Beets have been a relatively new addition to my diet. I don't recall them being around when I was a kid. As an adult I always just thought of them as those red things in salad bars. I liked them well enough, but that was about it.
One day I decided to buy some on a whim when I was food shopping, because they looked so pretty - in a happy earthy way. I just roasted them in olive oil with salt and rubbed the skins off when done. I ate these sliced over some mixed salad greens and was hooked.
My beet adventures have since continued, bringing us to this recipe. This comes to us by way of chow.com, originally titled "Red Flannel Hash." It was intended to be a breakfast recipe, but it made a wonderful dinner alongside a green salad with vinaigrette.
What's great about this recipe is that the ingredients store very well. This is the sort of recipe you can shop for a week or more ahead of time. Another thing that was great about this recipe? Eating it. I really enjoyed the homey feel of the pan-cooked potatoes mixed with the different texture and slightly sweet flavor from the beets. And everything is better with an egg on top, in my humble opinion...
Oh - I almost forgot! I made a special purchase for this meal: my first cast iron skillet. Unfortunately it isn't quite up to snuff as far as seasoning and having that lovely natural non-stick coating, so I experienced quite a bit of sticking. A way to avoid this would be to stir the hash more often, but don't do it so often as to prevent the potatoes from forming nice crunchy crusty bits; that is part of the point. If you don't have cast iron, any oven-proof skillet will do. Avoid rubber handles (that probably goes without saying) and non-stick coatings (which can become toxic when exposed to high temperatures such as used here). Look for more cast iron recipes soon, as I've been saving them up for when I finally got one!
Modifications from the original: I just used whatever kind of potatoes I had on hand - Russet, I think. I mixed red and golden beets. The color from the red beets still dominates everything, but there now are a few lovely yellow undertones as well. The original also calls for a half cup of chopped parsley to be stirred in just before the eggs - to be honest, I just forgot to do this and don't feel as though the dish suffered much. So if you have the parsley on hand, go for it (or any other fresh herb you're a fan of), if not - don't sweat it. Also - I added some other seasonings as detailed below. Unfortunately I neglected to measure these out. So - taste as you add. But it will be hard to go wrong with any sort of salty/peppery/herby combination on this; even seasoned salt would do nicely.
Beet and Potato Hash
Adapted from chow.com
1/4 cup vegetable oil
4 medium potatoes, diced to about 1/2" cubes
2 red beets, diced
2 golden beets, diced
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
salt and freshly ground pepper
dash of paprika
dash of cayenne
Preheat oven to 450.
Add vegetable oil to skillet and place in preheated oven for about 5 minutes, until the oil is shimmering.
Remove skillet from oven and stir in the potatoes, beets, onion, and garlic. Add salt and pepper. Put skillet back in oven and roast for about 50 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking time (or more if your skillet is not non-stick). Add the remaining spices at the halfway mark. Taste for salt.
When the potatoes and beets are cooked through, remove the skillet from the oven and stir the hash. Create four indentations in the hash and crack an egg in each. Return skillet to oven until eggs are cooked to desired level, about 6-9 minutes.
Verdict? Loved it. I'll be eating this again for sure. I love savory breakfasts, I love eggs, I love beets. I wish I still had the leftovers...