Posts Tagged ‘Carrots and Beets’

I’ve been neglecting my blog for the last few weeks, but I’m back.  The farmers’ market is in full swing with spring produce, so I’ve got a few good recipes lined up for the next couple weeks.  This weekend, my freezer was full of ground meat from Marin Sun Farms and I wanted to try something other than burgers.  I gathered up some good looking spring vegetables at the farmers market and set to work on a shepherd’s pie.  Or, apparently, it’s a cottage pie, since it’s made with beef and not lamb.  Whatever it is called, it was good.  I continued the spring theme with a simple spinach and strawberry salad and served it all up with a bottle of Sonoma zinfandel for a really great dinner.

I cooked the dish in a 8×10 casserole dish and it made about 4 large servings.  I think next time around, I might double the recipe and make it in a 9×13 so that it’s a little thicker and deeper.  Plus, it was good enough that we wanted more leftovers.

Shepherd’s Pie with Spring Vegetables
Loosely inspired by Elise’s version at Simply Recipes

1 lb of ground round beef
3 spring onions, finely minced
2-3 sprigs of green garlic, chopped
2 cups of chopped carrots and peas
About 2 pounds of potatoes – I used about 4 medium ones
A few springs of thyme and a few sage leaves, minced
1 teaspoon chives, finely minced
1/4 cup of milk or cream
Butter and olive oil
Salt, pepper, other seasonings of choice

Peel and quarter potatoes, boil in salted water until tender (about 20 minutes).

While the potatoes are cooking, heat up a tablespoon or two of olive oil in a pan over medium high heat.  Saute the onions and carrots for 5-10 minutes, until the carrots start to soften.  Add the green garlic and mix together.

Add ground beef and herbs, sauteing until just about cooked.  Turn off the heat and add the peas, salt, and pepper, and stir together.

When the potatoes are finished, drain and return to the pot.  Mash them, incorporating the minced chives, salt and pepper, a splash of cream, and a couple pats of butter. 

Spread the beef and vegetable mixture at the bottom of the pan and gently spread the potatoes over it.  Bake at 400 degrees oven until bubbling and brown (about 30 minutes), sticking under the broiler if necessary and serve. 

Strawberry Spinach Salad for Two

3 cups of spinach, washed and chopped up into ribbons
4-5 large strawberries, sliced
an ounce or two of crumbled goat cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil (I used blood orange infused from Stonehouse)
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
a drop of honey
salt and pepper

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, and the honey until its emulsified.  Add salt and pepper.  Add the spinach and strawberries, and toss to coat.  Sprinkle on the goat cheese and serve.


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I am a relatively new convert to the world of beets.  I could probably count on one hand the number of times I’ve eaten them, but I’m quickly discovering that I adore them.  Back when I made my beet and orange salad, I also flagged this recipe because it looked so tasty.  I had been waiting for Eatwell to bring us more beets, but so far, no luck.  Two weeks ago however, I found myself at the Berkeley Farmers’ Market and beets were everywhere.   Of course, I filled up a bag of gorgeous golden beets so I could finally try this dish.

It’s really good.  About halfway through the cooking, I started to have second thoughts.  “Is this really going to taste good?” I kept thinking.  I think it was because I was still not firmly convinced that I did really like beets.  I’m glad I powered through, because it paid off.  It makes for a very hearty, simple vegetarian pasta dish.

If you can’t find beets with the greens still attached and fresh, I think chard would probably be the best substitute, but spinach would probably work too, though you’d have to cut the cooking time down a bit.   You can also make this with red beets, but your pasta will be pink.

This recipe comes from the February 2009 Bon Appetit.

Farfalle with Golden Beets, Beet Greens, and Pine Nuts


1/3 cup pine nuts
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 large onions, quartered lengthwise through root end, sliced crosswise (about 4 cups)
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 bunches 2-inch-diameter golden beets with fresh healthy greens; beets peeled, each cut into 8 wedges, greens cut into 1-inch-wide strips
12 oz farfalle (bow-tie pasta)
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese plus additional for serving


Heat heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add pine nuts and stir until lightly toasted, about 3 minutes. Transfer to small bowl.  Add 2 tablespoons oil and onions to same skillet and sauté until beginning to soften and turn golden, about 10 minutes.  Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to sauté until onions are tender and browned, about 30 minutes longer. 

Meanwhile, cook beets in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 10 minutes.  Using slotted spoon, transfer beets to medium bowl.  Return water to boil.  Add pasta to beet cooking liquid and cook until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. 

