Beets. Most people have an impassioned love or hate relationship with these buried treasures. President Obama and his wife went so far as to ask that no beets be planted in the White House’s garden. I’ve never been a member of the anti-beetroot camp, embracing their earthy taste, rich texture and myriad health benefits in the kitchen. We grow four different varieties of these colorful, sweet root vegetables in the Jordan garden year-round—striped Chioggia, purple Bull’s Blood, heirloom cylindra and golden—producing constant inspiration for wine-pairing recipes, especially during the garden’s quietest season.
These three recipes highlight the savory, earthy flavors of beets with intriguing preparations to inspire your winter kitchen, but can be enjoyed throughout all seasons. The health benefits alone are reason to keep beets in your kitchen. Not only are they colorful and flavorful, they are rich in antioxidants, fiber, potassium and folic acid. Beets also contain special antioxidants called betalains, which give the vegetable its red hue and are currently being studied as a potential weapon in the fight against cancer. Beets are a natural source of tryptophan and betaine, both substances known to promote a feeling of well-being.
Roasting root vegetables concentrates their flavor while adding complexity and texture. This recipe takes that concept one step further with the addition of roasted coffee beans, which intensifies the natural sweetness of the beets and carrots, while complementing the subtle oak structure of a fine Chardonnay. It makes a beautiful presentation as an appetizer or a side dish. View recipe >
In this recipe, pickled beets bring brightness to Japanese noodles topped with a quenelle of California caviar. Roasted beets can even be incorporated into the purée of lacinato kale, further highlighting the beet’s acidic and earthy notes, which complement the light, lemon flavors in the purée. Don’t let the beet “cloud” in this recipe scare you. It’s actually easy to make and acts as a playful textural element for crisp Chardonnays like Jordan. Can be served as an appetizer or main course. View recipe >
The true richness of this recipe lies in the starring ingredient, though caviar brings its own earthiness and decadence. An elegant appetizer to pair with a full-bodied Champagne or a light Chardonnay. View recipe >
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