Most recipes tell you to boil beets whole and unpeeled so as not to leach color, butÂ a chef friend of mine told us to go ahead, peel and cube the beets before cooking and then use the liquid for drinking or other recipes.Â I fill a large stock pot with water, add cinnamon sticks, cloves and I add a bunch of fresh crushedÂ allspice leaves from our yard.Â These last three items I put inside a large stainless steel mesh tea ball and drop it into the stockpot securing the little hook on the chain to the lip of the pot.
Cook the beets until done.Â Drain off, but do not throw away that gorgeous and delicious water!Â Save it in the refrigerator and drink it later.Â I swear it tastes like a niceÂ smooth Merlot!Â You can also use it to make delicious soups.
Beet, Apple & Caramelized Pecan Salad
Amounts of ingredients depend on how many diners you need to serve.Â Since it was just two of us, I only cooked two beets - enough for two meals.
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 teaspoon cloves
3-4 crushed fresh allspice leaves
Peel, slice or dice the beets and cook in water to which you've added the spices. Â When done, cool the beets and reserve the water.
2 apples, cored and sliced orÂ dicedÂ but not peeled.
Place in a bowl with the juice of any citrus you might have on hand to prevent them from turning brown.Â I used Rangpur limes from our yard.
The pecans were a gift from my niece Arleen and husband Rick from North Carolina when they came to visit Hawai'i last November.
1 cup pecan halves
2 pats butter
1/4 cup brown sugar or more, depending on taste
Melt butter in a nonstick sautÃ© pan or skillet and add the pecan halves, stirring and turning well to coat all over.Â Add the brown sugar, sprinkling all over to cover the pecan halves.Â Stir and turn continuously so as to caramelize but not burn.Â Cool.Â Stir every once in a while to pull them apart.Â You can always make larger quantities and then store leftover in a sealed tin, container or zip-lock bag in refrigerator or freezer for later use.
To assemble the salad just place the sliced or diced beets on plate, add the sliced or diced apples and a few caramelized pecans.Â No need for a dressing since the natural sweetness of the beets, the citrus taste of the apple marinade and the slightly sweet taste of the caramelized pecans is enough.
For more beet recipes, scroll down to bottom
Rangpur limes - A couple of years after moving to this property, we discovered a small citrus tree growing by the side of the driveway that was choked in weeds and covered by other tall vegetation.Â We cleared all around it and in a year or so it started producing a few fruit.Â They looked like some type of orange or tangerines, but were unfamiliar to us.Â My friend Ken Love told me what they were.Â This is the first time we have had 6 fruit on it at one time!
More beet recipes:
Beet & Papaya Salad 1
Beet & Papaya Salad 2
Salad: Sweet Manoa lettuce (similar to Boston bib) sliced roasted beets and poached asparagus drizzled with Creamy Gorgonzola & Walnut Sauce (*)Â topped with a few poha berriesÂ which is similar to the New England gooseberries.Â (*) The sauce is a recipe I borrowed from Madame Donna.Â Absolutely delicious!
Cream of Beet Soup - Courtesy of my friend Dorine Houston
Salad of mixed greens, sliced roasted beets, sliced oranges, soft chevre and chopepd and toasted macadamia nuts with a light citrusy dressing (a take on one shared by Marianne M. at Gather last week) - I had roasted the beets the day before New Year's Eve.