Beets have always puzzled me. They are REALLY good for you (my grandmother once told me they are like laundry detergent for your body as they are loaded in antioxidants and help cleanse your liver) so I’ve always wanted to incorporate them into more recipes, but never quite sure how. I see them at the supermarket and ponder- what can I do with these?
I got the idea to plank beets from Dina Guillen’s cookbook “Plank Grilling” where she smokes beets on cedar planks and then makes them into a smoky dip. In this instance, I just wanted to smoke the beets for nice flavor to serve as a healthy side dish.
This was really quite easy, just make sure you slice the beets very thinly so they can get cooked all the way through. I coated them in olive oil, salt and pepper and then finished them with the juice and zest of an orange for a bright, citrus finish. I think the citrus compliments the beets and helps bring out their mellow sweetness.
The smoke from the plank serves to mellow the beets and adds nice flavor depth. Experiment with different types of wood for different effects. Finally, I’ve found a way to eat beets off the grill!
- 1-2 large cedar wood planks, soaked for 30 minutes before use
- 2-3 beets, sliced extremely thin (1/8 inch)
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp fresh ground pepper
Prepare your grill for medium heat, about 350 degrees, with a direct and indirect cooking zone. While your grill is heating up, thinly slice your beets and toss them in olive oil and add salt and pepper.
Place the beets in a single layer on your plank. Place the plank on the indirect side of the grill and let smoke for 20 minutes or more until your beets are soft and can easily be penetrated with a fork.
Squeeze the juice of an orange over the beets and then add the zest of the orange for a nice, bright, citrus finish.
I paired these with grilled chicken and rainbow chard for a nice, anti-oxidant rich meal!