Sunday, January 29, 2012


Ahh the sweet, sweet beet, how many ways can we prepare you. We pickle you for salads (mine and my daughters favorite). We boil you to serve with butter and salt. Some people sneak you into chocolate cakes. We grate you raw into slaws, but most of all we love you in borscht. This is my recipe for borscht.

I think I have mentioned I lived in little Poland (greenpoint, brooklyn) for seven years and have an affinity for eastern european foods, especially during lent when I could eat them as they didn't have meat in them. My personal favorite that I tried on a recommendation from a friend was pickle soup. Mmmm, it really is good. Based on that and a borscht I had in Waupaca, I came up with this recipe best made with the huge winter beets that are great for storing. Even my husband has come and around to say that he doesn't mind that I make this all winter long in huge batches that we eat all week.

For this batch I decided to throw in a small head of red cabbage that was in the crisper. Normally I don't put this in, but this was just one of those times. Feel free to omit it. I usually make the soup early in the day, bring it up to a boil to mix everything up well. Then I turn it off and let it sit covered until about an hour before dinner, when I turn it back on medium low to simmer until it is time to serve.

beets, carrots, onion, salt, pepper, oil, sauerkraut, and this time cabbage

chop your onions and carrots - and cabbage if using

pre-boil your beets until you can peel the skin off easily

saute onions and carrots (and cabbage) in lots of oil

once that has softened down considerably add pepper and lots of salt

once cool enough, peel and chop your beets

add beets to the pot with enough water to cover it all

then add a diced pickle (the not so secret ingredient)

when it is ready everything should be purplish, season with more salt to taste

serve with fresh rolls, sauerkraut, hot sauce, and sour cream or sour supreme

I told you my daughter loves beets, drinking leftover pickled beet juice just like her mommy

Na Zdrowie!

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