Recipes. Musings. Portland. Tucson. Fusing Cultures Through Cuisine
Chopping fresh beets can be intimidating. If you’re a newbie, keeping these guidelines in mind can help ease you into the routine.
*Use a good quality heavy chef’s knife, eight to ten inches (whatever feels better), that fits comfortably in your hand. Flimsy thin blades will only destabilize your hand. Risky.
*Always remember to tuck and curl your fingers inward (photo here)
1) Wash the beet roots and stems. (The greens are delicious in stews and salads and stay tuned for beet stem recipes too!)
I almost never peel beets. The beets I usually get are grown in happy soil and I’ve never run into an issue of toughness so I say peeling is for the birds. If peeling is your preference though, peel away!
2) Chop off the base of the beets from their stems and remove the tail at the end. (The tail is still fair game, if you don’t mind inconsistencies in your dicing)
3) Cut off a thin “cheek” off the side of the beet and then flip over and rest the beet on this side This gives you a stable flat surface to cut the beet into disks.
4) From here, julienne the beet using only 2 or 3 disks at a time. Make sure to keep your fingers curled and your knife close to the cutting board.
5) Dice away, cutting perpendicularly against your little matchsticks. You’re home free! Now this pretty little picture is ready to be turned into my south Indian coconut beet pilaf.