Thinly cut beets are sweet, earthy, and crisp when fried like potato chips. Serve them the same day they are made, sprinkled with coarse sea salt or fleur de sel.You can add just a cayenne to the mix for a sweet and spicy snack if that's the kind of thing that will be popular in my house.
Note that red, pink, or golden beets can all be used just as easily, and prettily, as more common red beets (see Types of Beets for more info). Striped beets are particularly lovely as chips, since they keep their distinctive stripes, looking almost like cartoon versions of potato chips.
- 1 quart vegetable or canola oil
- 3 medium beets
- Coarse sea salt or fleur de sel (optional)
- In a large, wide pot heat the oil to 375F (oil should be about 1 inch deep). Measure the temperature with a candy thermometer, or guesstimate it by dipping in the handle of a wooden spoon: the oil should bubble up around the handle immediately. If it doesn't bubble up right away, it's still too cold; if it bubbles up violently, however, or splatter, it's too hot.
- While the oil heats, Scrub the beets clean, peel the beets and slice them as thinly and evenly as possible. A kitchen mandoline is useful here, but not necessary. A sharp knife and steady hand will do the trick just fine.
- Place a cooling rack on a baking sheet near the stove; this is where you'll drain the beet chips after cooking).
- Slip about a third of the beet slices into the oil, being careful not to crowd the pot. You only want a single layer of beets across the top of the oil. They should sizzle briskly when first put in the oil (if they don't, they oil isn't hot enough—remove the beets and bring the oil up to 375F), the sizzling will slow down as they cook. Fry the beet slices until the sizzling slows and the beets are cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes depending on how thickly they're cut. (Tip: they won't crisp up until they cool off, so if you go to test one, you're looking to make sure it's cooked through and basically tender to the bite, not crisped up). With a slotted spoon or tongs remove the beets and drain them on the cooling rack. The chips will crisp up as they cool. Repeat with the remaining beet slices.
- Sprinkle the chips with salt, if you like. Serve at room temperature once they've become crisp.
Beet chips, like most fried things, are by far the best when eaten on the same day as they are made. That said, you can store beet chips in an air-tight container (a cookie tin works beautifully) for a few days. Actual time will depend on the humidity in your area—more humidity means less crispy chips.