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Glorious Beets: Returning a Platter 'Motto!'

A big Tightwad welcome to Sandy Coughlin from Reluctant Entertainer. Sandy is a fab talented hostess with the mostess. She has even just published a book, the Reluctant Entertainer, which is described as 'every woman's guide to simple and gracious hospitality.' How cool is that? Sandy's post is about a beet and feta salad, along with a totally bodacious 'n' gracious idea... never return a borrowed platter back to its owner empty. Again, how cool is that? Tightwad is posting Things are never perfect on Sandy's site today, hope to see you there!

Beets have a sweet, earthy taste. If you bake or roast them in their skins, you can enjoy the best flavor. I grew up with my mom canning and pickling beets, but she’d also boil them, take the skins off, thinly slice and fry in butter with salt and pepper. Pure deliciousness.

How to boil beets
My husband brought the beets in fresh from the garden so we had to scrub and trim them first (like you would a potato). But boiling beets is an easy process.

1. Add 1 teaspoon salt to 2 to 3 quarts water in a medium size pot and bring to a boil over high heat.
2. Add the beets and bring back to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until tender, for about 1 hour or until tender. You want to be able to pierce the beet easily with a fork.
3. Drain and cool. Peel the beets with a parring knife.
4. Cut or slice the beets for whatever recipe you are using.

The other night at this dinner party, I came up with a new, fresh beet salad, after my husband pulled the largest beet out of the ground!

Summer Orange Beet Salad
1 cup cooked, peeled, sliced beets 1/4 ” thick
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
2 Tbsp thinly sliced green onion
1/4 cup feta cheeseSea Salt

Lay beets on a serving platter. Pour the orange juice over the beets and sprinkle with green onion and feta cheese. Salt for flavour.

My kids are still not too fond of beets. But that’s okay. I think a taste for beets is something you acquire with age.

More beet suggestions
Cook beets only until they just lose their rawness, then combine them with meat, fish, grains, fruits, nuts, celeriac, fennel, or bitter greens. Once tender, beets can be sliced or diced to use in salads, risottos, and vegetable side dishes.

Platter motto
A couple nights later, I was asked to bring a salad to another dinner party, so I brought the same salad … but served it on a cute tray with Texas inspired bull head handles.

The story behind the silver tray has to do with my “returning a platter” motto:

Never give a dish/pan/platter back empty (if someone brings you a food, etc.) to its owner!

My friend Jeannie had loaned us a Mexican pewter platter awhile back (served lemon bars!) and so I was just now returning it. Love the bull – Jeannie is a Texan girl and bought this platter about 10 years ago to remind her of her Texan roots.

Back to the beets …

I’d really like to try baking beets! We have barbequed them in the past, and this method you have to pre-bake the beets in the microwave first.

Do you have a favorite way of cooking with beets? And what do you think about my platter motto?


Jami @An Oregon Cottage said...

I just posted about beets today, too!

And I love to make a beet-feta salad with orange vinaigrette- it's like yours, but on lettuce.

Nice platter idea, too.

Libby said...

I absolutely love beets but always bake them. I wrap them individually in foil seasoned with olive oil, black pepper and sea salt. I bake them for about 1.5 hours on 180 (celcius that is). I like to then add them to a salad made up of grilled butternut pumpkin, spanish onion, zucchini. As well as baby spinach leaves and fetta. It's my ultimate feel good salad.

Heather said...

I add beets to my pot roast. I scrub & quarter them & throw them in at the beginning. Makes the jus at the end very rich. Pot roast veggies: carrot, onion, celery, beet, rutabaga & sweet potato. Sweet potato goes in 1/2 way through because it is softer.

Love the platter rule.

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