The usually deep purple roots of beetroot are eaten either grilled, boiled, or roasted as a cooked vegetable, cold as a salad after cooking and adding oil and vinegar, or raw and shredded, either alone or combined with any salad vegetable. A large proportion of the commercial production is processed into boiled and sterilised beets or into pickles. In Eastern Europe, beet soup, such as borscht, is a popular dish. In Indian cuisine, chopped, cooked, spiced beet is a common side dish. Yellow-coloured beetroots are grown on a very small scale for home consumption.
Cook beets in Big Batches it is a simply do ahead work a good strategy any time! Cook beets once and you’re halfway to soups, salads or stuffed beets etc.
Big Batch of oven steamed beets
Toss 4 lb scrubbed red beets halved if large, with 2 Tbsp olive oil in 13×9″ baking dish, season with salt and pepper. Add herb of choice -a handful thyme or rosemary sprig 2 bay leaves- and 1/4 cup of water. Cover tightly with foil and steam beets in a 425 grades oven until a knife slips easily through the flesh, 60-70 minutes. Let cool in covered pan. Rub off skins with paper towels. Beets can be steamed 3 days ahead! Let cool cover and chill.
Prepare the soup: Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook 1 tbsp caraway seeds stirring until they start to pop and dance around the pan (about 1 minute). Quickly add 1 chopped medium onion, 1 thinly sliced leek and a splash of water to keep seeds from burning. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft, 5-7 minutes. Add half batch chopped ovensteamed beets and 2 and half cups water to pan, season with salt and pepper. bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook stirring accasionally until flavours come together, 15-20 minutes. Let mixture cool slightly, then purée in a blender in 2 batches, adding half cup buttermilk to each batch. Gently heat soup, adding water to adjust consistency if needed. Serve drizzled with cream and topped with chopped parsley or dill sprigs and with a nice spoon of horseradish mousse.