Whether slow roasted in an oven to enhance their natural sweetness, puréed into a soup, or thinly sliced and served raw in a fresh salad, beets are incredibly versatile. I particularly enjoy them braised, when they take on the flavours of the aromatics, and their colour and flavour intensify.
2 lbs small mixed beets, such as red, gold and striped, skin on
6 oz chèvre (fresh goat cheese), crumbled
Sunflower sprouts, for garnish (optional)
Sea slat and coarsely ground black pepper
Any type of crackers
5 cloves garlic
2 sprigs rosemary
1 bunch thyme
6 juniper berries
6 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 Tbsp coriander seed
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp salt
3 cups water
1/2 cup raspberry vinegar (can be found at specialty grocery stores, I like the Vinegar Lady’s)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place beets n an overproof casserole dish, add the braising ingredients, and mix well. Cover with foil or a lid and braise in the oven for 1/2 to 2 hours, or until beets are tender. Remove the dish from the oven and set aside to cool.
Peel the beets and discard the braising liquid. Cut the larger beets not wedges or slices and transfer to a large serving platter or 4 individual plates.
Top the beets with the crumbled chèvre, garnish with sunflower sprouts, if using, and season with salt and pepper. Serve with crackers on the side.
Chef Rod Butters