Serious Eats: Recipes

Cook the Book: Elaine's Clear Vegetarian Borscht

Book CoverIn the introduction to one of the chapters in this week's Cook the Book selection, The Food Life, author Steven Jenkins states: "a salad without beets is just not a proper salad." I couldn't agree more. Sweet, earthy, brilliantly colored beets are one of my most favorite vegetables. I would eat them every day if cooking them wasn't such a laborious, messy operation. Fortunately, taking a cue from French produce markets, Fairway stocks imported cooked, peeled, vacuum-packed beets that are "cheap as dirt" and perfect for tossing with mixed greens and mustard vinaigrette.

Much to Steve's chagrin, Today's Cook the Book recipe for Elaine's Clear Vegetarian Borscht (Elaine is the mother of Mitchel London, Fairway's recipe developer) must be made from raw beets because their cooking liquid is essential to the finished soup. But the end result is incredibly healthy, light, flavorful, and well worth the effort.

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