Welcome To My “New” Blog

Posted by Marie - March 21st, 2011

A couple of years ago I started blogging while I was working on my new cookbook. But along the way I realized I was spending too much time on the blog postings and not enough time on the book. Since completing the book meant I’d be getting a check in the mail, I wisely decided to pull away from the blog and work instead on the book. But now the book–Fresh & Fast Vegetarian: Recipes That Make a Meal– is published and my new website and blog are ready to launch. Therefore I am excited to re-join the blogosphere once again.


I’m starting this blog with one of my favorite spring vegetables: beets. I have many recipes in Fresh
& Fast Vegetarian
for beets among them a hearty soup, a puree with tahini that I spread on crostini or scoop into an endive leaf, a beet and apple salad, and a couple of side dishes. The seasonings run the gamut from cider vinegar to grated orange zest. I even have a recipe for Beet Slices with Pistachio Pesto. Yummy, and pretty, too.


                                    Beets by County Line Farms at Marin Farmer’s Market March 27, 2011


I cook beets in one of three ways: roasted, steamed or sautéed. Whole roasted beets take the most time to cook. Next comes steaming, especially if you peel and cube the beets first, and last comes coarsely shredding beets and sautéing them in a skillet. When I’m in a hurry I opt for the skillet method.


This is how I do it:


Sautéed Shredded Beets with Orange and Basil


Cook Time: 5 minutes


Serves: 4


  • 1 -1/4 to 1- 1/2 pounds medium beets, preferably with green tops attached
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil or other herb (mint, tarragon, thyme or dill)


1. Cut the tops from the beets and reserve for braising separately, if desired. If the beet skins are thick, peel them with a vegetable peeler. Coarsely shred the beets using a box grater or the shredding blade on a food processor.


2. Heat the oil in a large skillet until it is hot enough to sizzle a pinch of shredded beet. Add the shredded beets and orange zest and cook, stirring, adjusting the heat between medium and medium-low, until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, a pinch of salt and a grinding of black pepper. Sprinkle with the basil and serve.


Recipe adapted from Fresh & Fast Vegetarian: Recipe That Make a Meal (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)


6 Responses to “Welcome To My “New” Blog”

  1. Thumbprint Cookies

    I like your blog.

  2. Marie

    Thank you, Thumbprint Cookies!

  3. Robert Brower

    I cook beets in my pressure cooker. Fresh & Fast & Easy

  4. Marie

    Great idea Robert. I’m not a big fan of the pressure cooker, but I bet it is perfect for beets. Thanks.

  5. Yogadad

    We’re big beet fans, too, and last weekend, we tried a beet recipe from your book. It was the one with pistachio pesto. The recipe said to slice the beets, place them and a couple tablespoons of water in a sauce pan and cook over medium low heat for about 12 minutes. That was not nearly enough time for the beets to cook through & become tender. It took nearly 45 minutes. Perhaps beets cook that fast in a pressure cooker (and we may try that next time) but not in a saucepan. After the beets were finally tender, it was a very tasty dish. But I’m glad we were only doing this for a late Sunday supper & not for a dinner party. We’ll probably do the dish again but will make allowance for cooking the beets.

  6. Marie

    Hi Randy or Yogadad: First of all I am so sorry you had to wait to long for your beets to cook. How frustrating that must have been. I will try to help you undo this mystery. Although I often cut up the beets to speed the cooking process I bought a bunch of beets in my market yesterday and retested the recipe exactly as written so it would be fresh in my mind. This is my result: My beets were tender in 12 minutes. So now we have to figure out why your beets took 45 minutes. There are two possible reasons: perhaps medium low on your stove is very, very low. On my gas range, medium low allows the water to simmer and steam. With the pan covered, the beets are in almost boiling water for the entire time. The other thought is that perhaps the beets were very large and mature, although it seems unlikely at this time of the year when most markets have fresh pulled beets for sale. (The beets I bought were in a bunch of four beets. When I removed the tops the 4 beets –about 2 inches in diameter–weighed in at about 12 ounces.)The beets I buy in the summer have leafy tops that I cut off and braise separately in a little olive oil and garlic and serve as a side dish. These leady tops always indicate the beets are freshly harvested and haven’t been in storage, which would reduce the moisture of the beets considerably. Fresh, or freshly harvestes, vegetables are very high in moisture (water) and these moist vegetables, in my experience, always cook more quickly than vegetables that are older (mature) and therefore have a lower moisture level. Perhaps the beet you used were more mature or had been harvested weeks ago and kept in storage. In that case they would have less moisture and would take longer to cook. At any rate I am so sorry you had this problem with the cooking time. But thank you for your patience and for your thoughtful comment. I hope I have been helpful. Please do not hesitate to continue the dialogue. I am always happy to help, if at all possible.

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