The temperature was -4 early this morning, with a very thin, fine powder of new snow over all. The garden is buried, with my popcorn and cranberry garland from the holidays swinging forlornly from some branches out back. Sweet juncos, a chickadee or two, and flickers will soon be flitting about in spite of the frigid day.
Green grass and bare arms are a distant mirage-like memory. But back then, during the warm surges of late summer, I pulled a big haul of beets – and carrots – from the garden. Look at them sprawled out across the yard, soaking up the first sun they had ever directly basked beneath!
Now, with a hot mate` chai by my side, writing to you, I can almost remember that day, sweating happily in the garden. But with winter, a whole other mindset comes into play in the kitchen. Warming foods (to warm the kitchen as much as our bellies!) arise from the stove onto our plates, and so it was, so it was – in my kitchen yesterday. With the last of the fresh beets and a hot oven.
I have read a lot recently about the kitchen gadget the mandoline, not to be confused with the musical instrument the mandolin! If you possess this handy tool in your kitchen repertoire, I might recommend it for this particular recipe. If anybody out there has a mandoline they love, let us know what brand you are using! As for me, I sharpened up one of my trusty Sabatier French knives and sliced as thinly as I could. Nevertheless, some of the chips were a mite thicker than I was intending. Still delicious! – plain, or with a favorite dip. My mind was revolving towards a fried shallot and Greek yogurt dip, but the flavor of the chips stood up all on their own last night.
Beet Chips with Kosher Salt and Rosemary
A four ingredient recipe! I leave the quantities up to you!
- beets – sliced as thinly as you possibly can –
- extra virgin olive oil, or other quality oil
- fresh rosemary, minced
- kosher salt
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Slice as many beets as you like, 1/8 inch and even thinner. Prepare a baking sheet by lightly coating it with olive oil. Toss the beets on the sheet with your hands, turning to make sure the slices have a thin film of oil coating them. If you have olive oil as a spray, by all means use that. Sprinkle the sliced beets with kosher salt and the minced fresh rosemary. Roast on the center rack of your hot oven for about 40-45-50 minutes, checking occasionally and turning the beets with a metal spatula. When you see the slices beginning to turn an orangey hue, they are getting crispy. Note! Most likely your beet chips, if sliced by hand, will be crisping up at different times in the oven.
Alternatively, I am sure you could deep fry the beet chips with crispy results. I very rarely deep fat fry, but next time, I may try that method!
A very worthy snack:
Stay warm out there! And warm in your heart. Winter blessings!
Some of my other favorite beet recipes from the 2012 garden are the pickled beets in this September Pachamama’s post: https://pachamamasbeautifulfood.wordpress.com/2012/09/11/unexpected-beet-conversions-a-tongue-in-cheek-religious-experience/