Lady Marmalade

Batten down the hatches and hide the good porcelain; the holidays are here again. Ready or not, Thanksgiving hits in just over a week, throwing cooks and eaters across the country into a predictable annual frenzy. If your menu is already planned and locked down, you’re probably sick of reading the incessant recipe suggestions churning out of every food publication, online, in print, on TV, over the radio waves, and beyond. If you’ve been remiss in your advanced preparations, your blood pressure is probably spiking to greater heights with every mention of yet another overly complicated, time consuming new dish to consider adding to the elaborate affair.

Let’s take it back a step, shall we? Eight days is still plenty of time from either perspective, whether you need to get your act together or just stick to the script. No matter what, you’ve still gotta eat in the meantime.

There’s enough to stress about without adding another random recipe into the mix, so I’m not saying this is one for the Thanksgiving table. It does just happen to fit the theme beautifully, incorporating seasonal root vegetables into an easy condiment that would be just as home atop crackers as it would alongside your festive roast of choice. Ruby red, it glistens with the same luminosity as cranberry sauce, but shines with an entirely unique earthy yet sweet and zesty flavor. Beet marmalade was one of our top selling items at Health in a Hurry, and it remains a nostalgic favorite of mine. It’s the one single dish that I can point to that finally converted me from beet hater to lover.

I deeply regret not writing down that secret formula before the restaurant closed, but the good news is that it’s such a simple concept, it doesn’t take much effort to recreate a very close proxy. Caramelized onions lay down a rich, savory baseline, while jazzy orange peel hits the high notes, complimented by the sweetness of maple syrup. Perhaps an unlikely combination on paper, the final flavor sings with a resonance that far exceeds the sum of its parts.

I’m not saying you should save it for Thanksgiving… But I’m not saying it would be a bad guest at the table, either.

Beet Marmalade

4 Medium Red Beets
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Large Red Onion, Sliced
1 Large Orange, Zested and Juiced
2 Tablespoons 100% Grade B Maple Syrup
1/2 Teaspoon Salt

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Wrap the beets up in aluminum foil so that they’re completely covered, and roast for about an hour, or until fork tender. Let cool before peeling. If they’re cooked properly, the skins should just rub right off with a bit of pressure.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat and add in the sliced onion. Cook gently, stirring frequently, for 30 – 40 minutes, until deeply caramelized and almost silky in texture. Add in the orange juice about halfway through, and reduce the heat if necessary to prevent burning.

Roughly chop the cooked beets and place them in your food processor along with the orange zest and caramelized onions. Add in the maple syrup and salt. Lightly pulse all of the ingredients together until broken down and thoroughly combined but still quite chunky.

Serve warm or chilled, as a dip or topping for crackers, a condiment on the dinner table, or as a spread with bread.

Makes about 2 Cups

Printable Recipe

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16 thoughts on “Lady Marmalade

  1. I love beetroot and this looks a lovely recipe, I made some beetroot chutney last year.. but this looks especially good Hannah.. sending love and hugs your way as you approach Thanksgiving xx

  2. yum!

    two questions: is the orange juice divided? it looks to be added twice, once with the carmelizing onion, and again in the food processor.

    also, i am temporarily living w/out oven or processor. can beets be wrapped in foil and cooked on top of the stove in a covered pan? is microwave better?

    1. Whoops, good catch! That’s what happens when I’m writing too quickly and on too little sleep. The orange juice should only be added to the onions during the cooking process, and I’ll correct the recipe to reflect that ASAP.

      For cooking the beets, I might recommend the microwave instead. Peel them first and cut them into smaller pieces so that they cook more quickly, since you would just be going for tenderness, rather than flavor with this method.

  3. Another culinary triumph Ms Hannah. I am not a fan of jams but love a good savoury spread. This one will do me nicely. Cheers for the excellent share :)

  4. This sounds wonderful, Hannah, although I must admit I got excited when I mis-read the title in the reader, thinking it said “Lazy Marmalade.” As I love orange marmalade, I was just the slightest bit disappointed when I got here and realized my error. The recipe, however, may make up for it. :-)

    janet

  5. Not only does this sound delicious and special, it looks fabulous! Having a glorious and vibrantly red topping can make any dish more memorable.

  6. Does the zest get added at the same time as the OJ? or at the end when it all goes in the food processor?

    Thanks

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