How to Cook Beets
At Cafe Jardin, we find that one of the most popular dishes that we serve by far is a traditional beet salad. Beets are the type of vegetable that people seem to love or hate, with very few people falling in between. However, people who love beets tend to embrace them in all forms, as evidenced by the popularity of our fine beet salad all throughout the year. Beets are a vegetable that many people wish they could eat, but few actually know how to prepare them properly. Beets that are prepared properly are a wonderful thing; beets that aren't are something else entirely. By keeping just a few key things in mind during the preparation process, you'll find that beets are much easier to prepare than you might think and can be every bit as delicious in your kitchen as they are in ours.
Picking the Right Type of Beets
The most important step to prepare beets properly involves making sure that you've picked the right type. Many people don't realize that there are actually a few different types of beets for you to choose from, depending on your needs. If you're looking for a beet that is a little more sweet than what you might be used to, for example, try golden beets. If you're looking for a more traditional ingredient, red beets are the most common. Your best chance at finding the highest number of beet varieties in one place would be to go to your local farmers market.
How to Microwave Beets
If you're looking for both the easiest and the fastest way to prepare beets in the comfort of your own home, look no farther than your microwave. Begin by properly rinsing the beets. Use a sharp knife to carefully cut away all but the last inch of the stalk of each beet. Find a microwave-safe container and fill it with around one inch of water. If you're planning on preparing small beets, insert them into the dish and place them into the microwave for two minutes per beet. If you're cooking medium or large beets, increase that number to four minutes per beet.
Watch your beets until you can easily pierce them with a knife; that's how you know that they're ready to eat.
How to Cook Beets Conventionally
Begin by properly rinsing the beets. Use a sharp knife to carefully cut away all but the last inch of the stalk of each one. Fill a large saucepan with enough water to cover those beets and bring them to a boil. Allow the beets to simmer until they're tender. This process will take varying amounts of time, depending on the size of the beets you're using, but will usually be done in around 20 minutes or so. When you're finished, put your beets in a bowl of ice water to properly finish off the cooking process. Once that happens, they're ready for serving.
After you've tried your hand at cooking beets, don't forget to stop by the cafe and try our delicious beet salad.