the appetizer:

The Essential New York Times Cookbook: Classic Recipes for a New Century by Amanda Hesser includes recipes like Florida Beets; Beet Tzatziki; Malfatti; and Iraqi Grape Leaves Stuffed with Lamb, Mint, and Cinnamon.

Cookbook Profile

Florida Beets

Serves 6


This recipe from 1946 was lauded as an "inexpensive dish." It still is. The beets simmer in a bath of orange juice, orange zest, butter, and salt, and by the time they come out of the oven, the juices are cooked down to a syrup that you could very well drizzle over ice cream. Jane Nickerson, who wrote the column the recipe appeared in, suggested serving the beets with poultry or pork, but you might also consider using them as the base for a warm salad, with a tuft of young arugula on top and a dollop of sheep's-milk ricotta.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Peel and thinly slice the beets. Arrange the beet slices in a greased casserole. Add the remaining ingredients. Cover and bake until the beets are just tender, about 1 hour.

Cooking Notes

I sliced the beets on a mandoline so they were thin enough to curl. Yet even after an hour of cooking, they retained a pleasant firmness.

The original recipe called for margarine, if you want to be a purist, but I don't recommend it. Margarine has a flatter flavor.

Serving Suggestions

Cauliflower Soup with Cremini Mushrooms and Walnut Oil (p. 149 of the book), Collared Pork (p. 507), Brined and Roasted Pork Belly (p. 556), Veal Chops Beau Sejour (p. 520), Latkes (p. 280), Mashed Potatoes Anna (p. 294), Lee's Marlborough Tart (p. 816)

February 21, 1946: "News of Food: Restaurant Serving Financial District Since 1800 Is Noted For Its Specialties." by Lane Nickerson.—1946


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This page created April 2011