Summer Beet Borscht

Photo from Ina Garten from her similar recipe.

The expected farm share from Glade Road Growing for the Week of July 14 will include red beets, carrots, cucumbers, a sweet onion, a rosa de tropea onion, basil, sprig of dill and celery.  Here is a recipe for the beets, rosa de tropea onion, cucumbers and dill.  The carrots, celery and sweet onion would make a good base for a split pea soup, with the addition of potatoes and garlic and bay leaves.

Serves 6

1. Wash and rinse twice, 2 pounds of red beets and roast  in a convection or conventional oven at 450 degrees F until almost tender, about 30 minutes.  If you are using a countertop convection oven, as I do, no preparation is needed.  To roast in a conventional oven, preheat oven.  Coat beets lightly with a bit of olive oil. Wrap beets in aluminum foil, place on a baking sheet to roast.

2.  Remove beets from oven and let cool and then peel with a small paring knife and discard skin.  Chop into a small to medium dice.

3.  Cook beets until tender for about another 10 minutes in 4 cups of boiling water to which you have added 1 teaspoon of sea salt. Remove beets to a bowl with a slotted spoon and cool.  Strain the cooking liquid and cool.

4.  While beets are cooling, wash and dice cucumbers with skin on, but seeds removed to measure up to two cups.  Wash one rosa de tropea onion and chop finely to make 1/2 cup (or you can use scallions, both the white and green parts.)  Wash and chop 2 tablespoons of dill.

5.  In a large bowl, whisk together beet cooking liquid, 2 1/2 cups of plain non-fat yogurt, 1/4 cup demerara sugar, 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice, 2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar  and 1 1/2 teasoons of freshly ground pepper.  

6.  Add the beets, cucumber, onions and dill.  Cover and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

7.  Serve chilled in six bowls and garnish with an extra dollop of yogurt and a sprig of dill.