Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Two Easy Veggie Recipes: Beets & White Asparagus

Two Easy Vegetable Recipes: Beets & White Asparagus

Roasted Beets with Cumin & Mint
Beets with cumin and mint
Beets may not be the prettiest things you’ll find in your local produce aisle, but they can do some beautiful things to your health. You’d never know it from its unassuming appearance, but the beet may well be nature’s multivitamin, loaded with nutrients like potassium, vitamin C, fiber, iron and antioxidants. There are actually endless ways to work beets into your diet without any trouble. They’re simple to roast, steam or boil and they’re great in everything from salads to desserts. Yes, dessert!
  • 1 Tb fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds 
  • ½ tsp salt 
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 2 Tb extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 lb of fresh medium sized beets
Stir into a small bowl: 1 Tb fresh lemon juice, 1 tsp cumin seeds (toasted and lightly crushed), ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp freshly ground pepper. Add 2 Tb extra-virgin olive oil, mix and let stand while roasting beets. This will form your vinaigrette.
Toasting cumin

Put rack in the middle of oven and preheat to 425 degree F. Wash and scrub 2 lb of fresh medium sized beets to clean off any dirt. Leave the beet whole unless some are extra large ones (if extra large, cut in half). Trim off the stems (leafy tops) and ends of the beets, leaving about 1” of stems attached. Tightly wrap beets in a double layer of foil and roast on a baking sheet until tender and easily pierced with tip of a paring knife, 1 to 1¼ hours. Cool to warm in foil package, about 20 minutes. When beets are cool enough to handle, peel the skin off. They should peel easily by hand, but you can use a paring knife if needed. Discard skin, stems and root ends, cut into ½” wide wedges.

Toss warm beets with dressing. Stir in ¼ C coarsely chopped fresh mint just before serving. Enjoy!

White Asparagus with Brown Butter Sauce
White asparagus with brown butter sauce
I absolutely love white asparagus season. There are a myriad of ways to cook it including my previously posted braised asparagus recipe (Feb, 2012). Here is another way to enjoy this treat. White asparagus is really the same plant as green. Lacking chlorophyll, it has a milder more delicate flavor. It is grown covered in mounds of sandy soil so it never sees the light of day, hence remains white.

  • 6-20 white asparagus spears
  • 2 Tb unsalted butter i
  • 1 C fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp chopped parsley
White asparagus

Rinse 16-20 white asparagus spears and trim the tough ends. Depending on thickness, it might benefit from a light peel if it looks at all tough or stringy. Put water and salt into a pot and bring to a boil – and add asparagus. Boil for 8 minutes, drain and set aside. 
Boiling asparagus
Heat 2 Tb unsalted butter in a sauté pan until it melts and just begins to brown, add 1 C fresh breadcrumbs, and mix thoroughly. Add cooked asparagus and sauté until coated with browned butter and breadcrumbs. Sprinkle with 1 tsp chopped parsley. For an extra bite of spring, serve with a wedge of lemon. Enjoy!



  1. Great recipes....and even better photography!!

  2. So glad you like! I have been cooking for decades but the photography is a new challenge.... hope to keep improving. Larue