Cocktail Recipes, Spirits, and Local Bars

Roasted Beets with Avocado-Habañero Crema

Roasted Beets with Avocado-Habañero Crema

Check out this Roasted Beets with Avocado-Habañero Crema recipe from the 'Hartwood' cookbook

We keep stalks of sugarcane in a galvanized bucket on the table in front of the wood-burning stove, using them to flavor a roast the way other restaurants might use a few sprigs of thyme or rosemary. We split open a piece and throw it into the pan to highlight whatever natural sweetness will be brought out by the fire. When we get a delivery of sugarcane, we hack the long stalks in 2-foot pieces with a machete; you might be able to find smaller pieces in a Mexican grocery or even at Whole Foods.

Excerpted from Hartwood by Eric Werner and Mya Henry with Christine Mulke and Oliver Strand (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2015.

Ingredients

For the beets:

  • 4 large beets, scrubbed
  • 1 six-inch piece sugarcane, split in half (optional)
  • 8 basil sprigs
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Ground allspice, to taste

For the avocado-habanero crema:

  • 1 ripe Hass avocado, halved, pitted, and peeled
  • 1/2 habañero, seeded (leave the seeds in if you want a hotter sauce)
  • 1 Cup sour cream
  • 1/4 Cup olive oil
  • 1/2 Teaspoon honey
  • 1 Teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • chile lime salt, for garnish (recipe follows)

For the chile lime salt:

  • 4 dried árbol chiles
  • 2 Tablespoons kosher salt
  • Grated zest of three limes

  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 3 cups steamed cubed beets, 1/2- to 1-inch cubes (see Tip)

Combine brown sugar, orange juice, butter, salt and pepper in a large nonstick skillet. Cook over medium heat until the sugar and butter are melted and starting to bubble. Stir in beets and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated and the beets are coated with glaze, 6 to 8 minutes. Serve hot or warm.

Tip: How to Prep & Steam Beets: Trim greens (if any) and root end peel the skin with a vegetable peeler.
Cut beets into 1/2- to 1-inch-thick cubes, wedges or slices.

To steam on the stovetop: Place in a steamer basket over 1 inch of boiling water in a large pot. Cover and steam over high heat until tender, 10 to 15 minutes.

To steam in the microwave: Place in a glass baking dish, add 2 tablespoons water, cover tightly and microwave on High until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.

No time to prep? Look for Melissa's brand Peeled Baby Red Beets in the produce section of many supermarkets. They're peeled, steamed and ready to eat and contain far less sodium than their canned counterparts.


  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 3 cups steamed cubed beets, 1/2- to 1-inch cubes (see Tip)

Combine brown sugar, orange juice, butter, salt and pepper in a large nonstick skillet. Cook over medium heat until the sugar and butter are melted and starting to bubble. Stir in beets and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated and the beets are coated with glaze, 6 to 8 minutes. Serve hot or warm.

Tip: How to Prep & Steam Beets: Trim greens (if any) and root end peel the skin with a vegetable peeler.
Cut beets into 1/2- to 1-inch-thick cubes, wedges or slices.

To steam on the stovetop: Place in a steamer basket over 1 inch of boiling water in a large pot. Cover and steam over high heat until tender, 10 to 15 minutes.

To steam in the microwave: Place in a glass baking dish, add 2 tablespoons water, cover tightly and microwave on High until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.

No time to prep? Look for Melissa's brand Peeled Baby Red Beets in the produce section of many supermarkets. They're peeled, steamed and ready to eat and contain far less sodium than their canned counterparts.


  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 3 cups steamed cubed beets, 1/2- to 1-inch cubes (see Tip)

Combine brown sugar, orange juice, butter, salt and pepper in a large nonstick skillet. Cook over medium heat until the sugar and butter are melted and starting to bubble. Stir in beets and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated and the beets are coated with glaze, 6 to 8 minutes. Serve hot or warm.

Tip: How to Prep & Steam Beets: Trim greens (if any) and root end peel the skin with a vegetable peeler.
Cut beets into 1/2- to 1-inch-thick cubes, wedges or slices.

To steam on the stovetop: Place in a steamer basket over 1 inch of boiling water in a large pot. Cover and steam over high heat until tender, 10 to 15 minutes.

To steam in the microwave: Place in a glass baking dish, add 2 tablespoons water, cover tightly and microwave on High until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.

No time to prep? Look for Melissa's brand Peeled Baby Red Beets in the produce section of many supermarkets. They're peeled, steamed and ready to eat and contain far less sodium than their canned counterparts.


  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 3 cups steamed cubed beets, 1/2- to 1-inch cubes (see Tip)

Combine brown sugar, orange juice, butter, salt and pepper in a large nonstick skillet. Cook over medium heat until the sugar and butter are melted and starting to bubble. Stir in beets and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated and the beets are coated with glaze, 6 to 8 minutes. Serve hot or warm.

Tip: How to Prep & Steam Beets: Trim greens (if any) and root end peel the skin with a vegetable peeler.
Cut beets into 1/2- to 1-inch-thick cubes, wedges or slices.

To steam on the stovetop: Place in a steamer basket over 1 inch of boiling water in a large pot. Cover and steam over high heat until tender, 10 to 15 minutes.

To steam in the microwave: Place in a glass baking dish, add 2 tablespoons water, cover tightly and microwave on High until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.

No time to prep? Look for Melissa's brand Peeled Baby Red Beets in the produce section of many supermarkets. They're peeled, steamed and ready to eat and contain far less sodium than their canned counterparts.


  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 3 cups steamed cubed beets, 1/2- to 1-inch cubes (see Tip)

Combine brown sugar, orange juice, butter, salt and pepper in a large nonstick skillet. Cook over medium heat until the sugar and butter are melted and starting to bubble. Stir in beets and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated and the beets are coated with glaze, 6 to 8 minutes. Serve hot or warm.

