by Leslie Cox; Thursday, October 4, 2012

I love them…and luckily my “Duke” loves them too. It is a good thing we love them because we have beets!

We belatedly decided last spring…in a reckless, spur of the moment, irresponsible act of willy-nilly…to make our small vegetable garden just a little bigger. Too late for me to start anything from seed to transplant out seedlings. Not only that, but in a fit of brain-dead, empty mindlessness during that point in time, we were having a little difficulty trying to decide what other vegetable, or vegetables, we should plant in the bonus space.


(The above photo shows the vegetable garden expansion of to the right. We planted a double row of carrots…with two rows of beets in behind…in the middle bed. But what to plant in the back bed along with the leek trnsplants waiting to go in?)

We really did not think this addition to the vegetable garden all the way through. In our defence, the early spring weather had not been too kind to us here in Black Creek which had us off to a later than normal start. The joints and muscles do not warm up as early in spring as we would now like.

Also, the main thrust of our garden is from an ornamental slant and, given our garden is open for touring by individuals and groups, much of our energy is directed towards getting the perennials looking their best. There are also those idyllic garden projects on our To-Do List that are in varying degrees of completeness…or just getting off the drawing board and into the ground. Like the new compost bins still awaiting their front gates and a lid.

But, the vegetable addition was not on The List and that is what got us into trouble. We did not plan ahead for this. So it was beets to the rescue! We had enough ‘Detroit Red’ seed left and a nice straight bed that only had a few leek transplants tucked in at the end. Perfect. Did I mention already that we both love beets?

But as much as we love them…and they are good for us…they can get a little monotonous if you are just cooking them and serving them sliced up on your plate along with your peas, carrots and a bit of fish or piece of steak. Oh…and there would be potatoes on the plate too, if you are a Cox. Heaven forbid I should forget the potatoes…boiled, baked, but preferably mashed…as in garlic mashed for John and our Berner, Molly. (She loves a dollop on top of her kibble.)

Always looking to try new recipes, I started doing a little experimenting and came up with a fantastically easy and absolutely delicious one that I have called “Lemon-Honeyed Beets”. I love the lemon-honey glaze and the spices compliment the beets beautifully.

It is not just me that says so either! I have served them up to friends and family and the response has been enthusiastic. My brother-in-law has already placed his order for a repeat serving of my new recipe at the upcoming family Thanksgiving dinner.

Here’s the recipe for those who would like to try it:


Lemon-Honeyed Beets                                     
(Absolutely delicious…and so easy!)

Prep Time: 5 minutes / Cook Time: 50 minutes

2 lb (1 kg) beets
1 tbsp (15ml) butter
1 medium onion, sliced
2 tbsp (30 ml) honey
2 tbsp (30 ml) lemon juice
1/2 tsp (2 ml) ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp (2 ml) ground cloves
1/4 tsp (1 ml) cracked black pepper


In medium pot, place washed beets with tops removed. Add water to cover. Bring to boil over high heat; reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 40 minutes or until beets are tender. Drain and allow to cool slightly. Remove skins. Cut beets in half, then into wedges.*

In small bowl, combine honey and lemon juice. Set aside.

In non-stick skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion slices, nutmeg, cloves and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes or until onion is tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in honey and lemon juice mixture. Add beets, stirring to coat. Cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until glazed.

*Note: For those with a busy schedule, the beets can be prepared to this point and refrigerated in a covered container for up to three days. You will have to increase the cooking time another 5-7 minutes to heat the beets through.


So…does anyone have a “killer” Beet Borscht soup recipe they would like to share? I have tried a couple but they were both just a little off the mark. We are definitely winter soup fans in our family.