I struggle with beets. There, I said it. My mind keeps telling me to eat them, but my taste buds are in strong disagreement. There’s something in their taste and texture that I find off-putting.
It’s a shame though; beets are that healthy and that important in a sportsman diet. They’re an incredible natural source of nitrates, capable of boosting performance.
I drink beet juice though. Well, I gobble it, not really drink it. I find no pleasure whatsoever in that. I know that I need it to drink it to perform better, so I do it. Enjoying a drink, however, it’s something different.
Notwithstanding my hatred for beets, I keep buying them and keep experimenting different recipes. Hope die last, they say.
So far, however, I ended-up in utter disappointment. I made salads, vegetarian lasagna, risotto: none worked for my taste buds. They’re picky, I know.
Last week I decided to give beets a last shot. It was a do or die moment.
As gnocchi are my favorite food, I decided to squeeze two whole beets (no, not one, I said two!) in the potatoes dough, and see what happened.
I took a lot of pleasure into squeezing the beets. It suddenly all became some sort of splatter movie scene. Beets are so bloody and red.
Anyway, the [squeezed] beets turned the gnocchi dough into a shiny pink color. I’m talking about Nicki Minaj pink, my niece’s ballerina gown pink, sugar candy pink. A tad weird.
With this strangely colored dough I made the gnocchi, cooked them, topped with sage and olive oil sauce, and.............they were delicious!
The taste, the texture, everything worked out perfectly. I was really surprised. For some reasons I can’t explain, the beets didn’t spoiled the gnocchi taste, at all. To the contrary, they made them even more tasty!
Beet and Potato Gnocchi Print this Recipe!
Makes 6 generous servings
3 medium Yukon Gold potatoes
2 small beets
2 cups / 8.8 oz / 250 gr whole wheat flour, plus more for the work surface
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
Fill a large pot with cold water. Salt the water, place the potatoes in the pot. Bring the water to a boil and cook the potatoes until tender throughout, roughly 40-50 minutes.
In the meantime, scrub the beets clean. Peel the beets with a vegetable peeler, and either steam or boil until tender (when you stick a fork into them), about 35-45 minutes.
Remove the potatoes from the water. While still warm, peel and pass through a potato ricer. If you don’t have a ricer, a vegetable mill might do the trick. If you don’t even have a vegetable mill deconstruct the potatoes one at a time on the cutting board using the tines of a fork. Don’t mash them, you are simply after an even consistency with no noticeable lumps.
Do the same with the beets.
In a large bowl mix the flour, salt, potatoes and beets.
Drop the dough on a lightly floured surface, and gently knead it, adding more flour if necessary. The dough should be moist but not sticky.
Divide dough into eight parts, and roll each portion gently on a floured surface, about ½ inch thick. Slice dough into little cubes. Sprinkle flour on gnocchi to prevent sticking.
With the tines of your fork, press lightly into the gnocchi to create an indentation.
Cook gnocchi in a large pan of salted boiling water by batches. As soon as they rise to the surface, they are cooked and ready to be served. Fish them out of the water with a slotted spoon or so.
Have a large platter ready with a generous swirl of whatever sauce you’ll be serving the gnocchi (I used some olive oil with sage). Place the gnocchi on the platter. Continue cooking in batches until the gnocchi are done. Gently toss with more sauce and serve immediately.
The Iron You