Monday, October 19, 2009

Just Beet It

I recently entered a recipe contest for Sutter Home's "Build a Better Burger". When I heard about this recipe contest my first inclination was to put beets on my burger and name it in honor of the late great Michael Jackson. Viola! The Just Beet It Burger was born. You will probably notice some similarities between this burger and a beet salad - that is where my inspiration for this burger came from. While this recipe was not chosen as a final recipe, I think it still rocks.

The rules for the competition require that you cook all ingredients on the grill, but feel free to throw the beets in the oven and save your propane or charcoal. Also during the fall and winter months your beets will probably already have their beet greens cut off, so y
ou can leave these out of the recipe or try substituting the beet greens with chopped kale or spinach (Yes, I am still grilling in the middle of winter). Also you can prepare the burger patties, blue cheese sauce, beets, and vinaigrette ahead of time and cook the burgers off and assemble them once your guests arrive.

Just Beet It Burger

1 medium sized red beet
1 medium sized golden beet

Maple Vinaigrette

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

1 cup crumbled blue cheese
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
1/2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 fresh ground pepper

Burger Patties

1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cups beet greens, washed and dried and finely chopped
2 tablespoons Zinfandel wine
1/4 cup minced shallot
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
2 pounds ground chuck
2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil for brushing on the grill rack
6 fresh Bulkie Rolls
6 red onion slices
2 cups baby spinach (or lettuce), washed and dried

  1. Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Individually wrap each beet in aluminum foil. Place the beets on the grill grate and cover. Cook, turning the beets occasionally, until just tender, 35-45 minutes. Let beets cook, then peel and slice the beets into 1/4 inch thick rounds.
  3. While beets are roasting make the maple vinaigrette. In a small bowl whisk together the Dijon mustard, white wine vinegar, and maple syrup. Slowly whisk in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss beets and maple vinaigrette together, cover and place in the refrigerator to let marinate 20-30 minutes.
  4. To make the blue cheese sauce, combine blue cheese, mayonnaise, white wine vinegar, garlic, fresh mint and salt and pepper in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate to let the flavors blend together.
  5. To make the patties, heat a medium sized fire-proof skillet on the grill. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and saute beet greens with Zinfandel wine until beet greens become tender and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 5-10 minutes.
  6. Let cool slightly before forming the patties. Combine the sauteed beet greens, minced shallots, garlic, mint, ground chick and salt and pepper, handling as little as possible but making sure the ingredients are evenly distributed. Shape into 6 patties to fir the bun size. Loosely cover with plastic and set aside until ready to use.
  7. When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the grill rack, cover, and cook over medium high heat, turning once, just until done, about 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare. During the last few minutes of cooking, toast the buns by placing the cut sides down on the outer edges of the grill rack.
  8. To assemble the burgers, spread the 1-2 tablespoon blue cheese sauce evenly on the bottom of each Bulkie roll. Place cooked patties on top of the sauce, followed by the marinated beets, sliced red onions and equal portions of the baby spinach. Add the bun tops and serve.
Makes 6 Burgers

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Monday, October 5, 2009

Roasting Beets

If you have never had a roasted beet, you don't know what you are missing. This coming from a person who used to despise beets with a passion. The roasting really concentrates their flavor, enhances their sweetness, and gives them a toasty flavor. There really is nothing easier than roasting a beet. Beets are one of the most vitamin packed vegetables. They are a good source of vitamins A, B, and C, magnesium, phosphorus, and calcium, and the tops are even more nutritious than the roots. Try different varieties - Red, Chiogga, golden or white.

Roasting Beets

To roast the beets:
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Thoroughly wash each beet and wrap the beets in foil, about 2-3 per package. If you are roasting beets of different colors - roast them separately so the colors don't bleed.
  • Place foil packages on a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 35-45 minutes depending on the size of the beet. You will know the beets are done roasting when they can easily be pierced with a fork and the skin starts to pull away from the beet.
  • Once the beets are done roasting , remove them from the aluminum foil, place them in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let them steam to help release the skin further from the beet. Allow them to cool down to the touch, about 5-10 minutes.
  • Once cooled enough to touch, the skins can easily be peeled away. I find rubber gloves help here to prevent your hands from turning red.
Turn your roasted beets into a great marinated beet salad. This salad is great served warm, or make it ahead and refrigerate it. Add the crumbled feta right before ready to serve to prevent it from turning pink from the beets. For varied color use a mixture of yellow and red beets. For an added crunch try adding some chopped walnuts or pecans.

Roasted Beet and Feta Salad

Makes 4 servings

1 lb beets, washed and scrubbed

1 small yellow onion, peeled and ends trimmed
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled


1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh mint, finely chopped

3 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Remove leaves and stems from the beets, wrap beets and onion separately in foil to make 2 packages. Place foil packages on a baking sheet. Bake beets and onion in oven for about 45 minutes to 1 hour or until beets are fork tender and onion is browned and caramelized.
  2. Remove beets and onion from foil and let stand for 15-20 minutes or until cool enough to handle.
  3. While vegetables are cooling make the vinaigrette: In a medium size bowl, whisk together the mustard and vinegar. Slowly pour in the olive oil to form an emulsion. Mix in chopped mint and season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  4. Once beets have cooled to touch, remove their skins and cut them into 1 inch dices. Slice onion into strips.
  5. Toss roasted beets and onions with the vinaigrette and sprinkle crumbled feta on top and some chopped mint as garnish.
Copyright In Season Personal Chef and Nutrition Services, LLC