I grew up on beets and kohlrabi from my parent’s garden. It was so much fun having a deep red color juicing up the plate at dinnertime. I don’t eat kohlrabi as often as I did as a child, but I still love a good, gorgeous beet dish. Especially one that is easy to prepare.
I have posted recipes for nishime style cooking in the past. I think nishime is best used for root vegetables, but it is worth experimenting with other types. Just like I talked about in my last post, Summer Style Kinpira, in summer or during warm weather, cut the beets smaller, during cooler weather cut them larger or leave small ones whole.
I use two different kinds of beets for this recipe, but feel free to use any variety of beet, including all red.
Beet and Onion Nishime
1 1/2 to 2 inch piece of dried kombu, soaked in water to soften
1 good size onion, peel and cut in medium size chunks (use a large onion if you really like onion)
3-4 medium size red beets, wash and cut into bite-size chunks
3-4 medium size golden beets, wash and cut into bite-size chunks
unpasteurized shoyu or gluten-free tamari
1. Cut the softened kombu in 3-4 pieces and lay in the bottom of a medium-size heavy stainless steel or cast iron pot.
2. Gently place the onion on top of the kombu. Then place the beets on top of the onion. Take care to fit the vegetables in a little snug.
3. Add a few tablespoons water to the bottom of the pot. Cover. Bring to a boil on medium heat and then turn heat down so the vegetables cook at a simmer. Add very small amounts of water if it looks like the liquid will evaporate before the beets are done. However, the dish is sweetest when minimal liquid is in the bottom when done cooking.
4. Let simmer until beets are almost tender. This may take 15-20 minutes depending on the size they were cut. Add a few sprinkles of shoyu to the top. Cover, take hold of the handle(s) and shake a few times to distribute the shoyu. Continue to simmer until beets are tender. Remove from heat. Serve.