I love to treat vegetables like meat.
The other day I was curious to see what would happen if I pretended that a bunch of roasted golden beets were raw salmon. I somehow knew that they would resemble cured salmon with their white strokes and bright color but I wasn’t sure how they would taste if I coat them in kosher salt, dill and fennel seeds, wrap them in plastic wrap and let them sit in the fridge for 1 or 2 days like gravlax.
The result was a delicate and salty plant-based gravlax, but with earthy notes. My husband and youngest son had it with New York style bagels smeared with cream cheese, my older son, who recently became vegan, had it over bagel spread with avocado and I had it over gluten-free bagel and avocado.
Another way to eat this is to slice the beets thinly – with a carpaccio.
Cured Golden Beets (Gravlax)
- 3-5 yellow small or medium golden beets – if the beets are large cut them in half
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
- 1 bunch fresh dill sprigs, chopped roughly
- 1 teaspoon black pepper corns
- ¼ cup capers, to garnish
- 1 tablespoon lemon
- Extra dill, to garnish
- You can cook the beets in the oven or on the stove.
- Oven version: Preheat the oven to 375F or 190C degrees. Scrub the beets and wash in cold water. Wrap them in aluminum foil and put them on a baking tray. Bake until they are tender, about 40 – 60 minutes, depending on their size. Bigger, longer.
- Stove version: Put them in a medium pot and cover with water. Bring into a boil. Lower the heat to medium low, cover the pot and cook for 30 minutes until tender. Don’t over cook them. Remove them from the water as soon as a sharp knife can pierce through their meat.
- Let them cool down.
- Line a rectangular container with plastic wrap. Put all the ingredients in but the beets and mix them. Put the beets in and rub them with the mixture until their skin is patched with it.
- Wrap the beets and cover the container with the lid. Store in the fridge for 1-3 days.
- Remove from the fridge. Rinse the beets and peel them. Slice them and arrange on a plate or store in a container for up to 5 days. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil, lemon juice and garnish with dill and capers.