Thanks to Jillian for this gem… when we put out the call for favorite beet recipes you guys didn’t disappoint! If the beets continue, I’ve got big plans to make Roasted Beet Hummus, salads galore, AND honest to goodness beet cupcakes. Now watch, I’ve got all these grand plans and beet season will end next week. Humph.
I personally think this recipe is genius. I mean, everyone loves potato pancakes, why should beets be any different? Well, for one, these are sweet. Not just sweet as in totally rad (which they totally are), but sweet as in, are you sure you didn’t put sugar in there? The natural sugars of the beet caramelizes on the outside of the pancakes, leaving you with a sweet crunchy exterior and soft and decadent interior.
We made a few small modifications to the recipe, but for the most part it is undeniably perfect in its simplicity. We made multiple small pancakes instead of one large one, and the 2nd time we made this (yes, it was so good we did it again the same week), we substituted the thyme for rosemary. Personal taste, but I much preferred the thyme version, as I often find rosemary overpowering and perfumy.
A word of warning: if you have an apron, this would be the time to wear it. I’m not talking about a cute, practically-a-dress apron, because it’s going to look like you bled out all over the place when you’re done with this one so you better gosh darn put on an apron that you won’t mind if it gets splattered and stained with beet juice. Beets are messy. The apron is a must. Or at the very least a red shirt.
2 pounds beets (3 very large or 4 to 6 medium)
2 teaspoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary (or thyme, if you prefer)
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup flour
2 tablespoons butter
Minced parsley or a few rosemary leaves for garnish.
Trim beets, and peel them as you would potatoes; grate them in food processor or by hand. Begin preheating 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat.
Toss grated beets in bowl with rosemary, salt and pepper. Add about half the flour; toss well, add rest of flour, and toss again.
Put butter in skillet; heat until it begins to turn nut-brown. Scrape beet mixture into skillet, and press with spatula to form a round. With medium to medium-high heat -- the pancake should gently sizzle -- cook, shaking pan occasionally, until bottom of cake is nicely crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Slide cake onto a plate, top with another plate, invert the two plates, and return cake to pan. Keep cooking, adjusting heat if necessary, until other side is browned, another 10 minutes or so. Garnish, cut into wedges, and serve hot or at room temperature.