Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Thyme Scented Blood Orange and Cranberry Glazed Chioggia Beets (and bonus recipe)

4-5 small Chioggia Beets, cooked and peeled**

1 cup Blood Orange juice
1/3 cup dried Cranberries
1Tbsp Orange Blossom Honey
3 fresh Lemon Thyme sprigs
Fresh Mint (Orange Bergamot if you have it)

1. Combine orange juice, honey, thyme sprigs and cranberries in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until reduced by 1/3, this process with take about 10-15 minutes. 
Taste and adjust sweetness to your preference.  If using tart cranberries you may need a bit more honey.  

2. Slice the cooked beets and arrange on a platter or shallow bowl. Remove the thyme sprigs from the glaze pour some over the beets.  (You may have some glaze left over; see the bottom photos for suggestion.) Garnish the beets with fresh mint and serve.

**you can either roast the beets whole in the oven or simmer in a saucepan covered with water until tender. I chose to simmer these to keep the colors vibrant; drain, and place in cold water until cool enough to handle and peel. The skins will slip right off.

**I never peel or cut beets prior to cooking, I also leave the root and an inch or two of the tops on them.  The skins and stem will slip off easily under cold water, and this way they won’t bleed. 

If you don’t have blood oranges substitute any sweet orange juice; tangerine juice would be nice.  Also any honey will do here, I just happened to have orange blossom on hand.

Look how the Chioggia beets match the colors of the Blood oranges. This is what keeps me gardening year after year.  Mother Nature provides us with so much beauty, even if you don't eat these foods you should grow them for the beauty they bring to your life.

Here is another use for the glaze:  Red Beans with Beet Greens Salad with Cranberry Orange Glaze Dressing.

Take the washed tops from your beets and chop them into bite size pieces (I also used the stems, but first blanched them in the beet water to tenderize them.), you should have about 3 cups total.  Toss in a cup of cooked small red beans, mix in the leftover Blood Orange and Cranberry Glaze. Add some unsalted roasted almonds for crunch.  Yum!

A couple of the mints I have growing in pots on my patio.  I keep these in pots because mint would invade my herb garden if planted out, nice to walk on but you won't have anything else growing!

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