Georgian Beets in Cherry Sauce (Charkhalis Chogi)
I love beets. I have found that very few share my passion for this wonderful root vegetable. Ah, well, I'll eat my beets alone, then. Here is a wonderful sweet/tart, fruity and yet savory way to prepare beets. Try to find *unsweetened* dried tart cherries -- if you use cherries that are not tart, the dish loses something, though it will still be very good. This recipe is by way of "Olive Trees and Honey," by Gil Marks.
SERVES 6 -8
- 8 beets, stems trimmed to 1 inch (2 lbs. total without the greens)
- olive oil, for coating during roasting (or vegetable oil)
- 2/3 cup dried tart cherry
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 onions, chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or chopped fresh dill
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Coat the beets with the oil and place in a single layer in a baking pan. Roast until tender, about 1 hour. Let cool slightly, then trim, peel, and thinly slice.
While the beets are roasting, combine the cherries and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until very tender, about 20 minutes. Puree in a blender or food processor.
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until soft and translucent, 5-10 minutes. Stir into the cherry puree. Add the cilantro, parsley and salt.
Pour the sauce over the beets. Serve warm, or at room temperature.