24 Carrots Gives Beets a New Twist in this Inspired Winter Menu
Written By: Susan Krupa
Photographed By: Mike Villa Fall in Love with a Root Vegetable Through 24 Carrots’ Beet-Inspired Menu
Beet greens are often cast aside but they’re also edible. Flavorful and eye-catching, beets can be used in many different ways and can enhance the flavors of a dish. They can be sauteéd like spinach or eaten raw like any other leafy green, since beets are a member of the chard family.
Children are always told, “don’t play with your food.” However, that’s exactly what the chefs at 24 Carrots do for a living. 24 Carrots, a catering service based in Orange County, is continually pushing the envelope to deliver meals that are both imaginative and delicious. When tasked with the challenge of creating an entire meal that incorporates one vegetable into every single course, this was right in their wheelhouse. They chose the beet, creating a five-course meal plus a cocktail featuring the root vegetable. Many home cooks may only be familiar with the dark red sugar beet, but in reality there are dozens of different types of beets, in shades ranging from red to golden yellow as well as white and beets with stripes. Although beets are not typically the main course on any menu, this vegetable allowed for variety so the 24 Carrots chefs could flex their creative muscles. Flavorful and eye-catching, beets can be used in many different ways and can enhance the flavors of a dish. For this meal, 24 Carrots used beets in some typical preparations, including braising and roasting. Being the creative team of chefs that they are, they also dehydrated some, pickled others, made a gastrique (a sweet and sour sauce), and their own personal favorite, a beet salt to pair with beef. 24 Carrots showcased different parts of the vegetable throughout this meal, utilizing beets in sweet, salty, crunchy, savory and deliciously drinkable ways.
Root Vegetable Chips
Dehydrated beets, sweet potatoes and crispy taro: A crunchy yet healthy way to eat chips. The natural sweetness of the beets and sweet potatoes coupled with the starchier taro make for a good sweet and salty mix.
Confit of mixed baby beets, shaved choggias, rhubarb gastrique, goat cheese and candied pistachios. Choggia beets look like they belong in a Dr. Seuss book. They are also known as candy cane beets. For this beet salad, golden, red and choggia beets create a beautiful, whimsical plate.
Grilled Rack of Lamb
Grilled rack of lamb with a beet-root yogurt, served with roasted Bull’s Blood beet farro, pickled Burpee’s golden beets and cucumbers. Rack of lamb is always an impressive presentation, yet the addition of beets to this dish adds a pleasant surprise. The beets add a hint of sweetness to the various elements, enhancing this robust dish.
Pink Peppercorn Crusted Filet
Pink peppercorn crusted filet with a beet honey drizzle served with a fricassée of baby albino beets, Brussels sprouts and potatoes, braised Red Ace greens and smoked beet salt. The beet salt in this dish is a favorite with the chefs at 24 Carrots. The salt adds an unexpected flavor to the filet. Along with the albino beets and braised greens, this dish showcases the versatility of beets in every component.
Spiced Carrot Cake
With yellow and red beet caramel, orange mascarpone cream cheese frosting, meringue and pulled sugar. Using beets for their sweetness is common; using them to make a caramel is not. Coupled with the orange frosting and plated in an elegant, geometric fashion, the taste and look of this dessert is a perfect end to a beet-iful meal.
The Beetnik Cocktail
· 6 cucumber slices, divided
· 3 basil leaves
· 2 ounces Hendricks Gin
· ½ ounce fresh beet purée
· ¾ ounce lemon juice
· ¾ ounce ginger syrup
· ½ ounce The King’s Ginger Liqueur (or substitute Domaine De Canton ginger)
· ½ ounce St Germain Elderflower Liqueur
· Fever-Tree soda water, to top
Muddle 6 cucumber slices and the basil leaves in a mixing glass. Add the gin, beet purée, lemon juice, ginger syrup, ginger liqueur and St Germain, and shake well. Strain the mixture into an ice-filled lowball glass and top with soda water.
Rock to the Beet: Beets have been used by chefs for years but are not always found in a household refrigerator. That’s why there might be some confusion about how to select fresh beets. One of the great things about beets is that they are available year round, but they are best in the winter months. When selecting beets, look for smooth skin without cuts on the surface, and bright green leaves. Try them sliced, roasted and drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper for an easy yet delicious preparation.
17581 Sky Park Cir Ste F
Irvine, CA 92614
B E E T /// It, Just Beet It. Fall in Love with This Root Vegetable in a Creative Menu by 24 Carrots Catering