Here, Chattanooga locals bring their favorite beet-centric recipes to the table.
When it comes to health benefits, a serving of beets is hard to beat. This vibrant root veggie has quite the impressive nutrition profile: It’s high in fiber, rich in folate and vitamin C, and it contains a notable dose of nitrates – which is good news for your heart! But that’s not the only reason to add a bundle to your shopping cart. Due to their natural sweetness, beets make a delicious addition to salads, pizzas, sandwiches, and even burgers. Dare we suggest incorporating them in dessert? It is the holiday season, after all!
Photography by Rich Smith
The Daily Ration’s “Drop the Beet” Bowl
By Jason Bowers, Chef | Serves 4
For the beets:
- 4-6 large red beets, peeled
- Olive oil, for roasting
For the grits:
- 4 cups whole milk, nut milk, water, or a combination
- 1 cup stone-ground grits
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 4 Tbsp. butter, Parmesan cheese, or ricotta cheese (optional)
- 4-6 cups kale
- Salt, to taste
- 2 lemons
- 1/2 cup pepitas (can substitute pumpkin seeds)
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (can substitute red wine vinegar)
- Preheat oven to 350°. Peel and slice beets into 1/2-inch-thick rounds. Toss beets in olive oil and roast in preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, or until slightly soft.
- While beets are roasting, bring 4 cups of desired liquid or liquid combination (suggested: 3 parts water to 1 part milk) to a light boil. Add grits, salt, and pepper. Lower heat to medium and cook grits for 5-7 minutes. For added richness, add 4 Tbsp. of butter, Parmesan cheese, or ricotta cheese.
- Sauté kale in a saucepan until tender. Finish with salt and a squeeze of lemon.
- Toast pepitas in a clean saucepan with a little bit of salt until you smell a nuttiness without burning.
- Once beets have finished roasting, make a beet reduction: Take beet liquid from the roasting pan, balsamic vinegar, and juice from 1 lemon and place in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Allow liquid to reduce 50%.
- Scoop grits into four bowls for serving. Top with roasted beets, sautéed kale, toasted seeds, and the beet reduction.
Rebecca Brinkley, of East Brainerd, enjoys cooking for her family and friends. “Several years ago, my family was dining at St. John’s, and my father had a beet salad that he really enjoyed,” she says. “I set out to find something similar that I could make at home – I love this recipe because the method of roasting makes the beets easy to peel!”
Rebecca Brinkley’s Roasted Beet Salad
For the salad:
- 3 medium yellow beets (about 1 Ib.), stems trimmed off
- 3 medium red beets (about 1 Ib.), stems trimmed off
- 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt, to taste
- 4 cups spring mix
- 4 oz. blue cheese crumbles (can substitute goat cheese)
- Toasted almonds, for garnish
For the dressing:
- 3 cups orange juice
- 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
- Pinch salt and pepper
- 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Preheat oven to 350°. Place beets in a baking pan, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt. Cover with foil. Bake for about 1 hour, or until tender when pierced with a knife.
- While beets are roasting, make the dressing: In a 1-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat, reduce orange juice to about 3/4 cup. Remove from heat and strain with a fine sieve. Return to the saucepan and add lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Over medium heat, reduce until mixture bubbles and has a syrup-like consistency. You should have about 1/4 cup. Remove from heat and strain again. Let cool to room temperature. Add olive oil and set aside.
- When cool enough to handle, peel beets and thinly slice them into rounds. Divide beets between 4 salad plates and drizzle with half of the dressing. In a large bowl, toss spring mix with remaining dressing and place on top of beets on each salad plate. Top with blue cheese crumbles and garnish with toasted almonds. HS