It’s spring, and the baby beets are on the way if they haven’t arrived already.
I feel like I haven’t been eating enough beets. They are so good!
When you consider the brilliant reds, pinks, and golden orange colors, and the rich, sweet flavors, it is easy to understand that beets are packed with a lot. The fact is, beets are loaded with vitamins and minerals.
However, I have a husband who doesn’t like to eat sweet things for dinner. So I took it as a challenge to create a new recipe for savory beets.
Savory beets with nutty ghee and walnut oil introduces plenty of new flavors that balance out beets' natural sweetness so their sweet flavor doesn’t stand out. And guess what? He loves them!
Here’s a summary of how the layers of flavor in this recipe come together.
How To Make Savory Beetroot
First up, we cook cubes of beetroot with turmeric powder, black pepper, salt, and a bit of ghee.
Turmeric and black pepper are the perfect spices to marry with beets. They add depth of flavor and medicinal qualities, most notably anti-inflammatory and blood protecting properties.
And black pepper combines incredibly well with beetroot. Think of borscht.
Ghee is a form of clarified butter that tastes of caramelized milk solids. The resultant rich, nutty character of this wonderful fat combines with a real nut oil: roasted walnut oil.
Together, these two oils coax out the depth of turmeric’s superpowers, along with the complex savory-sweet spices in the garam masala.
Garam masala is a North Indian Spice made most commonly with coriander, cumin, cardamom, cloves, black pepper, cinnamon, and nutmeg. If you don’t have garam masala, you can use any combo of individual spices.
Finally, the candied ginger root adds a gentle pungency to the beets, which is tempered by the added sugar in the candied roots.
I just adore candied ginger every once in a while for its spicy and sweet character. Don’t be fooled. It is spicy, and not really candy at all.
If you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend it.
However, if candied ginger isn't your thing, you can easily use fresh ginger in this recipe. Just be sure to mince it extra finely so it marries well with the beet.
While this recipe doesn’t call for cooking the ginger, it’s added to the beets while they’re hot, so it cooks ever so slightly.
Finally, we add a tablespoon of vinegar, just to bring the balance around evenly so the beets don’t taste overly sweet.
There’s just nine ingredients, but together it packs a balanced, flavorful punch.
How To Enjoy Savory Beetroot
Savory beetroot makes for a wonderful side dish, along with a spicy Indian main course, or with a vegetarian main course featuring complementary savory spices, potato, egg, or mushrooms.
Check the Buttered Veg blog, or the description below, for meatless main course ideas that you can enjoy with savory beetroot.
Recipe for Savory Beetroot With ‘Nutty’ Ghee & Walnut Oil
Cook the beets
- To prepare the beets, remove their tops and peel them. Chop into ½-inch squares.
- There are two methods to cook the beets: on the stove, or in the oven. To cook on the stove, add the beets to a covered saucepan with olive oil or ghee, a good pinch of salt, and a quarter cup of water. Simmer, covered, until tender, about 15-20 minutes. To cook in the oven, add beets to a baking dish that has a cover, or use tin foil for the cover. Mix with olive oil or ghee and a good pinch of salt, and a quarter cup of water. Bake, covered at 375 degrees Fahrenheit until the beets are soft, about 30 minutes.
- While the beets are still hot, mix in all the remaining ingredients. Stir well and taste for salt, pepper, and garam masala. Add more if you like.
- For a complete meatless meal, enjoy beets as a side dish with pulses and a green salad.
- Savory beetroot would also go well with main dishes featuring potatoes, eggs, and/or mushrooms, such as a Wild Mushroom Tart.