Russian Cabbage Borscht

  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 1/2 c. chopped onion or leek
  • 4 c. stock or water
  • 1 1/2 c. thinly sliced potato
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. thinly sliced beets
  • black pepper
  • 1 large sliced carrot
  • 1/4 tsp. dill weed
  • 1 stalk chopped celery (optional)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. vinegar
  • 3 c. chopped cabbage
  • 1 c. tomato puree
  • 1 scant tsp. caraway seeds
  • sour cream for topping

Begin cooking onions or leek in butter in a large kettle. Add caraway seeds and salt and cook until translucent. Add celery, carrots, potatoes, beets and cabbage. Add water and simmer slowly for 45 minutes. About 15 minutes before serving add pepper, dill weed, vinegar, and tomato puree. Taste to correct seasoning. Serve topped with sour cream.

From the Moosewood Cookbook.

Red Lentil Salad with Feta and Beets

  • 2-3 beets
  • ¼ cup grapeseed oil (or olive oil)
  • 1 Tbsp. minced shallots (or 1 small onion)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. ground fennel seeds
  • 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped parsley
  • 1 bunch arugula, torn into bite-size pieces
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Wrap the beets in foil and roast them for 45 minutes, or until tender; let cool.  Peel the beets (rubbing under cold water) and cut them into wedges.  In a medium skillet, heat the oil until shimmering.  Add the shallot and garlic and cook over moderately high heat until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Add cumin and fennel seeds and cook just until fragrant.  Remove from the heat and whisk in the vinegar, lemon juice and cayenne.  Season with salt and pepper and whisk until the vinaigrette is emulsified. Bring a medium saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil.  Add lentils and cook just until tender.  Drain and transfer to a bowl.  Toss the lentils with half the vinaigrette and let cool.  Stir in parsley.  Toss the arugula and beets with the remaining vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper.  Mound the salad on dinner plates and spoon the lentils on top.  Garnish with the feta and serve.  Serves 4.  From Food and Wine Jan. 2001.

Ponzu Grilled Salmon with Golden Beet Couscous


  • 1  teaspoon extravirgin olive oil
  • 2  tablespoons  thinly sliced peeled shallots (about 1 large)
  • 8  ounces small golden beets, thinly sliced, peeled, and quartered (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1  cup  uncooked Israeli couscous
  • 2  cups  water
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1  cup  raw spinach leaves, trimmed


  • 1/2  cup  fresh orange juice
  • 2  tablespoons  brown sugar
  • 3  tablespoons  low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2  tablespoons  sake (rice wine)
  • 1  tablespoon  fresh lime juice
  • 1/2  teaspoon  cornstarch
  • 1/8  teaspoon  crushed red pepper

Remaining ingredients:

  • 4  (6-ounce) salmon fillets with skin (about 1 inch thick)
  • Cooking spray
  • Lime wedges (optional)

To prepare couscous, heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots and beets; sauté 5 minutes or until shallots are tender and just beginning to brown. Stir in couscous; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add water and salt; cover and simmer 8 minutes or until couscous is tender. Remove from heat; stir in spinach. Toss gently until combined and spinach wilts. Keep warm.

To prepare sauce, combine orange juice and next 6 ingredients (through red pepper) in a small saucepan, stirring well with a whisk; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 1 minute.

To prepare fish, brush cut sides of fillets with 1/4 cup sauce; place, skin sides up, on grill rack coated with cooking spray. Grill salmon, skin sides up, 2 minutes. Turn salmon fillets; brush with remaining 1/4 cup sauce. Grill 3 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or desired degree of doneness. Serve with couscous and lime wedges, if desired.

Yields 4 servings.

Adapted from Kathryn Conrad, Cooking Light, JUNE 2005

Maye’s Beets

This recipe calls for beets, but I have used turnips, rutabagas and celeriac too, and they were all great. The beets make a fuschia-colored salad though, and are definitely the prettiest. I have taken this dish to potlucks and gotten rave reviews, a pretty good trick for a root vegetable.

  • 2-3 medium beets
  • 3 T. sour cream or yoghurt
  • 1 T. prepared horseradish, or to taste
  • ¼  t. salt
  • ¼ t. sugar
  • dash of black pepper, to taste

Cut off the stems of the beet greens, scrub but don’t peel. (Save the greens for another dish, or use them as a garnish for this one.) Boil the beets in water to cover until they are easily pierced with a fork. Drain and cool. When cool, rub off the peel, and cut into thin strips, or for the talented among you, julienne them. There should be about 2 cups. Blend the sour cream or yoghurt with the horseradish, salt, sugar and pepper. Add the beets and stir gently. Chill and serve.

