French Fridays with Dorie: Beets



About a month ago, I bought my first bunch of fresh beets. It was my first time consciously eating beets in thirty-plus years. Around My French Table proved to be a great resource – I had no idea what to do with them and Dorie Greenspan provided not one but four methods for cooking this inky root vegetable. The leaves went into stir fry earlier in the week (as kindly suggested over Twitter), and I roasted the roots in my toaster oven. This seemed to be the preferred cooking method from what I read in some blogs.

When they were ready, I was pretty excited. I peeled one the best I could without scalding my fingertips, sprinkled it with sea salt, and ate it. I moved on to the next one. And then the other two.

I greedily ate the whole bunch by myself. My pink fingers and mouth gave it away before I could muster some insincere remorse.


When I returned to the market on the 19th, I was hoping to get more beets to share with my husband (who didn’t seem to mind that I ate all of them) and to actually prepare one of Dorie’s salads.  The farmer I got them from took Fathers’ Day off. There went my hope for another fix!  Beets are available at the regular supermarket, but they didn’t look too appetizing –  dark, bruised and stripped off their beautiful purplish leaves.  Can you help me learn how to look past this seemingly sad exterior and pick out a couple of good ones?

My “sob” story should not stop you from checking out how the rest of the FFwD cooks tackled the Chunky Beets and Icy Red Onions, the recipe selected for this week.  I hope to be playing catch up with this one soon!

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Adriana is a financial analyst by day, avid home cook in the evenings, and food blogger and runner in the strange hours between those two. When not in the kitchen concocting meals and stories to pass around, she is out looking for the next great bite (or the ingredients to make it at home), checking what's new at the market, or planning a trip around great food and wine.

34 Responses to “French Fridays with Dorie: Beets”

  1. Cher
    July 1, 2011 at 12:21 pm #

    Ah, silly Father’s Day messing up your FFwD! Have a great weekend.

  2. Liz
    July 1, 2011 at 12:55 pm #

    Rats…how frustrating not to find any decent beets! Hope to see your beet salad soon 🙂

  3. Adriana
    July 1, 2011 at 12:58 pm #

    I hope I wasn't too picky, which is why I'd love for someone to set the record straight for me.  Would darker brown outsides be fine for beets that would end up in a roasting pan anyways?   

  4. yummychunklet
    July 1, 2011 at 12:59 pm #

    I like your description on how you gleefully ate your beets! Great post!

  5. Patty
    July 1, 2011 at 1:20 pm #

    Yummy fresh roasted beets are the best! Have a wonderful weekend, I wish I could send you some beets;-)

  6. Cakelaw
    July 1, 2011 at 1:23 pm #

    Glad you have discovered the joys of beets!

    July 1, 2011 at 2:00 pm #

    Beets are delicious! I eat them year round… so good for you! Too bad that you couldn’t find some beets again… hopefully he’s back from his Father’s Day vacay! 😉

  8. Lola
    July 1, 2011 at 2:17 pm #

    Your beets are beautiful! Sometimes I can’t find nice beets either. Hope you find some soon as this salad is delicious! By the way….I love Puerto Rico. I’ve only been their twice but its a beautiful place with delicious food.

  9. Dessert By Candy
    July 1, 2011 at 3:00 pm #

    Welcome to the wonderful world of beets! Too bad you didn’t get around to make this week’s recipe but I love how you described your first beet experience.

  10. Nancy
    July 1, 2011 at 8:36 pm #

    Hello Adriana, Thanks for stopping my blog. I wanted to tell you that I made too many of those icy onions and they ate them all week with tomato and avocado salad and even tossed them in a pasta salad. I bought my beets in a supermarket and while they don’t compare with farmer’s market, they were good.

  11. The Mom Chef
    July 1, 2011 at 8:55 pm #

    What a sad story! I’m sorry that you didn’t find more beets to make Dorie’s recipe but am glad that you’ve renewed your love for the vegetable. I’ve seen many varieties of Dorie’s recipe, which makes me think that i need to give this a try.

  12. Sis Boom
    July 1, 2011 at 11:43 pm #

    Mmmmm….. beets. As I said, you don’t need any fancy salad to enjoy them. They are delicious. So glad you are a beet fan like me!

