Beets with Balsamic Vinegar

Categories: Liver Blood Vacuity, Liver Qi Stagnation

Liver Qi Stagnation
Beets with Balsamic Vinegar
yield: Makes 4 servings

8 medium beets (about 2 pounds total
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup canola or other vegetable oil
6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 to 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, to taste
1 teaspoon coarse (kosher) salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Trim the beets, leaving on the skin, an inch of the stem, and the wispy “tail” on the bottom of each, then scrub and drain. Place the beets in a small casserole dish just big enough to hold them. Pour the water and canola oil over the beets then cover tightly with a lid or aluminum foil and bake until tender and easily pierced with a sharp paring knife, about 1 1/2 hours.
3. Remove the casserole from the oven and uncover the beets, keeping your face averted from the escaping steam. Allow the beets to cool completely in the casserole.
4. Meanwhile, combine the vinegar, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, the salt, and pepper in a medium-size bowl and whisk to blend. Taste and add more olive oil, if desired.
5. Peel the cooled beets with the back of a paring knife and cut into 3/8-inch slices. Add to the dressing in the bowl and toss gently but thoroughly to coat. Serve immediately or marinate, in the refrigerator, for up to 24 hours.

Ingredients analysis:
Beets —Sweet, neutral; Sp, St, Lv, Ht; Strengthens MJ, nourishes Lv blood, calms the shen.
Olive oil — Neutral, sweet, sour, astringent; Lv, Lu; Clears heat, detoxifies, generates fluids, alleviates thirst, clears lungs, benefits the throat.
Balsamic vinegar — Sour, warm, slightly bitter; Liver; Invigorates blood, clears toxin, astringent.
Salt — Salty, cold; Kd; Clears heat, cools blood, eases bowel movement, nourishes Kd.
Pepper — Pungent, warm; St, LI; Warms the MJ, descends St qi, expels damp and cold.

TCM analysis:
The main ingredients go to the Liver and the recipe is neutral overall. One of the main indications for beets is specifically for Liver qi stagnation with blood deficiency.