Beets Under Pressure
Bolstering the cheering section for pressure cookers, here’s a shriek and a sigh for pressure cooking beets.
Yes they are also outstanding when roasted, but for this judge the gold medal in flavor and texture comes from utilizing the intense steam that builds inside the locked vessel of the pressure cooker. This unique piece of cooking equipment can muster temps of around 250 degrees. That means less time needed to cook. Also less flavor and nutrients escaping through steam or into water. After a trip to the extreme steam room inside my PC, beets are rendered tender, relaxed, almost buttery. Their skins just slide off with a gentle push from your fingers. Students often confess that they have always hated beets until they slipped a pressure cooked one between their lips. Case closed.
This week students are fashioning sexy beet slices as a side dish served with Peasant Kasha and Potatoes, Blanched Asparagus and a Poached Egg this week. For a sweet ending to this savory brunch we’re making Chocolate Covered Coconut Macaroons and using the yolks (macaroons need egg whites) to make some hollandaise sauce for the asparagus. Those ruby red slices also shine in a Luscious Beet Salad with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds and feta by the by. Are you enticed?
Pressure Cooked Beets
Olive oil or butter
Remove leafy tops and wash beets to remove any dirt. Do not cut off the root or the nubby stems (the crown). If you do, the beets will “bleed” into the water they are cooked in and lose flavor and nutrition.
Place whole beets in pressure cooker with enough water to cover the bottom half of the biggest beet. Secure lid. Bring heat to high. When cooker has reached pressure, lower heat to medium low, maintaining pressure, and cook 20-25 minutes.
Remove from heat and let pressure come down naturally. Beets should be quite tender when pierced with a fork. When cool enough to handle, slip skins off under cool running water. Trim ends off. Slice beets. If desired, dress warm beets with a teaspoon each of olive oil/butter and vinegar and serve.
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Makes ~ 1 cup, sliced