I’ve been a convert to borscht for a few years now and it’s something that turns up in our kitchen fairly often as many of the ingredients are in season during a good portion of the year. I think it’s a good way to use up a lot of root vegetables that people don’t normally eat in this part of the world. What else do you do with beets? You can slice them up and put them in salads or pickle them, that’s about all I know. I like eating the greens as well.
Besides the fact that the ingredients are often in season and/or easily storable, I like the fact that borscht is a pretty flexible recipe and as long as you have beets and cabbage, you can make something resembling borscht.
Last week I was able to make it using 100% of the ingredients from my garden – this is very satisfying. While I unfortunately don’t have a specific recipe handed down from a Russian grandmother, this is the recipe I used:
2 quarts of water and a tablespoon of vegetable broth (ok, I didn’t grow this)
4 beets, peeled and diced
4 carrots, chopped
3 parsnips, chopped
2 small turnips, chopped
5 garlic cloves, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
1 small head of cabbage, chopped
A pinch of French tarragon
A couple sprigs of dill
Put it on the stove for about half an hour on medium heat and then enjoy. Be careful with the beets though, those things can stain. This is one of my favorite ways to use some of the vegetables that you might get from a CSA, your garden or the farmer’s market that you might have a hard time using. The recipe is very forgiving.