Red Beets in Polish Cuisine: Red Beets' Salads

In one of a popular American TV channel they were talking about research done on red beets. The question was - why people do not eat red beets. Somebody commented that the research was just a pure nonsense because red beets are just tasteless. I could not disagree more!

Red beets are very popular in Polish cuisine. They are used for variety of dishes. A very popular is red beet soup called Borscht. It is popular not only in Poland but also in Ukraine and in Russia. There are also different types of borscht. Some are clear and some are dense like vegetable soups because they use the pieces of beetroot or the red beets' stem and leaves. Red beets are good for salads and as a spicy side dish for meat.


Below are the recipes for three red beets' salads that I recommend. I do it myself quite frequently. They are great as the addition for any dinner. For the last couple of years I prepared red beets salads even as a side dish for Thanksgiving, Christmas and of course for Easter dinners.
All of these salads can be prepared simultaneously after cooking a couple of red beets. The beginning of preparation is the same and described below:

Wash and cook red beets' roots (non-peeled) for an hour or two. Use an old pot that you use for cooking vegetables because red beets can change the color of the pot and it is hard to wash out it completely. Remember to add water so that the red beets would be covered with water all the time while cooked. Check with a fork whether they are soft enough. Remove red beets from the water then after they will cool down peel the skin off.

1. Red Beet Salad with Onion

Red beet root grate on course grater. Add chopped onion (probably half of an onion for one medium size red beet root), add vinegar, then salt and pepper for taste. This salad is very popular as a side dish with potatoes and any kind of meat. Refrigerate.

2. Red Beet Salad with Horseradish

Red beet' root grate on fine grater. Add a teaspoon of horseradish and a teaspoon of sour crème. Check the taste so that it will not be too mild or too hot so that one can still taste horseradish there. Add some pepper and salt for taste. This is a delicious addition to Easter or Thanksgiving food because it gives additional taste to some mushy foods. Refrigerate.

3. Red Beets Salad with Bacon

Red beet' root grate on fine grater. Chop some bacon and fry on a medium size pan. Add red beets. You can also add some margarine or butter fried previously with a teaspoon of flour and with some water added to thin it out. It will add a thicker texture to the beets. Cook beets until hot, add salt and pepper to taste then remove from the pan. You can also add some sour cream for taste or to thin it out. This is a delicious salad for any dish especially with potatoes and meat. Serve warm.

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written by Jagoda Urban-Klaehn, 13 February 2003 (article #84)

If you are interested in Polish cuisine I recommend you a book written by Marja Ochorowicz-Monatowa, entitled Polish Cookery

I have above recommended book and it is very useful. It is written in English but it has Polish and English names of all the dishes. The dishes are modified to American and international market.

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