Monday, April 11, 2011

Beet Tian

I finally went back to the Farmer's Market in Neptune Beach. I visited several years ago, but was pretty disappointed. There was a surprising lack of food and an over abundance of a Farmer's Market!

I went back last weekend and was happy to see more local food than driftwood sculptures! I chose some fantastic strawberries, spinach and beets. The beets are a departure from my usual fact, I'm not sure I've ever had a beet. But, I remembered a recent episode of The Splendid Table where Margaret Rose Schulman shared some summer, vegetable gratin recipes.

I made her Beet Tian (sounds fancy, huh?). It was attractive because it can be served hot, room temperature or cold. Both Scott and I thought it was pretty tasty! Even though it's a solely-vegetable dish (besides the bacon I added....), it's very  filling and satisfying. I added the red pepper and it gave the dish a nice sweetness. Next time, I will increase the rice (accounted for below).

Beet Tian
from Margaret Rose Schulman on The Splendid Table

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, to taste, minced
4 beets, cut in 1/4- to 1/2-inch dice
1 red bell pepper, diced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, or 1 teaspoon crumbled dried thyme
1 cup Arborio rice, cooked
6 slices of bacon
2 eggs
3 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (3/4 cup)
1/4 cup breadcrumbs (fresh or dry)


1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Oil a 2-quart gratin dish.

2. Chop up bacon. Cook in a large, heavy nonstick skillet. Set bacon to the side, but keep fat in skillet.

3. Add the onion & red pepper. Cook, stirring often, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, stir together for about 30 seconds, until it begins to smell fragrant, and stir in the beets. Cook, stirring often, until the beets are translucent but not mushy, 5 to 10 minutes. Season generously with salt and pepper. Stir in the thyme and rice, and remove from the heat.

4. Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Beat in 1/2 teaspoon salt and the cheese. Stir in the beet mixture and combine well. Scrape into the gratin dish. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the top. Drizzle on the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Bake 40 to 45 minutes, or until the top is browned and the gratin is sizzling. Remove from the heat and allow to sit for at least 10 minutes before serving. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

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