If you finish cooking the pasta while the onions and greens are still cooking, reserve 1 cup of cooking liquid before draining.  Otherwise just keep a ladle handy.

While the pasta is cooking, add garlic to the onion mixture and cook for about 2 minutes.  Scatter beet greens over onions.  Drizzle remaining 2 tablespoons oil over and a couple tablespoons of the pasta  cooking water; cover and cook until beet greens are tender, about 5 minutes.

Drain the pasta ifyou haven’t already, reserving extra water, and return it back to the pot.

Stir onion-greens mixture and beets into pasta.  Add pasta cooking liquid by 1/4 cupfuls to moisten as needed.  You probably won’t need the entire cup, but you will probably need to add a half cup or so just so the beets and greens don’t stick together and the pasta doesn’t look too dry.   Season with salt and coarsely ground black pepper.  Stir in 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese.  Divide pasta among shallow bowls.  Sprinkle with pine nuts and additional cheese.


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Ok, not really.

While other food bloggers spent the weekend preparing all sorts of festive St. Patrick’s Day foods like Guinness Stew and Irish Soda Bread, I was on the couch, in a medicated flannel coccoon watching Law & Order reruns.  Not wanting to disappoint my forefathers, I felt like I had to do something festive to honor the occassion.  But, since I’ve been sick, I haven’t had a chance to blog about this delicious carrot-avocado salad I made with Eatwell carrots a while back.  And since it’s the colors of the Irish flag, it will have to suffice as my ancestral offering for this year.

The recipe is one that I simplified from a very complicated Jamie Oliver recipe.  The original looks wonderful, though perhaps too complicated to serve alongside burgers for a casual meal.  So, I omitted a number of ingredients and I think I managed to capture the essence of the salad with considerably fewer steps.  It’s really a wonderful salad, I don’t know why you don’t see roasted carrots and avocados paired up more frequently.

All the measurements are approximate.  This is a really flexible recipe so feel free to experiement.  That said, I recommend not skipping the roasted orange, I really think that made the salad. 

Roasted Carrot and Avocado Salad with Citrus Dressing


5 carrots, peeled, sliced lengthwise and cut into 2 inch pieces
1 extra large Hass avocado
1 small orange
3T extra virgin olive oil
1T red wine vinegar
handful of fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1t cumin
pinch of red pepper flakes
salt & pepper to season


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Bring a salted pot of water to boil and cook the carrots for approximately 10 minutes.  Drain.

Meanwhile, prepare the dressing.  Whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, cumin, pepper flakes, and salt and pepper.  Toss the carrots in the dressing and place in a roasting pan.  Drain off any extra dressing and reserve for later.  Slice an orange in half and place that in the roasting pan with the carrots (you don’t have to dress the orange).   Roast the carrots and the orange for 25 to 30 minutes.

When the carrots are done, carefully remove the orange and squeeze the juice into the reserved dressing, adding a little more olive oil if needed.  Dice the avocado.

Mix the carrots, avocado, and cilantro together and gently toss in the dressing.  Season with salt and pepper if needed and serve.


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I had never cooked a beet before, so I was really excited to find them in my CSA box on Friday. I also don’t think I’ve ever eaten beet greens before, so I really wanted to find a way to use those.

This salad turned out fantastic. The original recipe from Epicurious didn’t call for feta, but I think it makes it even more delicious. I think goat cheese would work well too. I skipped the onion and the garlic, and just used a large shallot instead. I thought garlic would be too strong, and I really liked the way the shallot tasted.


6 medium beets with beet greens attached
2 large oranges
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel
1 large shallot, minced
Feta cheese


Preheat oven to 400°F. Trim greens from beets. Cut off and discard stems. Coarsely chop leaves and reserve. Wrap each beet in foil. Place beets directly on oven rack and roast until tender when pierced with fork, about 1 hour 30 minutes. Cool. Peel beets, then cut each into 8 wedges. Place beets in medium bowl.

Cook beet greens in large saucepan of boiling water just until tender, about 2 minutes. Drain. Cool. Squeeze greens to remove excess moisture. Add greens to bowl with beets.

Cut peel and white pith from oranges. Working over another bowl and using small sharp knife, cut between membranes to release segments. Add orange segments and onion to bowl with beet mixture.

Whisk vinegar, oil, garlic, and orange peel in small bowl to blend; add to beet mixture and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour.

Sprinkle with feta just before serving.

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