Friday, June 4, 2010

Vanilla Beet Gelato

Ah beets, how much do I love thee? So, much that I want to even eat you for dessert!
Vanilla Beet Gelato
Actually, I should say Matt wanted beets for dessert, I think I've finally converted him into a beet lover too. We had picked up a bunch of baby beets at the farmers market & were pondering what to do with them. Matt's first (& only) suggestion was to make ice cream. We'd had beet ice cream last summer from the Chef Shack & I know Thomas Keller makes one so, it's not a completely original idea. I decided to do a gelato instead of ice cream because, well, it's really easier & we like gelato just as much.

I roasted the beets before puréeing them with the milk because I think roasting brings out a lot of sweetness from them. Matt suggested the vanilla as a way to give it even more of a dessert flavor & I think it went well with the flavor of the beet. When first churned, the ice cream tasted like beets but it was subtle, Matt thought it was almost more of a back of the mouth flavor. After curing in the freezer for a day though, the beet flavor is much more prominent. I think it's going to go wonderfully with the dark chocolate brownies I plan to serve it over tonight.
#152 - Beet Gelato Base
This was a total experiment so I only made a small batch, 2 - 3 small servings. If I make it again I will double the amount of everything except the beets. I think that would make the flavors of the vanilla & beet a little more even though, it would reduce the intensity of that beautiful pink color.

Vanilla Beet Gelato

1/2 c beets, cut into 1 - 1/2 inch pieces (for us this was 8 baby beets)
olive oil
1 c milk
1/2 c cream
1/2 vanilla bean
6 T sugar

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Put the beets in a small roasting pan & drizzle with a little olive oil. Stir to coat. Roast for 15 minutes until softened.

Put the beets in a food processor with 1/4 cup of the milk. Process until as smooth as you can get it. Put this puréed beet mixture into a saucepan with the remaining milk & cream. Split the vanilla bean in half & scrape the seeds in to the pan. Add the scraped vanilla bean to the pan. Stir in the sugar. Heat over medium-low until the sugar is dissolved. Strain through a fine sieve into a clean bowl, make sure to remove the vanilla bean. (You can skip the straining step if you want little pieces of beet in your gelato, I wanted a smoother texture.) Chill in the fridge until cold.

Process according to the directions on your ice cream maker.

Makes about 2 1/2 cups

I realize beet gelato might not be everyone's cup of tea but we certainly enjoyed playing with the idea & eating the results. Now I'm thinking of what other vegetables might make good ice cream flavors....parsnip ice cream anyone?!

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at OR at then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.© 2007-2010 Kathy Lewinski


Sandy said...

Totally gorgeous! this may be the way to get my husband to eat beets. He still only thinks of them in their pickled state.

Rose said...

I am sooo going to try this when we get beets in our csa box!

Beth (jamandcream) said...

Fantastic colour

vanillasugarblog said...

how very creative!

Elle said...

It looks unbelievable! Such a pretty color, too--I love it!

Sippity Sup said...

Some may raise their eyebrows at this combination. But I know it would be delicious. Extra points for creativity today. GREG

Amanda (Two Boos Who Eat) said...

The colors of the beets in this ice cream are so vibrant. I love it! I need to try beets again. I haven't had 'em in a long time.

maybelle's mom said...

i adore beets, though I am am sort of unsure of this one.

grace said...

boy-o--to say that you love beets is an understatement! ice cream? that's a new one, but it's absolutely ingenious and beautiful!

Lori said...

I've tried and tried to aquire a taste for beets and just can't do it. It is gorgeous though and my Dad would love it. Now, the gelato part I'm a big fan of. :)

Lori said...

My husband will eat anything except beets and dill pickles. I would like to try this but I think I would be the only one eating it. He did like my beet bread though.

I am still waiting for the perfect opportunity to make that banana ice cream you posted about a little while ago. I think I am about to have some perfectly browned bananas! yehaw!

Deborah said...

I LOVE that color!!

Thistlemoon said...

The color is just gorgeous! I love beets and when they are roasted can eat them like candy! So I can totally see this being awesome!

Peter M said...

More gelato, love the beets in here for natural sweetness and colour. I too am now making gelato and ice creams...yay!

Anonymous said...

My husband would kill me if I make this because he hates beets, but you have me intrigued.

harcoutbreton said...

Good old classic vanilla beans ice cream, bring back good old memories. Thanks for the recipe

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