If you are on the fence about beets, have bad experiences or can’t think of anything creative to do with such an earthy vegetable, I urge you to try them again… THIS way. Beautiful red, green, cheesy, yummy beets.
Beets au Gratin
I have used gruyer, cheddar, jarlsberg, goat, feta, all successfully, you can use a combination,what strikes your fancy and you have in house. If using goat cheese, I recommend mixing in a little hard grated cheese for flavor kick.
6 medium sized beets with their greens (use more if beets are small)
1 medium onion, sliced (or a bunch of Cropsey little green onions)
1 clove garlic, crushed
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1-2 cups grated or crumbled cheese
Pinch of thyme leaves
salt/pepper to taste
Pre-heat oven to 375.
Cut greens off beets, wash and set aside. Scrub beets, cut root end off, cook in boiling water until done (a fork will pierce easily), then remove to cool.
While beets are cooking, chop beet greens, separating the stem pieces from the leaves. After removing beets from hot water, add beet green leaves to cook down for 5 minutes, until darker green. Remove to a strainer.
Saute onion and garlic in olive oil until wilted, add beet green, saute 5 minutes.
Squeeze all liquid out of beet greens, add to saute pan, stir into onion mixture, add thyme, s & p. Turn off heat.
Peel cooled beets by ‘popping’ skins off, they will slip off easily. Cut beets in half and slice each half into 1/4 in slices, or alternately, cut into small cubes.
Beat eggs with milk and cream.
Put beet greens and beets in a casserole dish (any baking dish with at least 3 inch sides), pour milk and egg over, add cheese, stir to combine it all.
Pop into pre-heated oven and bake until golden and puffy, about 40 min. (this depends on the shape of your baking dish).
A fresh green salad with fennel slices makes a nice accompaniment!