Eli Cooks

Grilled* Beets and Potatoes with Basil
August 5, 2008, 9:45 pm
Filed under: Side | Tags: , , ,

This is one of those cases where the recipe didn’t go quite according to plan, but still turned out well despite that. When you’re starting out with ingredients like this, it’s no wonder the end result is good, no matter the roadblocks.

Grilled Beets and Potatoes

Last week’s produce box included some lovely baby purple potatoes and baby leeks. Then the produce market had golden beets, which I can never pass up. (Golden beets are wonderful – all the earthy goodness of red beets, but the color stays in the beets where it belongs. No dyed hands, counter, cutting board, bowls… And the sunny yellow of golden beets is just as striking as the burgundy of the red version.) Add to that some fresh basil from my window box, a bit of balsamic vinegar and a few glugs of olive oil and you’ve got a winner. Taste and looks all in one simple dish.

Golden Beets

I planned to grill the beets, potatoes and leeks over indirect heat. I had some chicken thighs on the front of the grill over a normal high-ish heat and put the veggies on the back, thinking they’d cook slowly and get that great smoky charcoal flavor without all the char from high-heat grilling. That didn’t work out quite as planned. The direct heat was plenty for the chicken, but the indirect heat just wasn’t enough to cook the veggies. So after being on the grill for about 20 minutes without showing any indications of cooking at all, I took them inside cooked them on the stove top in a covered cast iron dutch oven.

Purple Potatoes

Grilled* Beets and Potatoes with Basil

If you don’t have access to a grill (or if you don’t get your grill hot enough like me) these work beautifully cooked in a covered cast iron pan over medium heat on the stovetop.

Be sure to toss the dressing over the vegetables as soon as they’re off the heat so they soak up the flavor.

1 1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp brown mustard
1/4 cup chopped basil
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb smallish golden beets, peeled and sliced
1 lb baby purple potatoes, washed and sliced
3 baby leeks (white and light green parts only), sliced (about 1/4 lb)

Mix together the balsamic vinegar, mustard and basil in a small bowl.  Set aside.

Toss the potatoes, beets and leeks with the olive oil and a bit of salt and grill, turning or stirring occasionally until cooked through and browned, but not too charred.

When the vegetables are cooked, remove from the grill and immediately toss with the vinegar mixture.  Serve.


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