Beet Down

After we ate the beet ravioli the other weekend (with some wine), Matt and I were marveling at how delicious beets are and how we don’t cook with them enough. Then Matt said, “Next weekend. Beet Down.”

And so the idea of a multi-course meal based entirely on beets was born. We even found some friends who weren’t too weirded out to join us.

Here’s what we made:

Beet Gin and Tonics

Beet Gin and Tonics. We roughly followed this recipe for the beet infused gin, and Matt garnished them with juniper berries. I wish I had gotten a picture of just the gin because it was hilarious how intensely colored it was after just a few hours of infusing. I don’t know why were were all surprised by this, but the gin tasted strongly of beets. However, it gave the gin a little sweetness and the beet flavor went surprisingly well with the flavors in the drink. I actually want to make it again!

Beet Arancini

Beet Arancini with Warm Blue Cheese Sauce. These definitely tasted better than they look in the picture. The inside was deep red from the beets. And, well, you just can’t go wrong with the beet and blue cheese combination.

Beet Green Crostini

Beet Green Crostini. I knew I wanted to use the beet greens as part of our dinner, and they kind of stole the show (at least for me) atop the lemony goat cheese on these crostinis. I highly recommend this recipe.

Beet and Farro Salad

Beet and Farro Salad. For this simple salad, we tossed some cooked farro, roasted beets, and watercress with a sherry vinegar, dijon, and olive oil vinaigrette.

Beet Carpaccio Salad

Beet Carpaccio Salad. We used a mandoline to thinly slice roasted candy cane beets, and then topped them with mixed greens, toasted walnuts, ricotta salata, and a drizzle of olive oil and sherry vinegar.

Beet Ravioli

Beet Ravioli. Obviously, these had to make an appearance again. This time, we made half with red beets and half with yellow. It made the presentation nice, but we found the red beet filling more flavorful.

Steak and Horseradish Beets

Sous Vide Hangar Steak with Sauteed Beet Greens and Creamy Horseradish Beets. I got this idea from an Epicurious recipe. I roughly followed the beet and beet green parts of the recipe, but used a hangar steak instead of flank steak that I sous vide at 130 degrees. The presentation was a little red-purple overload, with the greens hidden under the steak, but it tasted fantastic.

Chocolate and Roasted Beet Pudding Cake

Chocolate and Roasted Beet Pudding Cakes. Turns out, beets and chocolate actually go well together. Katie and I whipped these individual pudding cakes up at the end of our meal, and we garnished them with candied beets that Katie had made earlier.

I’d say our Beet Down was a success! I was surprisingly not even sick of beets by the end of the night. This week was another story though, as we had tons of leftover beets in our fridge. Time to buy some new vegetables.

Have you ever made or had an entire meal based on one ingredient?

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  • Sacha Madadian

    What a fabulous meal! I’m impressed by the multiple preparations here, and everything looks delicious.

  • Sheila

    So funny! I’m making the roasted beet and chocolate pudding cakes from Canelle et Vanille, and just clicked on your blog from her site in a search for grams to cups/ounces conversion. Anyway I live in Somerville too – small world!

    • Colleen

      Sorry I don’t have the conversions, but thanks for stopping by anyways! I just used a scale to measure.

  • Simply Life

    wow! this entire meal is so creative and made with one of the ingredients I am most intimidated to cook with. you are so impressive!

    • Colleen

      No need to be intimidated to cook with beets – they’re super easy to roast!
      The only difficult part is getting the red color off of your hands and cutting board 🙂

  • Joanne (eats well with others)

    What a crazy fun idea for a never! I never would have thought that beets could look so appealing…even to someone who is so on-the-fence about them like me!

  • Bee

    You are officially my hero. Beets are my absolute favorite!!

  • Megan

    That is amazing. I love the idea of doing a one-ingredient theme. I’m trying to think of what I would do… The arancini sound so good!

  • Michelle Collins

    Wow, what a fun idea! And sounds like you had some really innovative dishes. I love food theme dinner parties like this!

  • Emily

    This is one of the coolest things I’ve seen on a food blog in a long time! You guys are so creative!

  • Meghan M.

    What a fun and creative meal. Love it!

  • Kristen

    are you kidding me?! My jaw is dropping at how good each dish looks, not to mention the insanely creative use of beets.

  • Hope

    I made an all beet dinner quite a few years ago. Amazingly — or maybe not, beets are versatile — there’s almost no overlap in our menus. It was enormously popular and I ended up having to make it again a bunch of times. My wine shop really loved it. When I told them what I was doing, they told me I was in the wrong place and then spent nearly an hour figuring out what to serve with each course. I’m so glad you reminded me. Maybe I’ll do that again this weekend.

    • Colleen

      That’s so funny. I’m definitely planning on doing it again (maybe next year)…I should challenge myself to make completely different dishes!

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