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Miso-Glazed Beets with Udon

July 4, 2010

I used to hate beets.  Or think I did.  I didn’t want to like them, the way I did eggplant, so I didn’t keep trying.  But then I joined this CSA and all of a sudden I didn’t have a choice about whether or not I wanted to buy beets.  They just came to me, and I’d already paid for them.  It was either waste food or learn to like them.  Well, Friday night, this former beet-hater ate FOUR entire beets in one meal.

Who knew I could like beets this much?

(Sorry, I know the photo kind of sucks.  Some days I can’t take a good one to save my life.  This was the best of my dozen or so attempts.  My cooking skills are vastly superior to my photography skills, and I’m ok with that.)

Given the sweltering heat we had here in Paris last week, roasting the beets was obviously out.  The mere thought of turning on the oven raised the apartment’s temperature a few degrees.  So I worked out a stovetop version of my miso-roasted beets:  I chopped them up into small cubes (the smaller they are, the faster they cook) and sautéed them in a mixture of grapeseed and sesame oils.  While they cooked, I combined a hefty dose of miso with rice vinegar, mirin, minced fresh ginger, and a pinch of wasabi powder.  When the beets were starting to brown nicely and beginning to get tender, I threw in the marinade.  I stirred thoroughly and let it cook down until the beets were tender and evenly coated. 

This, I set aside because my stove is useless for cooking more than one thing at a time, and began to boil some udon noodles.  When they were cooked to my liking, I turned the heat back on under the beets, tossed in the drained noodles, and scooped it all into a big bowl.  The final touch was a sprinkling of ribboned green onion tops, which added just the right fresh bite as a counterpoint to the rich, salty-sweet beets.  And oh, the colors!  The deep purple beets, the bright magenta noodles, the springy green onions.  Who wouldn’t want to eat a dish like this?

P.S. Happy 4th of July!

Originally published on Seasonal Market Menus.

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5 Comments
  1. July 4, 2010 11:25 am

    Love the new header! (P.S. I’m sorry if that’s been up there for awhile! My housemate will attest that I’m not always the most observant person when it comes to aesthetic changes…)

    I was all prepped to make your miso beets the other day but my stupid local supermarket was out of miso. I’ll have to wait until I have a car and can make it to an asian grocers, I think!

    P.S. Next time thinking of the oven raises the temperature, think of me in Canberra wearing multiple pairs of socks and a scarf inside. That’ll lower it again for you.

  2. July 6, 2010 9:36 pm

    Hannah – I just put it up! (I try to chnage it with the seasons.) Glad you like it.

    Bummer about the lack of miso. Just buy a big tub next time. The stuff keeps forever.

  3. July 10, 2010 6:50 pm

    Let me start with saying that I love your Blog! It encouraged me to start my own with my CSA. 🙂
    I have also had an aversion to beets and like you was forced to make them when they arrived last week. I made this risotto (http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Beet-and-Beet-Green-Risotto-with-Horseradish-15293) and instantly went from a beet-hater to a beet lover!

  4. July 11, 2010 11:54 am

    megan – Wow, I’m so pleased to have been an inspiration to you! Beets and horseradish sound like a fantastic combination!

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