Welcome to Mise en Place, a journey of culinary delight where anything can happen. Based on the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s list of food by month, KRCC takes a look at farmers, chefs, and fodder, all with a Centennial State bent.

Each month, the state’s agriculture department highlights a commodity and provides a recipe using that product. We take it a step further.

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The beet is July’s star, and KRCC’s Aaron Retka spoke with Ryan Morris at Country Roots Farm in Pueblo. He also went to the “kitchen of last resort,” also known as the KRCC Test Kitchen, where the station’s own beet aficionado Jennifer Newman cooked up a sweet treat.

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Click below for the beet halva recipe heard in today’s Mise en Place, and for a spring beet salad recipe from the Colorado Department of Agriculture.

Beet Halva
Recipe supplied by KRCC’s Jennifer Newman

2 cups Shredded Beets
4 cups Whole Milk
1 cup Sugar
pinch of cardamom
tbsp. ghee
chopped salted nuts of your choosing

In a large pot, combine milk and beets and bring to a boil. Simmer until the milk evaporates and the mixture is mostly beets with little liquid. Stir frequently. Stir in sugar and cardamom and keep stirring until the mixture sticks to a wooden spoon. Add the ghee, stir once and take off heat. Serve warm and top with nuts and ice cream.

Note: *this is a very rich dessert, so a serving size is 1/4 cup at most!

Recipe from the Colorado Department of Agriculture:

Spring Beet Salad
Chef Jason K. Morse, C.E.C., Valley Country Club, Aurora, Colo.
ACF Colorado Chefs Association President

Serves 4

2 ea. Beets, blanched and sliced
1 package Baby Spinach
2 ea. Shallots, peeled
1 pint Grape or Cherry Tomatoes
1 cup Pecans or Walnuts
1 cup Feta Cheese
1/2 cup Tomato Vinaigrette Dressing

Boil beats in water and apple juice (covered) until fork tender. Remove from heat, chill, peel and slice. Slice shallots and sauté with tomatoes until tender. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Arrange spinach in bowl, top with sautéed shallots and tomatoes then with beets, nuts and cheese. Add dressing to taste.

For Dressing:
1 ea. Small Onion, peeled and chopped
1/2 fl. oz. Olive Oil
Sea Salt to taste
Black Ground Pepper to taste
1 14 oz. can Diced Tomato
1 tsp. Tarragon, dried
1 Egg Yolk
1/4 cup Champagne Vinegar
1 1/4 cup Olive Oil
1 1/4 cup Canola Oil

Heat a large sauté pan and add .5 fl. oz. of oil. Add the onions and sauté until golden then add the tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cook the mixture then chill. Pour the chilled mixture into a food processer then add tarragon, egg yolk, champagne vinegar and salt. Mix in the food processer until fully combined. Slowly add the oil and mix until fully emulsified. Adjust seasoning and refrigerate.


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