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Boulestin’s beet fricassee.

A simple recipe and a good way to soften the rougher edge of a flavorful root. Cheap too, and in a weeknight or other hurried pinch you could substitute canned whole (but not sliced; too sodden) beets for the admittedly far superior fresh variety. For four.

  • beets.jpg3 beets about the size of baseballs or their equivalent
  • a drizzle of walnut, olive or other oil
  • 1½ Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • salt & pepper
  • 1½ teaspoons flour (Preferably Wondra)
  • ½ cup milk
  • generous Tablespoon chopped parsley

Preheat the oven to 400°

  1. Cut the roots and stems from the beets and scrub them.
  2. Put the beets on a sheet of aluminum foil big enough to enclose them and drizzle them with the oil, then fold and crimp the foil over the beets.
  3. Roast the beets until fork tender: Depending on their size and age, it should take from about 25 minutes up to an hour.
  4. Let the beets cool, peel them (the skins should slip right off) and cut them into ¾ inch chunks.
  5. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat, toss the beets in the butter and reduce the heat to medium low.
  6. Season the beets with salt and pepper and cook them, shaking the pan from time to time, for about 15 minutes.
  7. Sprinkle the flour over the beets and gently stir them until the flour loses its raw color, then add the milk.
  8. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook, stirring, until the sauce thickens to whatever consistency you like.
  9. Toss the parsley into the skillet, stir it up and serve the beets.



-We have given readers more leeway with the consistency of the sauce than Boulestin allows, and he probably is right: “The sauce should be a short,” or napping rather than liquid, “one and well seasoned” so do not skimp on the salt and pepper. A little cayenne would do no harm.