Best to get this out upfront. This recipe is inspired by some beet sliders we saw on a rerun of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. Yes, we love our cookbooks and yes most of our inspiration for cooking comes from the garden (and other blogs). But we still like a good burger joint or seaside clam shack, and we do occasionally indulge and watch Guy Fieri do his thing. And in this case, he visited a place called Gatsby’s in Sacramento and they featured beet sliders. We do love beets and sliders, so at some point we had to make this. And we just got some beautiful baby golden beets at the farmers market, so Carolyn made the call. Golden beet sliders for dinner.
While we were inspired by the Gatsby’s dish, we changed the recipe substantially. We use golden and not red beets, roast rather than boil the beets and use an orange vinaigrette for the sauce instead of green goddess dressing. We also add goat cheese for tang (and some bacon and pecorino as an extra option, yum). And, of course, we use King Hawaiian rolls for the bread, simply because everyone likes them. But while we changed a lot of the dish, the fundamental idea stays the same: sweet beets are a very good substitute for beef in a burger. These sliders are good, really good. Not just a good “vegetarian dish”, but a “good dish”, period.
The only downside of this dish is that it takes time to cook beets. There is no way around it (even if you microwave them you are looking at 25-30 minutes). Our only suggestion is that when you roast beets, roast a lot of them and put them in salads over the next 2-3 days. Otherwise, just roast the beets for 60 to 90 minutes, depending on their size. Wrapping in foil will speed things up a bit and makes for easier cleanup. When you can easily pierce the beets with a knife and the skins peel off easily, they are done.
Once you roast and skin the beets, making the rest of the dish is easy. Make a quick vinaigrette with some orange juice and zest (oranges and beets are a great mix) and dress some bitter greens like arugula. Then season and sear the beets for a minute or two on each side. Then lightly grill or toast the buns. You assemble the sliders with a bed of the dressed greens, then add the beets, a little goat cheese, more greens and the top of the bun. Most people can easily eat 2 or 3 of these. And if you want to add even more flavor, a little bacon and some grated pecorino add some umami and salt flavors to the sweetness of the beets. Either way, it is hard to go wrong.
Notes Before You Start:
- You can use red or golden beets for this dish. We prefer the golden beets for their slightly sweeter flavor and that they don’t stain our fingers nearly as much as red beets.
- You can boil, steam, microwave or roast the beets for this dish. Use whatever method you prefer, just be sure they are cooked all the way through.
What You Get: A delicious vegetarian “burger” that will please almost anyone. A good way to get doubters to enjoy beets.
What You Need: No special equipment required.
How Long? Up to 90 minutes, depending on the roasting time for the beets. You only need 15-20 minutes of active time. So cooking the beets ahead if time is a good idea.
(Makes 10-12 sliders)
- 2 pounds of small to medium golden beets
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
- 1 pinch orange zest
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 small bunch arugula or other bitter greens, washed
- Fresh goat cheese, like chèvre
- 12 small, sweet rolls like King Hawaiian or Parker house, sliced in half
- Grated pecorino cheese (optional)
- 2-3 slices bacon, crumbled (optional)
- To roast the beets, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Then place them on a large sheet of foil and rub them with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Seal the beets in the foil and place the foil packet on a baking sheet. Place the beets in the oven and roast until completely cooked, about 60 minutes for small beets, 80-90 minutes for medium-sized beets. Remove from the oven, open the foil packet and let the beets cool. Skin the beets with your hands, a kitchen towel or peeler (if cooked completely, the skins will be easy to take off). Set aside.
- To make the vinaigrette, combine the 3 tablespoons of the oil, the vinegar, orange juice, zest, mustard and a pinch of salt and pepper in a jar or small bowl. Mix until well-combined and a dressing forms. Taste and adjust seasoning. Set aside. (You will have extra.)
- To sear the beets, cut them into 1/2 inch rounds and season on each side. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and, when hot, add the last tablespoon of olive oil. Place the beet rounds in the skillet and cook for 1-2 minutes per side, until they just brown. Remove the beets from the pan and set aside.
- In the same pan, lightly toast the sweet rolls, another 1-2 minutes. Meanwhile, dress the arugula with about 1/3 of the vinaigrette. Taste and add more dressing, if you like.
- To assemble the sliders, place the rolls on a plate. Add a layer of the arugula, then a beet slice, a dollop of goat cheese, more arugula and then the top of the bun. Add some pecorino and/or bacon to the sliders if you like. Serve.
- Cooking Beets (jovinacooksitalian.com)
- Just Beet It (aroundtheworldin365.wordpress.com)
- From the kitchen: Roasted Beet Salad with Aged Balsamic & Goat Cheese (loveandcupcakesblog.com)
- Red beets gnocchi, with mustard-honey sauce & goat cheese. (thenomadiczest.com)
- Roasted Beet “Hummus” (tastyeatsathome.com)
- Beet and Goat Cheese Hummus (abeautifulmess.com)
- Grange Community Kitchen: Pickling Beets (essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Torri di Darbabietole D’oro (Towers of Golden Beets) (celebratewholefoods.wordpress.com)
- Beets – A Treat??? (thrivingwithout.com)
- Beets with cumin seeds and tomatoes (nami-nami.blogspot.com)