by their bright color and buy them but have not yet found the right recipe.
- Roasted beets with goat cheese. One of the best combinations for beetroot, in this case roasted in the oven, is one that sees it combined with goat cheese: on one side we find the sweet flavor and the firm consistency of the vegetable, on the other the tangy note and the softness of the goat’s cheese which contrast.
- Beet and chocolate cake. Because of its sweet taste, the beet is one of the vegetables that it can also be used in desserts. For example, you can enter in chocolate cake mixso as to give it a purplish color and a more rustic and less cloying flavor.
- Chickpea and beetroot hummus. One of the most popular variants ofHummus is the one based on chickpeas and beets. To the recipe of the classic version, just add a little boiled beetroot, for a result with a slightly fresher taste and a very intense pink color.
- Vegetable crisps. The beetroot (unsurprisingly) is very good too fried: for those who like vegetable crisps, an option is to fry them in thin slices or bake them with the same cut, seasoning them with salt, pepper and lots of oil.
- Venerated rice with beetroot cream. Beets can also be used to prepare creamy sauces to season the Pasta or the rice. A good combination is the one with the Venus ricewhich remains slightly more crunchy and whose color is further enhanced by that of the beetroot.
- Beetroot cream and purple cabbage. Given the seasonality, beet also finds its place in the classic comfort food winter: the velvety. It can be boiled with del Red cabbage and of potatoes and, once it has tasted, it will suffice to mix everything. Finally, to garnish, you can add teaspoons of fresh ricotta.