Sweet and Sour Beets
2013 – Gluten Free Living
Sweet and Sour Beets are a delicious way to prepare beets–especially for holiday menus. I’m not a big fan of beets normally. I prefer to slice and then julienne them and serve beets raw in salads. Another way to serve raw beets is on a veggie tray with dip.
I also like them grilled with just butter, salt and pepper. But when we went to a friend’s house in Black Mountain, NC, recently, he had a huge garden and so he was trying to find ways to serve beets.
He found this recipe on food.com from kittencalskitchen. It is a pretty decent version of Harvard Beets. I have never liked Harvard Beets because of the vinegar, but I liked this recipe.
I finally got around to making these myself so I could show you the step-by-step process. I decided to dice the beets rather than slice them to give them a different texture. One of the things I like about this beets recipe is it calls for orange zest.
I normally just use the stuff from the spice rack but I ran out during the Christmas holidays as I used a lot of it for baking cookies. So I hunted around in my garage refrigerators and thankfully came up with an orange to grate down the zest. I really like the flavor of using fresh orange zest in this recipe. Whatever you do, don’t leave out the orange zest because it provides the wonderful kick this recipe needs to augment the beets.
If you’re a beets lover, or you’ve planted beets in your garden this year then consider this tasty way of making them. You can easily make this recipe vegan by eliminating the butter and using coconut oil instead.
When I initially posted this recipe in July 2012, it was the very early days of my blog. I prepared the recipe later that year, but the pictures were still taken on an iPhone 3 so they weren’t of the highest quality.
I recently remade this recipe (August 2015), and retook the pictures so you can have a better idea of how delightful this recipe is. We have some friends who are from Romania and recently moved into a new home in the neighborhood we’re currently building a house. I asked them if they would eat beets and they said “Yes!” These are some of the best tasting beets you’ll ever eat. The orange zest makes them so special.
Sweet and Sour Beets is a healthy, low calorie, gluten free dish.
This dish is relatively easy to make and quite economical on the food budget!
Sweet and Sour Beets includes orange zest which gives the beets a nice punch in flavor.
Here’s what I did.
I used these ingredients. I already cooked and drained the beets. Reserve some of the liquid used in cooking the beets for making the sauce.
Boil and cook beets. Drain, reserving beet juice. Meanwhile, make sweet and sour sauce: place sugar in a mixing bowl. Add cornstarch and salt. Stir ingredients together pressing out lumps with the back of your spoon. Slowly add vinegar so lumps don’t form in the sauce. Whisk to combine.
Add beet water. (Water from the pot you are cooking the beets in). Stir to combine.
Cook over medium heat until the sauce gets thick and becomes more translucent losing it’s bright red color. Meanwhile, grate orange zest. To make homemade zest you can grate orange peels in your food processor and freeze in zip lock bags to keep on hand for recipes like this.
Add drained beets to sweet and sour sauce. Add butter. If you’re vegan or dairy intolerant you can easily substitute coconut oil at this point. Add grated orange zest. Whatever you do, don’t eliminate the orange zest from the recipe. You need it to provide the kick in taste.
Stir to combine. Add black pepper. Stir again to combine and heat through. Serve.
This Sweet and Sour Beets recipe is a great way to use up garden produce or produce from your CSA. When I served side dish initially, I served it with Grilled Salmon with Homemade Tartar Sauce and Squash, Fennel and Potato Bake. I’m not a big fan of beets but the sweet and sour sauce with orange zest really helps make it deliciously palatable.
Here’s the recipe.
SWEET AND SOUR BEETS
(Recipe adapted from Ron Pownall, Black Mountain, NC, as adapted from kittencalskitchen on food.com)
- 1/3 cup sugar
- ¼ cup white vinegar
- ¼ cup water that you used to cook the beets with
- 1 tbsp. cornstarch
- ½ tsp. salt (or to taste)
- 2 cups cooked beets, sliced or diced (fresh is better than canned) (I used 4 fresh beets)
- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1-2 tsp. grated orange zest
- 1/3 tsp. black pepper
- In a bowl mix together the sugar, cornstarch and salt; stir in a little of the vinegar to make a smooth paste.
- Slowly drizzle in the remaining vinegar and the water (adding all the liquid at once can produce lumps in the cornstarch.
- Transfer the mixture to a saucepan; cook over low heat stirring and scraping bottom of the pan often.
- Cook until liquid is clear (about 5-10 minutes).
- Stir in cooked beets, butter and orange zest; stir until the beets are heated through.
- Season with black pepper as desired.
This is really a tasty recipe for beets. Enjoy!
If you enjoy beets, you’ll love this side dish.
You may also enjoy these delicious recipes!
Parmesan Golden Beets and Carrots