Beets for breakfast

Cooked beets in a dish

Considering that we didn’t really grow any beets ourselves this year, we sure have enjoyed many of them in recent weeks. I’m completely into making the most what I either can’t (due to my own ineptitude or lack of experience) or haven’t grown myself at our local farmers’ market, and beets have been on the menu in various ways.

On a Sunday, when I do a lot of cooking and baking for the week ahead (at least when I’m organized), I generally boil up or roast a bunch of beets to have to hand for including in meals as needed or wanted. They frequently appear on quick plates at lunch, as we work from home.

Garden fresh lunch plate

During the summertime they made fairly frequent appearances in salads, as with these caramelized specimens, prepared in a mixture of balsamic vinegar, honey and olive oil.

Caramalizing beets in balsamic vinegar, honey and oil

But there is still an awful lot that I haven’t done with beets, as I’m still learning about these rotund root vegetables. The other morning, I had a deep craving for a breakfast that would be satisfying (think protein), colourful and healthy (think beets). I wondered whether anyone had ever eaten eggs with roasted beets or something along those lines. I got to thinking about poached eggs and mash. And, as you do, I undertook a search and found that, of course, in this day and age, some blogger had shared just such a wonderful recipe.

Poached eggs over carrot and beet hash from Reclaiming Provincial just looks so darned pretty, which gets me every time. The fact that it included the flavours I was imagining, without evening fully knowing it, clinched the deal.

Now, I must confess that I took the world’s quickest shortcut to approximating this dish, as I was very hungry and overdue to start work. I justified the few extra minutes required to grate the beets and carrots to my husband by observing that I’d put my effort into a hearty breakfast instead of a more involved lunch that day. As I sauteed the grated root veg with some garlic scapes, the eggs went into the pot for a quick poaching (three minutes exactly in water just taken off the boil) and I popped some British crumpets that we had on hand into the toaster. My breakfast, when assembled, looked very different from the appealing feature shot on the Reclaiming Provincial blog, but it was extremely tasty nonetheless.

Beet and carrot mash with poached eggs

Poaching eggs instead of scrambling or frying them is easily one of the most heart-healthy changes we’ve made in the last year or so, and I love them. Watching Amy Adams as Julie Powell agonize over the method invigorated me to master poaching eggs, and I’m so glad that I did. I’m sure they aren’t perfect, but they will certainly do, and I love them in all kinds of last minute meals.

Amounts are hardly needed for this delicious breakfast idea, but here is the recipe that matched my very specific expectations in a very delicious way.

Poached Eggs over Beet & Carrot Hash, Reclaiming Provincial (originally adapted from Blue Cheese Highways)

yield: 1 serving

1 small beet
2 small- to medium-sized carrots
a few garlic scapes
1 handful of corn
1 egg

Preheat oven to 400°. Stab your beet a few times with a fork, then place it in the oven and roast for 40 minutes.

In the meantime, peel and grate your carrots and dice the garlic scapes. When the beet has finished roasting, remove it from the oven and set aside to cool.

Begin heating a couple inches of water in a saucepan (to poach the egg). At the same time, add a little bit of oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic scapes and saute for about a minute, then add grated carrot and corn. Continue cooking for another minute or two, then remove from heat and set aside.

Once your pan of water is at the right temperature, add the egg. (For more-detailed instructions on egg-poaching, see this post.) While the egg is cooking, peel and grate your beet. Combine the beet and the carrot mixture on a plate, then top with your poached egg. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Note: for my extremely quick and dirty version, I used beets that had already been boiled and skipped the roasting stage, and still had a wonderfully tasty dish. I can imagine that the roasting would add fantastic depth to the flavour though, and would expect that roasting a bunch would result in enough for multiple servings of this dish, as well as other uses.

If you’ve ever had beets for breakfast, I’d really love to know! Any and all beet recipes are welcome.

19 thoughts on “Beets for breakfast

  1. beets for breakfast – that’s a new one to me. Though the beet and carrot hash does look yummy. My husband grew up with beets, and loves them, me – not so much, unless they’re pickled. However, we did find golden beets this past year, and I enjoyed those roasted quite often. We’ll definitely give this recipe a go.

    1. I’m very new to beets, I must confess; it’s really my husband who has always enjoyed them, and I guess I decided to wake up to them this year. Golden beets sound sound really lovely, and roasted even better!

  2. I’ve had many an unconventional breakfast but hadn’t thought about trying beetroot. And why not! I love them, and I’m loving the idea of caramalising them too ! Thanks for sharing the idea.
    Oh and poached eggs are just wonderous 🙂

    1. It definitely opened my eyes to different veggies for breakfast, which is always a good thing for me! Thanks for the poached egg feedback!!

  3. Hi Dagne, first of all, I love the new blog look. The bright cheerful side panels, and the pop-out boxes for your special notes — really nice! Second, I don’t really eat beets. 🙂 But I have to admit, that beet/carrot hash looks amazing. Carrots are my favorite vegetable, and have been since I was little. One time in my early married years I ate so many carrots (struggling to learn how to cook more types of meals, I relied on the same side dish over and over!) that I actually turned orange. It started out nice, when a stranger at the gas pump commented on my glowing complexion. Then I quickly oranged-up and was terrified! I ate a LOT of carrots, and since then I’ve cut back. Maybe diluting them with the beets is a good way to sneak some more back in. 🙂

    1. Thanks for kind feedback on the look and feel here Melissa. Your carrot story is absolutely hilarious! I don’t think I’ve ever risked over exposure to a vegetable (or any other foodstuff) in that way. Your earnest nature takes you to levels that mere mortals can only imagine! I think that tempering your love of carrots with a few beets could be just the thing. 🙂

  4. Ok, big confession here. I have never eaten beetroot. My mother used to make her own, and I think that put me off for life, as I politely decline it everywhere. However I have bought some beetroot seeds to add to the garden. DH likes them, and I will give them another go! Your caramelized version looks a lot yummier than I expected! And I will give the family another go at poached eggs, as we have sooo many to use up and frying them just makes a mess of the kitchen every time!

    1. Beets are so often eaten on their own and they are kind of strange, so I bet you are not alone in never having eaten them. I’d only ever had them in very minor, almost invisible ways before this year, so you can count me amongst those who is brand new to this root veg. You have such a green thumb, I bet your beets will be lovely. I’ve been looking at your back posts on chickens as we’re still getting used to having our little flock; I can’t wait until we have eggs, but we’re still a good number of weeks off that milestone!

  5. Yum. I love beets, but I don’t think I’ve ever had them for breakfast. Now that you’ve paved the way, I think I’ll give it a try. The carmelized beets look delicious as well.

  6. Beets have never been a big item on the menu, probably because I had always had them served pickled. few years ago I was turned on to the golden variety and since then usually plant some in the garden. Fairly hardy and easy to grow.

    1. Dohn, you are the second commenter to recommend golden beets, and I think I must take that to heart. I’m definitely adding those to my seed list and will give them a whirl! Thanks for the idea.

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