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.
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.
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.
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
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.