From Sundays at Moosewood.

Liliiya’s Ukrainian Borscht

  • 1 pound of lean pork
  • 8-10 cups of water
  • 4 med chopped potatoes
  • half head of chopped cabbage
  • 4-6 chopped beets
  • chopped fresh dill (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 TB butter
  • 4 medium finely chopped carrots
  • 4 finely chopped tomatoes (canned or frozen)

In a pan, brown pork.  Add the browned pork to a large soup pot with water and boil for 15 minutes.  Add potatoes and boil another 10 min. Add cabbage, beets, and dill.  Boil another 20 min.

Meanwhile, in a separate pan, brown onion in butter.  Cook until golden. Add carrots to the onions and cook until tender. Add tomatoes and simmer slowly for 10-15 minutes.  Add the pan vegetables to the soup pot.  Add enough water to make the consistency of soup you enjoy.  Add salt to taste.  Cook until all the vegetables are soft.  Serve topped with sour cream sprinkled with chopped parsley.

Chocolate Beet Cake

OK, for those of you that have been storing up all those beets, wondering when the right recipe would come along, this is it! It sounds weird, but it’s been a hit with our kids.

  • 1 ¼ c. beet puree (see below)
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ c. vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¾ c. cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 ½ c. flour
  • 1 ½ tsp. baking soda

Beet puree can be made ahead of time. Basically, you need to cook beets until they can be easily pierced with a fork. You can roast whole in silver foil (this takes about an hour) or chunk and boil. Either peel before cooking (if boiling) or after (if roasting). Puree cooked beets in blender or food processor. You want the puree to be pretty thick, but you can add a touch of cooking water to make them whirl.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour bundt pan (or 8-9” square pan). In a large bowl, beat eggs. Whisk in sugar, oil, vanilla, salt and beet puree. In a separate bowl, mixflour, cocoa and soda. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients a little at a time until incorporated. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.


Braised Beet Greens

  • 1 pound beet greens (beet tops)
  • 1 small onion, chopped fine
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
  • salt and pepper
  • flavorful vinegar

Heat oil or butter in large skillet. Add chopped onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add greens to onions, stir to coat with oil and lightly salt and pepper. When greens wilt down add 1/4 cup water or broth. Cover and cook until tender – the time will depend on the age of the greens: a minute or two for very young greens, 5 minutes or more for older, tougher ones. Taste to test. Uncover and cook for a minute or two to evaporate moisture. Serve warm, sprinkled with your favorite vinegar.

Beets Rolled in Horseradish Butter

  • 4 beets
  • 2 Tbs Butter
  • 1 Tbs Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Tbs Freshly Grated Horseradish
  • Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper (to taste)

Begin by scrubbing and cleaning the beets.  Cook beets 30 minutes in lightly salted boiling water, or bake until tender.  Rinse under cool water and slip off the skins.  Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add 1 tablespoon freshly grated horseradish root.  Add 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar.  Add the cooked beets, stirring gentle to coat.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

From The Cook’s Garden.

Beet, Carrot, Apple, Raisin and Walnut Salad

  • 4 carrots
  • 1 large beet
  • 1 apple
  • ½ c. raisins
  • ½ c. walnuts
  • 2-3 Tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • dash of cinnamon

Grate the carrots. Lightly peel the raw beet with a vegetable peeler. Add cut up apple, raisins and nuts (you can toast the nuts for a few minutes in a toaster oven or skillet). Add mayo, lemon juice, honey and cinnamon and stir to mix.

Beet Risotto with Greens and Feta

  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 ¼ c. chopped onion
  • 1 ½ c. arborio rice
  • 1 ½ Tbs. minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp. crumbled dried rosemary
  • ½ c. red wine
  • 3 ½ cups finely chopped peeled beets
  • 2 vegetable bouillon cubes
  • 3 c. water
  • 3 ½ c. chopped greens
  • 4 oz. feta cheese
  • ½ c. chopped toasted walnuts

To toast nuts, heat in a dry skillet over medium heat until they barely start to brown.  Stir often to avoid scorching.  Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add onion and cook until translucent.  Add ginger, rosemary and rice, stir to coat and cook a minute or two.  Add wine and cook until wine is absorbed, stirring constantly.  Add beets, bouillon cubes and water.  Cover and reduce heat.  Simmer for 20 minutes or until beets are tender, stirring occasionally.  Stir in greens and cook an additional 5-10 minutes.  Add cheese and stir until blended.  Sprinkle each serving with toasted walnuts.

Makes 8 servings.