August 10, 2013 by Meg G.
(Heather here.) The concept of relativity is awesome. It’s like a reframing of sorts. Why is the concept of relativity relevant for this blog post? One word: beets.
Relative to the common vegetarian, I like beets. In my house, however, I love beets. You see, Meg hates beets. Therefore, it is typically my job to use the beets before they get all mushy. (Gross.) I know. Life is hard.
My introduction to beets goes back several years. We had dinner at Local 121, a Providence gem that I always want to be a bit more vegetarian-friendly than it is, and they had beet pierogies as a special. At that point, I was uncertain – skeptical, even – about beets. I didn’t know much about them besides the fact that they were very bright and sweet-ish and there was a rumor going around that they might turn my pee red. I decided to go for it and have been dreaming of them since.
One of our favorite things to do is to recreate recipes that we love. It’s always an exciting moment when we can say, “We could make that!” For the record, I could not say any such thing as I enjoyed my beet pierogies. Now that we have become quite the chefs (relatively, of course), I can say it. And I did it, with some help from Edible Biology. And you should, too, assuming that you do not hate beets.
A note on peeling/roasting beets: The original recipe called for you to peel/chop the beets, then toss them with olive oil, garlic, and salt. I have decided that peeling raw beets is unpleasant, particularly with small beets. In the future, I plan to quarter and roast them first, then peel them. You can decide what works best for you.
A few more notes: As usual around here, the amounts are approximate. We basically started with the amounts we got in the CSA and went from there. A little short on beets? Add more potatoes. Too much goat cheese? Impossible! Just go with it. Also, these freeze incredibly well. After boiling the pierogies but before pan frying them, arrange them on a cookie sheet and pop them in the freezer. Once frozen, you can pop them into a freezer bag until you’re ready to eat them. I have noticed that they take a while to warm up in the middle going straight from the freezer onto the stove. Finally, if you have them around, I highly recommend the caramelized onion/sour cream topping. It’s not essential, but I think it takes them to the next level.
Beet and Goat Cheese Pierogies – via Edible Biology
- 2 cups beets, peeled and chopped
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1.5 cups chopped potatoes
- ¾ cup goat cheese
- 2 cloves garlic
- Sea salt
- 2.5 cups flour
- 1 cup sour cream
- 4 Tablespoons butter melted
- 1 egg + 1 egg yolk, whisked
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Onion, sliced (optional)
- Sour cream (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- Peel and chop the beets. Combine them with the olive oil, garlic, and a sprinkle of sea salt. Roast the beets for about 35 minutes, tossing at the halfway point. Set aside to cool.
- While the beets are roasting, place the chopped potatoes in a pot and fill it with salted water so there is an inch of water above the potatoes. Bring the water to a boil and boil potatoes for 10 minutes. Drain the potatoes and let them cool.
- To make the dough, combine the dough ingredients and form into a ball. Cover the dough while you prepare the stuffing.
- Once the beets and potatoes are cooked and cooled, mash them. (See the original post for ideas if you do not have a potato masher.) Season with sea salt and mix in the goat cheese until evenly distributed.
- Divide the dough into 3 sections. Roll them out one at a time until about 1/8 inch thick. Use a 3” diameter cookie cutter (or a cup) to cut out rounds. Hold a round in your hand, place a heaping tablespoon of filling in the center, and seal the ends by pinching them together. (Water can be used to seal the edges, if needed.)
- Bring a pot of water to boil and cook the pierogies for 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain them. At this point, set aside the pierogies that you want to freeze. (See note above.)
- In a pan, heat some butter. Add the sliced onions and cook for a few minutes. Then add the pierogies and cook about 5 minutes per side.
- Serve the pierogies topped with the onions and a side of sour cream, if desired.
While I am at it, I might as well include the other recipe I made with another week’s worth of beets. I don’t have any pictures, but it was an easy, hearty salad that was perfect for lunches for the week.
Kale and Beet Salad with Quinoa – inspired by Gluten-Free Goddess
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 2 beets, trimmed and quartered
- Olive oil
- Sea salt
- ¼ cup olive oil (I used lemon olive oil)
- ¼ cup orange juice
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon honey or agave
- 2-3 big handfuls of washed, dried, and chopped red Russian kale
- Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
- Goat cheese (optional)
- Almonds (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- Cook the quinoa according to the package instructions.
- While the quinoa is cooking, roast the beets in a medium roasting pan by combining the beets with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt. Roast the beets until they are tender (roughly 40 minutes, but the time will vary greatly depending on the size of the beets). When cool enough to handle, rub/peel off the skin and chop the beets into bite-sized pieces.
- To make the dressing, combine the olive oil, orange juice, soy sauce, vinegar, and honey/agave and whisk. Set aside.
- Combine the warm, cooked quinoa in a mixing bowl with the chopped kale. Pour in the salad dressing (start with half, then add more to taste) and toss lightly. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Gently add the roasted beets. They will turn the salad beet red, depending on how much you mix them.
- Serve topped with goat cheese and almonds, if desired.