Monday, July 20, 2009

CSA Recipes for Beets: Red Velvet Cupcakes & Roasted Beets with Goat Cheese Salad

Beet Red Velvet Cupcake with homemade icing, taken 7/12/09.

Our last two CSA shares from Scratch Farm included beets. At some point, Chris and I confessed to each other that neither of us had ever partaken in the eating of a beet. And as much as we jumped on board with the CSA with adventure in mind, I had anxiety about dealing with beets. I must have absorbed a cultural bias against beets in my youth. But this summer, it was time to face the beets. Who knew they were sweet? Let me guess...everyone.
As further evidence of my partner's and my ignorance, there was a moment, after chopping up raw beets (to toss in a savory stew), that we both questioned whether I had accidentally grabbed radishes from the fridge. I had never seen candy-cane stripped beets before, though I now know that striped beets are Chiogga Beets. I won't post the recipe for the stew - it was weird.The Red Velvet Cupcake recipe came from Coconut & Lime's post, Can't Beet Red Velvet Cupcakes. My only mistake was not measuring the beets exactly - in great excitement, I simply dumped the pureed beets in with the final ingredients. Typical. This led to the cupcakes having a fairly strong taste (even if it was only lightly reminiscent of beets). I'd make these again for sure, but with greater care and with even with slightly less beets than recommended. Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup beet puree (boil beets in water until soft throughout, then pureed)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup dutch process cocoa (I used regular cocoa - Hersheys probably)
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon plain yogurt (we had vanilla non-fat in the fridge)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
Directions (from Coconut & Lime): Preheat oven to 350. Grease or line 12 wells in a cupcake pan. Whisk together the dry ingredients. Set aside. Mix together the oil, beet puree, vinegar, milk and eggs. Slowly add the dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly. Fill cupcake tray 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 15 min. or until a toothpick in the center of the center cupcake comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack before icing. (I used her homemade icing recipe as well).
Lastly, with our second batch of beets, we made a Roasted Beet Salad with Goat Cheese (belated photo). Joy of Cooking's instructions for Roasting: Place beets in 1/2 C water in an oven-safe dish, cover tightly with tin foil, and roast at 350F for 30 min, or until all are soft). Peel off the skins when cool enough to handle, slice, and add them to a salad (CSA oak leaf lettuce - amazing) with goat cheese. Heavenly. I officially shall, from this time forward, embrace the beet.