Tip: How to Prep & Steam Beets: Trim greens (if any) and root end peel the skin with a vegetable peeler.
Cut beets into 1/2- to 1-inch-thick cubes, wedges or slices.

To steam on the stovetop: Place in a steamer basket over 1 inch of boiling water in a large pot. Cover and steam over high heat until tender, 10 to 15 minutes.

To steam in the microwave: Place in a glass baking dish, add 2 tablespoons water, cover tightly and microwave on High until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.

No time to prep? Look for Melissa's brand Peeled Baby Red Beets in the produce section of many supermarkets. They're peeled, steamed and ready to eat and contain far less sodium than their canned counterparts.


  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 3 cups steamed cubed beets, 1/2- to 1-inch cubes (see Tip)

Combine brown sugar, orange juice, butter, salt and pepper in a large nonstick skillet. Cook over medium heat until the sugar and butter are melted and starting to bubble. Stir in beets and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated and the beets are coated with glaze, 6 to 8 minutes. Serve hot or warm.

Tip: How to Prep & Steam Beets: Trim greens (if any) and root end peel the skin with a vegetable peeler.
Cut beets into 1/2- to 1-inch-thick cubes, wedges or slices.

To steam on the stovetop: Place in a steamer basket over 1 inch of boiling water in a large pot. Cover and steam over high heat until tender, 10 to 15 minutes.

To steam in the microwave: Place in a glass baking dish, add 2 tablespoons water, cover tightly and microwave on High until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.

No time to prep? Look for Melissa's brand Peeled Baby Red Beets in the produce section of many supermarkets. They're peeled, steamed and ready to eat and contain far less sodium than their canned counterparts.


  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 3 cups steamed cubed beets, 1/2- to 1-inch cubes (see Tip)

Combine brown sugar, orange juice, butter, salt and pepper in a large nonstick skillet. Cook over medium heat until the sugar and butter are melted and starting to bubble. Stir in beets and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated and the beets are coated with glaze, 6 to 8 minutes. Serve hot or warm.

Tip: How to Prep & Steam Beets: Trim greens (if any) and root end peel the skin with a vegetable peeler.
Cut beets into 1/2- to 1-inch-thick cubes, wedges or slices.

To steam on the stovetop: Place in a steamer basket over 1 inch of boiling water in a large pot. Cover and steam over high heat until tender, 10 to 15 minutes.

To steam in the microwave: Place in a glass baking dish, add 2 tablespoons water, cover tightly and microwave on High until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.

No time to prep? Look for Melissa's brand Peeled Baby Red Beets in the produce section of many supermarkets. They're peeled, steamed and ready to eat and contain far less sodium than their canned counterparts.


  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 3 cups steamed cubed beets, 1/2- to 1-inch cubes (see Tip)

Combine brown sugar, orange juice, butter, salt and pepper in a large nonstick skillet. Cook over medium heat until the sugar and butter are melted and starting to bubble. Stir in beets and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated and the beets are coated with glaze, 6 to 8 minutes. Serve hot or warm.

Tip: How to Prep & Steam Beets: Trim greens (if any) and root end peel the skin with a vegetable peeler.
Cut beets into 1/2- to 1-inch-thick cubes, wedges or slices.

To steam on the stovetop: Place in a steamer basket over 1 inch of boiling water in a large pot. Cover and steam over high heat until tender, 10 to 15 minutes.

To steam in the microwave: Place in a glass baking dish, add 2 tablespoons water, cover tightly and microwave on High until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.

No time to prep? Look for Melissa's brand Peeled Baby Red Beets in the produce section of many supermarkets. They're peeled, steamed and ready to eat and contain far less sodium than their canned counterparts.


  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 3 cups steamed cubed beets, 1/2- to 1-inch cubes (see Tip)

Combine brown sugar, orange juice, butter, salt and pepper in a large nonstick skillet. Cook over medium heat until the sugar and butter are melted and starting to bubble. Stir in beets and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated and the beets are coated with glaze, 6 to 8 minutes. Serve hot or warm.

Tip: How to Prep & Steam Beets: Trim greens (if any) and root end peel the skin with a vegetable peeler.
Cut beets into 1/2- to 1-inch-thick cubes, wedges or slices.

To steam on the stovetop: Place in a steamer basket over 1 inch of boiling water in a large pot. Cover and steam over high heat until tender, 10 to 15 minutes.

To steam in the microwave: Place in a glass baking dish, add 2 tablespoons water, cover tightly and microwave on High until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.

No time to prep? Look for Melissa's brand Peeled Baby Red Beets in the produce section of many supermarkets. They're peeled, steamed and ready to eat and contain far less sodium than their canned counterparts.


  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 3 cups steamed cubed beets, 1/2- to 1-inch cubes (see Tip)

Combine brown sugar, orange juice, butter, salt and pepper in a large nonstick skillet. Cook over medium heat until the sugar and butter are melted and starting to bubble. Stir in beets and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated and the beets are coated with glaze, 6 to 8 minutes. Serve hot or warm.

Tip: How to Prep & Steam Beets: Trim greens (if any) and root end peel the skin with a vegetable peeler.
Cut beets into 1/2- to 1-inch-thick cubes, wedges or slices.

To steam on the stovetop: Place in a steamer basket over 1 inch of boiling water in a large pot. Cover and steam over high heat until tender, 10 to 15 minutes.

To steam in the microwave: Place in a glass baking dish, add 2 tablespoons water, cover tightly and microwave on High until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.

No time to prep? Look for Melissa's brand Peeled Baby Red Beets in the produce section of many supermarkets. They're peeled, steamed and ready to eat and contain far less sodium than their canned counterparts.