Tuesday, January 26, 2010


On of my best and oldest friend's, Vika, is Ukrainian and Russian and rumor has it her mom makes a mean borscht. I've tried her husband's attempt at mimicing Mrs. O's recipe and my memory of the borscht was one of violent pink, filling soup with a spicy flavor .

I hope one day to try the original or even Rafe's version again, but in meantime the farmer's market had amazing, huge healthy looking beets last week and the time had come to try making my own. Or, you know, someone else's found via the amazing food blog recipe search. This borscht is bright, warm and very healthy with a somewhat sweet, tangy flavor.

Since the recipe was in grams I made the following approximate conversions: 3.5 cups beets, 1 cup onions, 2 cups carrots, 2.5 cups of shredded cabbage, 1 quart vegetable stock and 2 cups of water. I added a touch of red pepper, cayenne probably, to make it spicier as per my memory and let it simmer way longer than 20 minutes as the beets just weren't getting softened to my taste. These adjustments worked well and next time I will use less shredded cabbage as I didn't enjoy its mushy texture.

One word of advice, which may seem obvious, when you grate the beet I advise putting the grater on a hard surface to stablize it and making the beet mobile. Otherwise, you could end up with a grated knuckle. It wasn't too horrifying though as really blood and beet juice look pretty similar. Isn't that reassuring?


  1. Okay, I can't believe you've never had my mom's borsht! We need to fix that! ASAP :)

  2. It is kind of ridiculous. We just at pistachios at your house growing up. ;)

  3. I had a roasted beet, sliced and stacked like little sandwiches with goat cheese in the middle and drizzled with balsamic vinegar for dinner last night. pretty good, but WHAT A MESS! My fingers, teeth, utensils...basically my entire apartment is ultra hot pink now. I need Little Cat Z to come clean it up.

  4. Sound tasty LG! Their messiness is a HUGE downside. Sigh. Cat Z?

    This summer I ate beets raw, sliced thin with chili powder and a squeeze of lemon (or not). That is even easier and good. Thanks to Apt. Therapy for the idea.

  5. Little Cat Z explanation: The Cat in the Hat made a return appearance in the 1958 sequel, "The Cat in the Hat Comes Back." On this occasion, he leaves Thing One and Thing Two at home, but does bring along Little Cat A, nested inside his hat. Little Cat A doffs his hat to reveal Little Cat B, who in turn reveals C, and so on down to the microscopic Little Cat Z, who turns out to be the key to the plot. The crisis involves a pink bathtub ring and other pink residue left by the Cat after he snacks on a cake in the bathtub with the water running. Preliminary attempts to clean it up fail as they only spread the mess elsewhere, including a dress, the wall, a pair of shoes, the bed, and then eventually outside where a "spot killing" war takes place between the mess, the Cat, Little Cats A through V, and an arsenal of primitive weapons including pop guns, bats, and a lawnmower. Unfortunately, the initial battle to rid the mess only makes it into an entire yard-covering spot. But then Little Cats V, W, X, and Y take off their hats to uncover Little Cat Z, who takes his hat off and unleashes a "Voom" which cleans up the back yard and puts all of the other Little Cats back into the Cat in the Hat's hat. Voila.

    Side question: did the Greenmarket have golden beets when you visited? I'd like to give them a whirl.

  6. I appreciate your taking the time to explain and can't believe you recall all that detail.

    I didn't see any golden beets. I actually haven't seen beets the Union Square Greenmarket in a while. This was on a Wednesday by work at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza.