Pan-Pickled Beets ♥

An aha moment, thank you, beets!A bit ago, I participated in academic research attempting to answer, 'Why do people blog?' I paged through dozens of canned responses, waiting to check off something that reflected my own reason, the wealth of learning that accompanies my own blogging efforts.

The 'I blog because I learn, I learn because I blog' concept returned to me tonight while slipping leftover beets through the Benriner , then moving them to a skillet to create, almost without thought, a quick and entirely new way to enjoy beets.

Aha! If we're bored with vegetables or simply want to experience vegetables in new ways, there are several techniques to turn the comfortable and familiar into the fresh and unexpected, terrific ways to turn vegetables upside down, inside out and sideways.

  • ISOLATE -- or MAKE FRIENDS If we always 'add flavor' to a vegetable (onion, salt and pepper, for example), try it all by itself, just to remember what the vegetable itself tastes like unadorned and unmasked. Or if we always cook a vegetable by itself, pair it with another vegetable, broccoli with fennel or asparagus with mushrooms or. or. or. Or. Or.
  • CHANGE the SIZE Just changing size makes a difference in texture and thus taste.
    • If we always cook a vegetable whole or in big chunks, cut it small-small-small; the Benriner makes this especially easy, but for some vegetables, a garden-variety carrot peeler will work, so will nothing more than a sharp knife. Try cutting 'ribbons' or 'noodles' or grating or shredding.
    • Or say, if we've only eaten cabbage in slaw, try cooking it in big wedges.
  • TRY IT RAW, TRY IT COOKED If we always eat a vegetable cooked, instead, try it raw -- or the reverse. Think cooked asparagus vs raw asparagus; think raw radishes versus cooked radishes.
  • EXPLORE the WORLD (or just the FRIG) If we always season vegetables one way, switch to flavor profiles from other cuisines, Thai, Indian, Mexican, so many more. Or if that's too much, experiment with simple flavors in the frig or pantry -- think broccoli tippled with a bit of mayonnaise or a splash of lemon juice.
Aha. All that from a beet that needed using up. Yes, I do indeed, blog to learn!



FROM THE ARCHIVES Gosh I love beets - some time I'm going to count all the beet recipes in the Recipe Box.

PAN-PICKLED BEETS

Add 'Blush' to your blog
Hands-on time: Maybe 10 minutes?
Time to table: Maybe 30 minutes?
Serves 4

Fresh beet, small or medium in size, about 1 pound, trimmed, peeled and 'made small' in some way

1 tablespoon butter
A couple of cloves of garlic, chopped
A hefty splash of good vinegar
Chives or fresh herbs

Prep the beets. In a large non-stick skillet, melt the butter til shimmery on MEDIUM. Add the garlic and let cook a minute. Add the beets and stir to coat with fat. Let cook, stirring often, til beets are mostly cooked. Add the vinegar and let cook into the beets til beets are down. Remove from heat and stir in chives or herbs. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.



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A Veggie Venture is home of the Veggie Evangelist Alanna Kellogg and vegetable inspiration from Asparagus to Zucchini. © Copyright 2007

7 comments:

Wonderful post, Alanna. Yes, indeed, looking at our veggies in a new (or old) way is just what we need to do every now and then! And sometimes, having a new toy in the kitchen helps, too!

An inspiring post - and a great-sounding recipe - from our very own Beetroot Queen Alanna :)
I saw a lady selling small new beets at the market already - I must befriend her quickly when I get back from Scotland!

Lydia ~ Thank you. I continue to be struck that there remain so many ways that I've yet to experience vegetables!

Pille ~ My Dad's beginning to figure out why I'm the beet queen, yes! Four meals, beets served three times in three different ways!

I love posts like these, they make you go - oh my gosh, I never thought of trying... this way or this is how I am going to have...

Thanks for the tips/thoughts/ideas.

Oh, yum! I'm a huge fan of beets; can never get enough ideas for using them. Don't have a mandoline, but...

I really like this post - great ideas - and lovely beets - should I call it unbeetable? (ha ha) I wante to say thanks for the sauerkraut chocolate cupcake recipe back in march - have just tried it and it is really good (although I made some minor changes)

I really liked this post Alanna. You are so right about shaking up the usual way of cooking. I for one learn because I blog, and I'm loving it! Thank you!

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna