Denis Cotter’s Wild Garlic, Gooseberries… and Me is my cookbook of the moment – gorgeous! Cotter’s inspired photography and deliciously seasonal recipes focus on the salt of the earth – vibrant, fresh vegetables. I recently made his recipe for “Caramelized Beets with Caraway & Walnuts” due to this year’s newly acquired obsession with beets. I just can’t get enough of them. If you love beets (or even just like them, as this recipe will surely convert you), this recipe will be one you turn to time and time again.
The dried-up red roses just so happened to be sitting on the kitchen counter when I made the beets – souvenirs from Valentine’s Day that I am reluctant to get rid of, no matter how big of a mess their falling leaves and petals are making! I was struck by how similar their bewitching color was to the beets…
Caramelized Beets with Caraway & Walnuts
1 bunch of red beets (1 1/2-2 pounds)
2 1/2 teaspoons ground Dutch caraway
2 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 1/2 tablespoons raw cane sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup toasted walnuts, quartered (I buy Trader Joe’s “Walnut Pieces” for pennies)
1.) Cut beet greens, if any, down to two inches long. Leaving a few inches of stems will prevent the beets from drying out during roasting. Scrub beets under cool running water, taking care to rinse around the stem. Preheat oven to 330 degrees.
2.) Bring a large pot of fresh, cool water to a boil. Boil beets for 20 minutes. When cool, scrub off skins with your fingers – they slide right off. If you have a stubborn spot, use a vegetable peeler. Slice beets thinly (1/4 inch will do) and place in glass baking dish. Toss with the caraway, oil, vinegar, and sugar. Add enough water to reach all of the beets. Loosely cover with parchment paper and bake for an hour.
3.) When beets are starting to look glossy, the liquid has mostly evaporated, and the beets are starting to caramelize, remove from oven, toss with the walnuts, and serve.
This recipe was adapted from Denis Cotter’s Wild Garlic, Gooseberries… and Me. Copyright 2007. HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.