Thursday, April 29, 2010

Beet Roesti

serves 4-6, unless you're me. I could eat the whole thing by myself.


It would be difficult to find a less photogenic dish than beet roesti…almost as difficult as finding a more delicious vegetable concoction! Yes, it looks like mysterious burnt muscle tissue, or possibly charred animal brain matter, BUT, it’s the most divine way to eat beets. I like beets anyway, so I don’t need to be convinced, but if anyone you know does, this is the means by which to do it. The rosemary is the perfect balance to the natural sweetness, and the crispy, almost latke-like crunch that forms on the outside will help convince doubters that beets are not so different from other beloved root vegetables, like potatoes and carrots. Like I said, I need no convincing on beets, though I admit that they can be prepared in…gross ways…so I thank Mark Bittman for introducing me to this method which I can now use to spread the beet love all over the universe. PS: if you’ve never eaten beets before, do not be alarmed the next day. YES, they do color your body’s waste, if you know what I mean. NO, you don’t have bladder cancer or some wicked colon disease, you’re not bleeding from the insides, it’s just the vestigial pigment of those beloved beets saying hello one last time.

1 to 1/2 beets trimmed and peeled

1 tsp dried rosemary, crumbled

1 tsp salt

1/4 C flour

2 Tbs butter

Grate the beets in a food processor or by hand. Why do raw beets always look positively hallucinogenic when you try to photograph them?


Preheat a large skillet over medium heat. Toss the grated beets in a bowl with salt and rosemary, then little by little incorporate the flour until evenly distributed. Melt one tablespoon butter in the hot skillet. When it’s sizzling, scrape the beets into the skillet and press them into a flat, round shape with a spatula. Here we go:


Cook until the bottom is crisp, 6-8 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally. Now it’s time to flip. Slide the cake onto a plate, cover with another plate and invert.  


Add the second tablespoon of butter to the pan and let it heat briefly. Slide the cake back into the skillet and cook another 6-8 minutes:


Cut into wedges and serve immediately.  

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