  13. marcella
    July 1, 2011 at 11:46 pm #

    Any way you can enjoy beets is a good way. I’m sure you’ll like the salad once you get to it.

  14. Kathy
    July 2, 2011 at 12:00 am #

    I love beets…and love them roasted! But I passed on this one! Just too busy this week. I will be doing it at a later date.

  15. The Culinary Lens
    July 2, 2011 at 12:16 am #

    I love your photos of your market finds. I would be in the same position when preparing beets. I could just eat tons of them.

  16. stacy :)
    July 2, 2011 at 1:23 am #

    Thanks for visiting my page! Sorry about not finding more beets. I don’t know about the brown ones either. I liked what Dorie suggested in the cookbook about cooking beets and keeping them on hand – mine stayed cooked in the fridge for a week before I prepared my dish.

  17. Krissy
    July 2, 2011 at 1:45 am #

    Sounds like your beet situation is about like mine. I love beets, but only if fresh, and that was not to be for me this week. Oh well, this is a holiday weekend for us, so lots of other good food to dream about….

  18. oneexpatslife
    July 2, 2011 at 3:15 am #

    Too funny! I hope you are able to find some beets and get to try this recipe, it was really very tasty.

  19. KarenP
    July 2, 2011 at 3:49 am #

    You’ll get to make the salad soon; it’s worth the wait! Still a fun post!

  20. Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite
    July 2, 2011 at 7:45 am #

    Well I think this was a great post even though you didn’t make the salad 🙂

  21. Kate @ Kate from Scratch
    July 2, 2011 at 11:34 am #

    Confession…I’ve never eaten a beet. I always find it odd when I stumble upon a vegetable I have never eaten (being a vegetarian it seems like a civic duty to uphold). Thank you for the inspiration. I definitely need to try beets, now. I hope that farmer (and your fam) had a geat Father’s DAy! Beets look lovely!

  22. Kate @ Kate from Scratch
    July 2, 2011 at 11:34 am #

    Confession…I’ve never eaten a beet. I always find it odd when I stumble upon a vegetable I have never eaten (being a vegetarian it seems like a civic duty to uphold). Thank you for the inspiration. I definitely need to try beets, now. I hope that farmer (and your fam) had a geat Father’s DAy! Beets look lovely!

  23. luciacara
    July 2, 2011 at 12:42 pm #

    Funny story about your first fresh beets! I used regular supermarket beets for my salad and they were fine – not as sweet as small, fresher beets but the mustard, marjoram, & onions are a big part the flavor so you don’t have to rely on perfect beets. I like using beet greens in lasagne :).

  24. sanya
    July 2, 2011 at 12:50 pm #

    Oh, that’s too funny! I wondered what to do with all the leaves as well! I was thinking it was such a waste as I threw them out, thanks for the tip!

  25. Elin
    July 2, 2011 at 1:43 pm #

    Hi Adriana…I too love beets and Dorie’s beets salad is awesome. Especially with the honey mustard vinaigrette ! I am new to FFWD 🙂 and I find it fun to be cooking and eating the same as you guys from the other side of the world :)Have a nice day,Elin

  26. Teresa
    July 2, 2011 at 8:30 pm #

    Your method of eating beets sounds perfect to me! I love the greens, too. I hope you can find some more at the market soon.

  27. Yuri
    July 2, 2011 at 9:11 pm #

    mmm as long as they’re firm [not mushy/soft] I think they’re ok. I get mine at the farmer’s market but they cut off the leaves… I already told them to leave them on. Next time you find beets please try them with the dressing, it was so good 🙂

  28. Betsy
    July 5, 2011 at 2:14 am #

    I love your description of your introduction to beets. I love beets, especially roasted. I’m glad you discovered a new vegetable, even if it’s sometimes hard for you to find…

  29. Trix
    July 7, 2011 at 1:27 pm #

    I agree that fresh beets with their leafy tops still on are the best. That said, even ones that look a bit rough on the outside may be hiding goodness inside, once you peel off the ugly skin.

  30. July 15, 2011 at 9:51 pm #

    Here, in South Florida we have an abundance of beets…at our local produce market they always have the fresh beets with the stems and the leaves. The leaves are really good in salad, as well! Funny story about the beets…I would have done the same thing myself!

  31. July 21, 2011 at 1:34 pm #

    Love the French Friday


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